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Round Four of the Pacific Rugby Premiership saw OMBAC remain undefeated while Belmont Shore and Life West kept pace with victories on Saturday. OMBAC doubled up SFGG, 28-14, to win its fourth game of the season and Belmont pushed its record to 3-1 with a 19-3 defeat of Santa Monica. Lastly, Life West got back to 0.500 with a 55-22 drubbing of Olympic Club.
SFGG at OMBAC
In the marquee match of the weekend, OMBAC battled the weather and San Francisco Golden Gate to a 28-14 comeback win at home in San Diego, Calif. In the rain and down by a point at the half, OMBAC rallied in the second period to shut out its opponent. Tim Stanfill, OJ Auimatagi, and Jed Gillespie scored for the home squad with fullback Mike Dillon's clutch kicking converting two of the tries and nailing three penalties.
“We started off fast in the first half,” OMBAC head coach Tai Tuisamoa said. “Defensively, we were there but we lost our momentum. Gate was able to take advantage of their opportunities and score some points off of it. Anytime you play against Gate, you have to front up and be physical from the first minute to the 80th minute. It is always a big battle against those big boys."
“Our kicking game was much better in the second half, we put pressure on them defensively, and we were able to put some pieces together,” Tuisamoa added. “It was one of those games that could have gone either way with the weather. It was a great team effort, a great team win.”
Flanker Shane Moise earned the player of the match for OMBAC. Moise was a tackling machine on the pitch, but it was the forwards as a unit who stepped up.
“The standout team effort on the day was defense and aggression,” coach Jason Wood said. “At one point, we were down two players with yellow cards and didn't give up points...Our forwards just came through. For a good part of the game, we had five props on the field: three up front, one in the row, and one in the back row. A very impressive effort.”
OMBAC welcomes Santa Monica to town this Saturday.
Olympic Club at Life West
After using the week off to refocus its efforts, Life West broke out for 55 points at home against Olympic Club to even its record at 2-2. Seven Gladiators scored in the contest as Devereaux Ferris, Jojo Vuatalevu, Jay Finau, Siaosi Nonu, Viliami Soakai (2), Simi Hingano, and Guillaume Cazenave found the endzone in the victory.
It was a total team effort for the 55-22 win, but having Devereaux Ferris back from the Eagles was a big contributing factor. “His direction and leadership on the field and his speed and quality of delivery provide more attacking opportunities for this team,” head coach Adriaan Ferris said.
Life West is still recovering from its early season missteps and still has a lot to prove to itself and the conference. “To be honest, it was somewhat sloppy in the first half and it was evident we had a week off,” Ferris said. “OC played well, pressed hard defensively and in the first half, the difference really was that we had capitalized on a number of their mistakes and they had not capitalized on ours.
“From a coach's viewpoint, we are not satisfied with that performance against OC,” Ferris continued. “We need to be more clinical and accurate on defense next week against Belmont Shore. We need to lift effort levels across the board and more importantly, we need to make sure we are mentally up for the game if we want to be in with a chance to win.”
Life West will need another top-side effort from the likes as Man of the Match Guillaume Cazenave against Belmont next week. “Cazenave had a superb game defensively marking former St Mary’s stand out Michael Haley,” Ferris said. “His kicking continued to apply pressure on the scoreboard. Another to impress was second row, Gian Steenkamp. His work-rate and athleticism were exceptional all day.”
Belmont Shore at Santa Monica
After falling to OMBAC two weeks ago, Belmont Shore rebounded with a 19-3 victory over tough Santa Monica squad. The Dolphins opened the game with a Shawn Lee penalty but it was all Belmont after that. Belmont shut out its opponent the rest of the way and Pita Semeane, Ian Carpenter, and Keni Nasoqeqe provided the tries in the win.
“We let ourselves down with our performance to OMBAC so we were eager to get a good performance which we did in very poor conditions,” head coach Ray Egan said. “We trained well the last couple of weeks and worked hard on our work rate. Our pack worked hard on the set piece and it was good to see that work come through in the game. Ultimately, our defense and first-up tackles were a key to our win on Saturday.”
Vice-captain and flanker Sean Gorman earned the player of the game honors due to his great work rate and energy all game. Scott Finley, Ian Carpenter, and Ed Pitts all stepped up and will be relied upon this weekend against Life West.
When asked about the upcoming match, Egan responded, “We just need to be physical from the start, be strong in defense, and play the conditions. It looks like the weather might be poor again so I think it will be the team that adapts the best will get the upper hand.”