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At 1-0, SFGG and Denver will face each other in Denver with a chance to take control of their Elite Cup destiny.
SFGG runs out their best side, with Eagle Chris Biller at hooker and
underrated locks Tom Rooke and John Thomas at second row. The back row of
Danny LaPrevotte, Bruce Thomas, and Tevita Koloamatangi - so good they
forced All American Rooke's move to lock - is as good as any in the
Mose Timoteo and Volney Rouse are the haflbacks, with Mile Pulu and Soni Pone at midfield.
Timoteo captains the squad and it's an imposing team that has rarely been tested so far this season. In fact, the only close game they have had was March 23's 36-27 defeat of Old Puget Sound, one in which they had to draft Jone Naqica into the starting lineup after Rouse was a late scratch. Naqica took over the kicking duties, and the team scored six tries, including two from Pulu, to win.
Naqica is not in the 22 this week, but he did what was needed two weeks ago.
Denver has not played in the Elite Cup since March 16, when they edged Glendale 33-28. Taylor Howden pulled the quadruple as he scored in all four ways in that game. Last week Denver battled back the Denver Highlanders in a DI league game. Howden scored just the one try as Max de Achaval was the kicker, adding 11 points on his own.
With so much playing time with DI and Elite Cup, the Barbarians are probably more toughened up than SFGG, whose opposition in Northern California's DI league has not been strong. But is that enough for the Barbarians to pull off an upset? Playing at home, at altitude, and with SFGG's fitness not really tested yet, it could be.