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The floodgates opened in the PRP this weekend with SFGG (4-1-2) thumping Olympic Club 83-3 (0-7) at Treasure Island. Glendale (6-1) avenged a week one loss to OMBAC (3-4) with a convincing 57-10 victory. In the final game of the weekend, Belmont Shore (4-2-1) edged Santa Monica 25-15 (2-4-1) in a must win game for both teams.
SFGG vs. Olympic Club
In the battle of the bay area teams, SFGG used a second half surge for an 83-3 victory. Leading 27-3 at halftime, Gate scored 56 unanswered second half points to cruise to victory.
For SFGG, it had been a rough month. They had been dealing with injuries, and as a result, players playing out position. With a healthier squad and some continuity over the last couple weeks, SFGG was firing on all cylinders.
“It was good to get a couple weeks of consistency with our backs where we have the same personnel train and play,” said SFGG coach Mark Giachari.
With the consistency in training, the SFGG backline had a strong performance. Better decision-making and better support off the ball resulted in high volume of points.
“We have been creating opportunities but have been lacking patience,” Giachari told Rugby Today. “Our Support play was a lot better, when a guy got in space he had options, three or four others in support.”
Coming off of consecutive ties, SFGG was eager to reenter the win column. Although it appears that SFGG let out its frustration on OC, it was more about improving their level of play moving forward.
“We knew we could play better and set our standards a bit higher. With the start of the second of the season, every game is important,” Giachari added.
Glendale vs. OMBAC
After falling to OMBAC in the opening game of the PRP, Glendale evened the score with a 57-10 victory. The Raptors came out of the gate strong, with a score from Dustin Croy in the eighth minute. The fullback scored three first half tries and the Raptors led 33-0 at the break.
“From the get go we were pretty much in command,” Glendale coach Andre Snyman told Rugby Today. “I think the key to our success yesterday was the fact that we took control of the first phases, the scrummaging the lineouts the breakdowns. We were really clinical, the guys were really absolute.”
Playing OMBAC the second time around, Glendale now had six games under their belt. In week one the team struggled with rust and a limited amount of practice time to prepare.
“We had no preseason or warm up games coming into the season,” added snyman. “As the season goes on a team gets consistency, they build momentum and confidence in each other and the structures. That was one of the big differences yesterday.”
Glendale extended its lead in the second half to 52-0 before OMBAC finally broke the shutout with less than 15 minutes to go. OMBAC added two tries late before Glendale earned the final score of the game to cap off a 57-10 win.
Snyman praised the play of his experience players, and contributes much of yesterday’s success to their leadership. Zach Fenoglio added two tries, Ben Tarr and Nick Wallace had excellent days in the scrum and Chad London was excellent in open play.
Belmont Shore vs Santa Monica
In order to keep pace with the league leaders, both teams needed a win with a bonus point. Belmont came out on top with a 25-15 victory, but failed to secure a bonus point in the process.
“It was a very open game, we both knew it was a must win for both of us to kind of stay in the hunt,” said Belmont Shore coach Ray Egan.
Santa Monica opened the scoring with a penalty but Belmont responded with a try almost immediately from Peter Dahl. The Big Number 8 barged his way over for the 7-3 lead. Santa Monica, however, intercepted a pass to take a 10-7 lead. Belmont Shore rounded out the first half scoring with a good try to take a 12-10 going into halftime.
Belmont Shore, with a strong wind at its back in the second half, began to play a more risky game. They turned the ball over several times in counter attacks and were very fortunate to not give up two scores. Excellent cover defense prevented Santa Monica from retaking the lead.
Belmont regrouped and added two penalties and a try to take a 25-10 lead. Having only scored three tries, Belmont Shore was chasing a bonus point. The team took some chances to secure a fourth try but the Dolphins intercepted another pass and made the game 25-15.
“We went for it a little bit, going for the bonus point,” Egan added. “At that stage with three minutes to go we just battened down the hatchets and it was maybe more important not to give them a bonus point.”
Belmont shore remains third place with the win and is three points back of SFGG. “We put a lot of good phases together and our defense was good again. We seem to be getting better every week in terms of our defense, which is very pleasing, Egan concluded.
Glendale and SFGG will highlight next weekend’s matchup. SFGG will look to avenge a 31-27 loss from Week two when they travel to Colorado next Saturday.