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Costa Rugby Champions Prepare for Nationals

Apr 28, 2016 11:06AM ● By Jeanne Fratello

Photo via Costa Rugby

The Mira Costa Rugby Team has had almost fairy-tale-like success in its short existence, and this year it's hoping for another magical ending to its season with a trip to the national championships. The team is trying to raise a total of $30,000 to fund its trip to the 2016 Rugby National Championship Invitational Tournament in North Carolina on May 19-21.

"We don’t just plan to go, we plan to 'go for the gold,'" said Michelle Kissman, a team parent who is leading the fundraising drive.

Mira Costa Rugby is undefeated (11-0) this year, having earned its second state title in only its third year of existence. Its overall record stands at 28-2-1 over those three years. The team is among only eight teams in the nation this year to be invited to the national tournament.

The rugby team was founded by head coach Duke Dulgarian, a parent who had played rugby for UCLA and who had been coaching regular club rugby for years. Two years ago, according to Kissman, Dulgarian put the team together and paid for all the costs of startup (including uniforms and transportation) out of his own pocket. That first team took the state championship in 2014. Dulgarian paid all the costs again in 2015, and the team were state finalists. This year, the team started its first-ever booster club and the team won the state championship again.

Want to see the rugby team in action? They are playing Rangitoto College, the largest secondary school in New Zealand, on Friday April 29, at 7:00 p.m. at Mira Costa. There will be a Rugby Toss and Drop Kick event before the match, sponsored by Air New Zealand, and a raffle to win a chance at two round trip tickets to New Zealand.

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