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Seattle-OPSB defeated Kelowna 113-0 on Saturday in the Okanagan Spring Men's DI league in British Columbia, and you might be forgiven for thinking that Kelowna wasn't able to bring their best side.
Not so, said OPSB Head Coach Justin Fitzpatrick.
"They fielded pretty much the same team they fielded before," Fitzpatrick told RUGBYMag.com. "We are just getting better."
Suiting up for Beach was Eagle forward Lou Stanfill, who is finally healthy and on the field. He partnered with recent new USA caps John Cullen and Ollie Kilifi, with Matt Trouville (who might be getting a cap one of these days, too), Willie Rasileka, Isi Daveta, and Miles Craigwell.
"Kelowna never gave up," said Fitzpatrick. "But we have a lot of good players now who put in a lot of good work for us."
The goal, said Fitzpatrick, is to qualify to play in the 2014-15 BC Premiershop. That doesn't mean they are turning their backs on other competitions. After most West Coast teams broke away from USA Rugby to form the Pacific Rugby Premiership, the Seattle club stayed with USA Rugby's Elite Cup.
Reports are that Seattle-OPSB did so because they weren't comfortable with how the PRP started. They thought they would be able to play with the remaining Elite Cup teams, but that didn't work out as the eastern Elite Cup teams voted not to include OPSB, in part because the travel would disrupt an already-established and full DI schedule.
So Beach was left to concentrate on Canada - where earlier in the year they had to lobby to be accepted, despite being a founding member of the NCRU. But expect OPSB to return to American competition at some point.
"We hoped to be in the Elite Cup and want to keep our options open," said Fitzpatrick. "For now we are trying to find the best competition in North America, and we feel that is the BC Premiership. But we also want to compete in the US in some way."
With the victory over Kelown Seattle Old Puget Sound Beach is 9-1, just behind the UBC Thunderbirds, who are 10-0. They take on 4-5 Surrey in Seattle this coming weekend. April 5 Beach visits UBC in a game that likely decides who finishes 1st. More important will be the playoffs in May, with the winner gaining promotion to the Premiership for next season.