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Needing a single point to clinch their third straight trip to the Pacific Rugby Premiership Grand Final, the Glendale Raptors earned five points with a 34-6 with over cross-town rivals, the Denver Barbarians, on Saturday. With the win, Glendale will join the SFGG Rhinos this weekend in the rubber match at Infinity Park for the clubs’ third consecutive title game against each other.
According to Glendale head coach Andre Snyman, the regular season finale between Glendale and Denver “was a game of two halves. The first half was a 50/50 battle and in the second half, we took better control of it and managed to score more tries.”
The Raptors’ fleet wing Dewon Reed scored a pair of tries for the home team in the first half, while Denver’s Max De Achaval added a penalty to end the half at 10-3. Coach Snyman gave credit to the Barbos for their defensive effort. “In the first half, I thought Denver played really well. They kept us in our half and we struggled to get out of our half. They played really well and put us under pressure.”
“At halftime, we addressed the situation and discussed how to handle the pressure. We came out in the second half and scored the remaining 24 points,” Snyman remarked as Dustin Croy, Zach Fenoglio, Max Statler, and Iniki Fa’amausili each scored tries in the second half. De Achaval tacked on a second penalty in the losing effort.
Looking forward to this Saturday’s Grand Final, Snyman spoke highly of his opponent. “SFGG is a quality, strong, physical team that is well coached. Like us, it’s their third year straight in the final... Going into the game, we can expect a very physical game. Big hits and big running players. We are 1-1 now and whoever wins the final has one up on the other team. Both teams will definitely want to prove something that they are the better team for this season.”
Needing help to reach its first PRP Grand Final, OMBAC did their part beating Belmont Shore, 34-10, but required Denver to starve Glendale of points. Unfortunately, OMBAC’s season ended with 9-3 record, only two standing points out of the final.
OMBAC head coach James Wood indicated that his team played one of our best games of the year against rival Belmont Shore as the defense was stout and they dominated possession.
“If we played that way the week before, we may have been in the final,” Wood said. “The competition came down to three teams this year. A penalty kick or try one way or another could have been the difference and any three of us could be in the final. In the game up in Glendale, we were winning with no time left and then gave up a penalty right in front of the posts.”
“If that game goes the other way, we finish in first and Glendale and Golden Gate are tied for second,” Wood added. “It’s simple to say it was a three team competition for the final and we were the unlucky one out.”
Against Belmont Shore, OMBAC shut out its opponent in the first half for the 17-0 halftime advantage. Zach Pangelinan started thing off with a penalty and Luke Horgan finished the period with back-to-back tries.
In the second half, Nicholas Zajda, Oliver L’Estrange, and Matt Long added to the tally for OMBAC, while Andy Jackson and Isimeli Ratumaimuri got on the board for Belmont.
In the last game, the Olympic Club closed out their season with a 29-13 victory over Santa Monica. William Johnston (2), Tanner Mohr, and Taylor Bond each scored tries for Olympic and Keegan Engelbrecht connected on three conversions and a penalty. Martial Chaput and Ralph Cartwright dotted down tries for the Dolphins and Tyler Pritchard added a penalty.