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In the final week of PRP play, Glendale and SFGG clinched berths in the Cup Finals with convincing victories. Glendale defeated Olympic Club 27-7 and SFGG handled Belmont Shore 49-5, respectively. In the final game of the weekend, OMBAC won 38-5 over Denver. With victories, Glendale and SFGG claimed the top two spots, respectively, and despite an OMBAC victory, the San Diego based side fell four points short of making the playoff.
Coming into the weekend, SFGG needed a win to clinch a spot in the final. Belmont Shore opened the scoring, however, taking a 5-0 lead. SFGG settled down and scored 49 unanswered points to win the game handily.
Mili Pulu evened the score at five apiece, and with the conversion from Volney Rouse, SFGG would take a lead that they would never relinquish. Rouse had a tremendous match for SFGG, earning man of the match honors for his efforts.
With a win and holding SFGG to less than four tries, Belmont Shore had an opportunity to overtake SFGG for the second spot in the standings. However, SFGG had already racked up four tries by halftime and took a 29-5 lead going into the break.
“We knew it was a must win game and we always expected to win,” SFGG coach Mark Giachari said. “We were quietly confident coming into the game, playing at home, having the rest and we knew our previous performance against Belmont would come with us.”
In San Francisco, Glendale jumped out to an early lead, dispelling any hopes of Olympic Club playing spoiler this weekend. The Raptors scored two tries early and then a third right before halftime to secure a victory. The visitors led 27-0 with a less than a minute to play before Olympic Club earned a well worked try to break the shutout.
“I thought the boys played really well,” said Glendale coach Andre Snyman. “We spoke about playing clinical and basic rugby, doing whatever we had to do to get the points in the bag.”
For the second consecutive year, Glendale will host SFGG for the Cup Final. Last year, the visitors came away from Colorado with a victory.
“I think the players will use that as motivation the fact that we lost last year,” added Snyman. “I think that they want to set the record straight. They will use that as a motivation point. You work so hard during the season to get to that point and to lose and I think the way we lost last year was a tough one for everybody to accept.”
Both teams will have two weeks to prepare for the May 16th final. Both coaches indicated that there is not much between the two teams and the difference may come down to the final two weeks of preparation.
“I don’t think you have to change too much. We both will have something up our sleeves because we have two weeks to train for it, but it is really about in two weeks time getting the bodies fit,” added Giachari.
SFGG and Glendale split the season series with each team winning by less than a try on the other’s home turf. The third meeting of the season should prove to be another tight contest and exciting affair to watch on May 16th.