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In typical fashion, SFGG and Glendale played down to the wire in PRP play. The Raptors ultimately topped the Rhinos with a last minute score for a 29-24 victory.
Martin Knoetze continued his torrid streak of try scoring by getting the first of the game in the corner of the try zone.
“He is a good player. He runs really good lines,” Glendale coach Andre Snyman said of Knoetze. “He has an eye for the game and he really reads it well. He puts himself in really good position to score tries.”
After the missed conversion, SFGG responded with a penalty and a maul over try by Tom Rooke to take a 10-3 lead. Zac Pauga struck back for Glendale, however, and with tries from Dewon Reed and Armandt Peens in the second half, the Raptors extended their lead to 24-10.
The Rhinos battled back with a pair of tries from Luke Watson and Brendan Dally, respectively. Both tries were converted and with less than five minutes to play the teams were even at 24 each. Glendale made a few substitutions and lost some continuity and allowed SFGG back into the game.
“It was a bit of a disturbance in the team chemistry and dynamic when we brought those subs on….SFGG capitalized just capitalized on. We just went to sleep. We lost concentration for those 14 minutes,” added Snyman.
The game looked to be headed to a draw until Reed scooped up a chip and chase and took it the distance for the game winning score. The talented wing is one of the oldest players on the team and has been on the club since its inception seven years ago. Snyman indicated that the veteran had been leading by example for the younger members of the team.
“He is a solid player, can create something out of nothing. He has got the experience. You don’t always have to go with the youth to get things done….Dewon just read the siuation perfectly and ran a really good support line on the player and managed to get the ball and score,” Snyman said of Reed.
Glendale captured its 3rd consecutive win over its rivals from California. As always, it was a hard fought, tight contest.
“This is why we want to play in the PRP is to have games like this. Close, being tested in all aspects of the game. On defense, offense, first phase, it is great to play against like SFGG,” concluded Snyman.
In the two other PRP games, Belmont Shore dominated Santa Monica 57-0 and Denver topped Olympic Club 24-14.