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In SoCal DI play, Belmont Shore (6-0) remained undefeated with a commanding 63-17 win over Pasadena (2-4). The San Diego Old Aztecs (4-2) nipped Santa Monica (3-3), 38-21, and Oceanside (2-4) outlasted OMBAC (2-4), 33-27.

OMBAC and Oceanside were very much try for try in the first half. Oceanside scored the first try of the second half, and OMBAC, who has struggled to put two halves together all season, chased the game for the rest of the second half.

“Oceanside was great at being opportunistic and capitalizing on our mistakes and turnover ball,” said OMBAC captain Darren James.

Oceanside used its narrow pitch to its advantage, packing its forwards to one side and attacking the other. As defenders got sucked in, the Chiefs successfully swung the ball back to a heavy pod across the pitch.

OMBAC has now lost three-straight games and is struggling to find continuity. “We showed a little more resiliency and cohesion today, but with the penalties, the inconsistency and the frustration at times we didn’t finish,” James added.

Belmont Shore had a much easier time of things netting nine tries and nine conversions for a 63-17 victory over Pasadena. Despite having to mix some DIII guys into the pack because of PRP and DI side injuries, Belmont managed to use superior backline play to outgun Pasadena.

Everyone in the backline for Belmont scored a try on the afternoon. “The backs this game carried the day,” Belmont Shore coach Rex Pitts told Rugby Today. One of Belmont’s top players, Pase Iosia, who was dealing with eligibility issues, was finally cleared to play and contributed two scores.

Combined with a stingy defensive line, it allowed Belmont Shore to build a comfortable lead. “They couldn’t break our line, which probably frustrated them a lot,” said Pitts.

The Old Aztecs came out of the gate strong against Santa Monica and maintained a double-digit lead for most of the game. The Aztecs opened the scoring with a quick tap off a penalty and built a 17-7 lead at halftime.

“They really had possession for the majority of the first 20 minutes of the game,” Santa Monica coach Alan Gibbon said of the Old Aztecs. “We got into the game a lot more in the last 20 of the first half.”

Things got a bit chippy in the second half and Santa Monica closed the gap to 12 points. The Old Aztecs had a player yellow carded for hitting a man in the air. Later in the game, San Diego saw a player sent off with a red card for throwing a punch. Nevertheless, the Aztecs controlled the game the rest of the way and finished with a 38-21 victory.

The Old Aztecs used strong play from its backline to bolster their scoring. “Their flyhalf and inside center are very experienced,” added Gibbon. The Aztecs ran a lot of play through their 12, successfully breaking through the Dolphin line all day. If not for some good recovery tackles, the Old Aztecs would have put up some more points.

With wins this weekend, Belmont Shore and San Diego are the only two remaining teams with a winning record. Belmont maintains a commanding lead over the rest of the field but the Aztecs are amidst a three game winning streak.