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San Francisco Golden Gate defeated Belmont Shore 32-27 Saturday in a preseason clash between the two top clubs in San Luis Obispo, Calif.
SFGG won the physical battle, especially early, and got some excellent work from threequarter Opeti Okusi and flanker Danny LaPrevotte. Lock Mike Stack was strong in the lineout for SFGG, a point of strength as the Northern Californians won 100% of their own throws and disrupted some of Belmont’s.
SFGG ran out to an early lead and were assisted by two almost concurrent yellow cards against Belmont Shore – Golden Gate scored ten points while Shore was down two men.
“Their experience showed early on and they are a very physical team,” said Belmont Shore Head Coach Ray Egan. “We missed some of our first-up tackles, which is perhaps to be expected in our first game. We forced the ball a bit too much, and had some kickable penalties where we took the lineout or scrum. I like to think that when we’re in a league game, we’ll take the points.”
Hooker Troy Fodor did well for Shore in a position of need, while youngster Pasefika Iosia and veteran Peter Sio were strong in the backs.
Still, SFGG led 32-13 until late, and in several areas looked the stronger.
“I was pretty pleased with the showing; a lot to work on but a good start,” said SFGG Head Coach Grant Wells. “I was especially pleased with the lineout and pleasantly surprised with how we played as a unit. It was a good, physical game, and we’ve got the EPA Bulldogs next so we’ll see how we do there.”