You are here
With the snow in Glendale, Colo. postponing the two Pacific Rugby Premiership matches at Infinity Park, the only match on Saturday was Belmont Shore at Santa Monica. Belmont Shore improved its record to 5-4 with a 54-19 win over the Dolphins and still have an outside shot at making the final. The Glendale versus SFGG and Denver versus Olympic Club were cancelled due to weather and will be made up on May 7th and May 14th, respectively.
After losing to Olympic Club on April 2nd, Belmont Shore used the bye week to reassess and refocus in order to make the Grand Final. Against Santa Monica, Belmont Shore took that first step winning 54-19 and most importantly, earning bonus point in the process. Belmont Shore needs to grab every point possible for even a slim chance to play in the championship. Already in playoff mode, Belmont Shore flies to the Denver Barbarians next week.
“It was a good game between rivals,” Belmont Shore head coach Ed Pitts said of the game at Santa Monica. “It took about ten minutes to sort itself out as both sides were trying a bit too much. After ten minutes, the game settled down and turned into a pretty fast paced game. I was happy with our boys as five of our eight tries were scored off turnovers. We’ve been trying to press that the last couple of weeks to take turnover ball and create points from it.”
The score was 26-7 at halftime with Peteru Nifo, Sam Lilley and Isi Ratamaimuri (2) scoring tries. Lilley grabbed his second try early in the second half and Jesse Mechekak scored two long-range tries off superb individual efforts. Andy Jackson had Belmont’s last try to complete the 54-19 victory and the valuable bonus point. Kieron Rollinson was seven for eight on conversions.
Coach Pitts singled out the game of flanker Jesse Mechekak as being vital to the win. “He had two tries that he finished from 40 meters out. It was good individual effort as he turned the gas on and went was fortunate to beat the fullback twice.” In the backs, Peter Nifo, Kieron Rollinson, and Arnold Meredith made a significant impact.
Going forward, Coach Pitts discussed the sharpening of focus for the final three games and what it is going to take to reach the final. “After the disappointing loss to Olympic Club, we brought the team and said the only way we can do this is to win and bonus out. One of our goals was to get six tries a game and we got eight today. It’s one of four and we have three more to go. We are going to take it game by game and in each game know that we have to start fast and get on the board quickly.”