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In SoCal DI action, Belmont Shore (4-0) remains undefeated and has jumped out ahead of the rest of the pack by defeating Santa Monica (1-2), 33-24. The rest of the division remains log jammed after four weeks of play.
OMBAC (2-2) was looking to remain a game behind Belmont Shore, but penalties and a strong performance from Downtown (2-1) led to a 30-17 victory for the Las Vegas based side. Pasadena (2-2) used a strong second half performance to stifle Los Angeles (1-3), 46-20, and the Old Aztecs (2-2) dominated Oceanside (1-3) by the score of 54-19.
Pasadena, despite playing on its own turf, fell behind to Los Angeles 15-0 in the early stages of the first half. Towards the end of the first stanza, Pasadena got on the board with a try and then added a penalty to cut the lead to 15-8 at the break.
The second half started ominously for Pasadena as well, as Los Angeles opened the scoring with a breakaway try to take a 20-8 lead. However, Pasadena controlled the rest of the half, scoring 38 unanswered points.
“We took over the game,” said Pasadena captain Alex Rylance. “We scored a multitude of times, with an interception and just with really good forward phase play in the red zone.”
Making a few tactical switches at halftime turned the game around for Pasadena. Combined with the solid play of flanker Peter Koch and winger Jeremiah Flood helped lead Pasadena to a comfortable victory.
The match between Belmont Shore and Santa Monica was a back-and-forth affair. “It was very much try for try, it was an awesome game of rugby, good offloading ability from both teams,” said Belmont Shore coach Ray Egan.
Like the PRP matchup, Belmont Shore improved its defensive structure in the second half and was able to come away victorious. “In the second half, we tightened it up a little bit and got a bit more direct. Once we got in behind them a few tries just came our way,” added Egan.
In Las Vegas, Downtown capitalized on numerous OMBAC penalties. “We had a lot penalties that killed our momentum and we added to their momentum,” said OMBAC captain Darren James. Despite the high penalty count, OMBAC stayed even at 3-3 for the first quarter of the game.
The penalties proved to be too much though as Downtown started converting penalties into points. At the break, Downtown led, 15-3. For the remainder of the match, OMBAC chased the game and was ultimately unable to overcome the lack of discipline.
“Hats off to Downtown Rugby, they played as a cohesive unit,” added James. “Their forward pack ran straight lines and they had some steppers out wide.”