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SSA Day 4—Rugby Friday, April 13, 2007

Back Bay RFC (white) defeated Santa Monica 23-19 Apr. 7 to stave off relegation from the Men's first division of the Southern California Rugby Football Union. It was their last league game of the season.

The final event for me at Sports Shooter Academy IV was a rugby game in Newport Beach. The Southern California Rugby Football Union has been around since 1937. These days, at least, its players are an eclectic mix of men ranging in age from their 20's to their 40's, or maybe older, with
a disproportionately high concentration of English and Kiwi accents.

Access was great (it is an amateur event), and there was plenty of action to shoot. Unfortunately, most of it happened on the opposite side of the field from me. The home side, Back Bay RFC, beat Santa Monica 23-19 in their final league game of the season. With the win, they avoided relegation to Sr. Men's Division II.

The field was ringed by palm trees, so I tried to use those as a graphic element. The photo above was the best result of those efforts. It was selected as a finalist for the photo-of-the-day competition, but it never really stood a chance of winning against Kenneth Gatlin's photo, and one or two others. (As well as photo-of-the-day, that shot won the Best Photo award, and was part of the best pro portfolio from th
e workshop.)

I wish I had more photos of this guy (left). Even the dogs were getting in on the action at half-time (below).

Newport Beach (left) is an odd place. The rugby field is in Peninsula Park, on a long spit just 100 feet from the ocean. On the inland side of the park is this public sidewalk, replete with people on Segways, then a row of houses that undoubtedly come with obscenely high prices. Finding a parking spot there is about as much fun as it is in my neighborhood, except there it's all metered parking.

Sports Shooter Academy IV concluded with the faculty judging the photos of the year (Saturday night), and the Academy awards brunch Sunday morning. I left for the airport at 3 and, apart from a 1-hour delay on the second leg, had an uneventful trip home.


Craig Mitchelldyer said...

the palm tree is photo is really nice. good seeing on that one.

Matthew said...

Thanks. It was helped by a bit of cropping to get rid of some of the players below.

Gary Weber said...

I agree with Craig; it's a great scene-setter for a picture story on the rugby tourney too--good job!(Also, liked your version better than the one included in the winning student's portfolio). GW