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After beating Las Vegas 28-15 on Saturday the Los Angeles Rugby Club leads the Southern California DI league with a 3-0 record, setting up a nice clash with the 2-1 San Diego Old Aztecs on Saturday.
With the Pacific Rugby Premiership teams from the region playing mostly their 2nd-team players, the door is open for the clubs not in the PRP, and LA is taking advantage, having beaten Santa Monica and Belmont Shore.
With those victories under their belt, Los Angeles actually felt a little miffed at their performance against Las Vegas.
“We started out a little slow,” said LA’s Chris Sweeney. “Vegas has undergone a lot of change, but they are playing better and I think everyone agreed they put in a good performance. We made an errant pass that put us down a try early, but we shook that off.”
Los Angeles merged with the SoCal Blues in DIII over the offseason. What that succeeded in accomplishing was increasing the club’s overall depth, with some of the DIII players moving their way up.
Leading the way so far for LA is No. 8 Talalelei Gafa, a former South Bay Rhino player who is just difficult to contain. Josh Calistro is a multi-tooled back who has played fullback and flyhalf, and now handles scrumhalf.
But, overall, said Sweeney, “defense has been our strong suit. We’ve given up no more than 15 points in our first three games and I think while we have some other things we’re proud of, the character of this team is our defense.”
Offensive, LA likes to move the ball.
“We’re small, so we work on our fitness and we try to get the ball out wide,” said Sweeney. “We know we’re not going to overpower bigger packs, so our strength is our speed and our fitness. We love the quick tap on penalties and we’re always trying to go.”
Go, perhaps all the way to 1st place.