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Week Two in Division I of the Northern California and Southern California Conferences ended with a few blowouts and close affairs.
In NorCal, the Sacramento Lions earned their second win of the season narrowly beating SF-Golden Gate, 15-13, the EPA Razorbacks pounded Fresno, 60-8, Santa Rosa edged the Sacramento Blackhawks, 13-3, and the Life West Gladiators captured its first ever DI victory with a win over San Jose Seahawks, 81-10.
In SoCal, Belmont Shore blanked the Downtown Rhinos, 42-0, OMBAC beat Los Angeles, 36-12, and the Santa Monica Dolphins swam past Pasadena for their first victory, 50-14.
After defeating the Sacramento Blackhawks last weekend, the Sacramento Lions collected their second win of the fresh season over SF-Golden Gate, 15-13. Edward Matakibau, Sione Tanoa, and Dennis Saafi each had tries for the Lions.
In rainy conditions, Lions coach Isereimi Tawake said that the gameplan broke down, but “it was a lot of tough individual plays [that won the game]. As long as you correct the mistakes, you can play on for the next game.”
Utilizing a strong second half, Santa Rosa triumphed over the Sacramento Blackhawks to win 13-3. Relocated from the Blackhawks’ pitch to Santa Rosa due to the weather, Sacramento led 3-0 at the half. Santa Rosa used a rolling maul to score its first points of the second half and added to the score with series of forward pick and goes and a penalty to win the game.
Blackhawks’ head coach Ben Parker stated, “the key to the game was that they got the better of the field position on the back end of some kicking. Credit to the Blackhawks that they resisted the multiple scrums that has become a trademark for Santa Rosa.”
The defending NorCal Conference champion, the EPA Razorbacks, started the season with the same style they are known for with a brutalizing 60-8 win over Fresno. Fresno attempted to keep pace, but the Razorbacks physical system of the play powered them to victory.
The high score of the day went to the Life West Gladiators who crushed the San Jose Seahawks, 81-10, in thier inaugural DI match. Charlie Brennan was the top try-scorer with four and Anthony Munoz was next with three tries. Tyler Harrison, Orene Ai'I, Drake Vatuvei, Fancy Namulauulu, Devereaux Ferris, John Austin Colvill each contributed with a try and Ferris added eight conversions.
“We had the rucks go wide with our forwards,” Life West head coach Adriaan Ferris said. “We fronted up and laid a platform where we could exploit. We’re a fast side and we like to play expansively. We have a theme for this season where we enjoy when our teammates score. When we score, we all take credit.”
The Downtown Rhinos made the trek west from Las Vegas to Belmont Shore looking for their second win of the season. What they received was a 42-0 shutout. Belmont Shore raced to a 28-0 halftime advantage before closing out the game with 14 more points.
“We were a little light on the road with only three subs,” Downtown coach Tom Carter said. “They definitely dominated us in the set piece in terms of the scrum. They held onto the ball. It was hard for us as we defended a lot on the day and we didn’t have a whole lot of possession.”
After being idle for the first week of the season, the Santa Monica Dolphins used the extra week of preparation to be ready for Pasadena who were looking for its first win. The Dolphins ripped into Pasadena for 50 points as Tyler Pritchard, Aaron Lewis, Philip Lydeard (3), Harry Bennett, John Aseme, and David Amaya each scored tries for Santa Monica. In the loss, Russell Pitts and William Bryant each scored for Pasadena with Anthony Mendoza connecting on both conversions.
Lastly, OMBAC joined Belmont Shore by earning its second win of the season by defeating Los Angeles, 36-12. Anthony Kalani, Faafetai Te’o, Matt Long (2), and Mila Setafene each scored for OMBAC in the first half to lead 31-7. Dustin Bates scored the dagger in the second half to secure the 36-12 victory and Kalei Konrad had three conversions for OMBAC.
“We had a pretty marked advantage in the forward pack,” OMBAC captain Darren James said. “Size wise, we were bigger across the board and we used that to our advantage in the scrums and the mauls inside the 22. It was realizing we had that and using it in the first 10 minutes of the match. It set the tone for our pretty good play overall.”