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Mile Pulu carring the rock for SFGG. Austin Brewin photo

In week two of PRP action, there were three competitive matches. Glendale used a strong second half to outlast OMBAC 33-6. SFGG defeated Santa Monica 39-26 to move to 2-0. Finally, Belmont Shore snuck away with a 22-20 victory over Olympic Club.

The Rhinos started quickly with a try from Opeti Okusi. After a penalty from Santa Monica, SFGG reeled off 15 straight points to take a 20-3 lead. The Dolphins answered back with three penalties from Harry Bennett but saw their momentum stymied by a Rhino try.

At 27-12, Santa Monica stormed back, with a penalty try and a converted try from Ralph Cartwright. The Dolphins came within a point of last year’s runners up but would not muster any more points on the afternoon.

Neil Barrett scored with less than 10 minutes to play and Okusi sealed the match with his second of the day.

Glendale and OMBAC played a very tight, competitive first half in San Diego. James Del Bozque opened the scoring with an unconverted try but two OMBAC penalties gave the home side a 6-5 lead midway through the first half.

Del Bozque’s second regained the lead for Glendale late in the first half and after that the Raptors took off. Justin Pauga increased the lead to 19-6 less than a minute into the second half by stealing the ball at the first breakdown and taking it the distance.

Armandt Peens added a trio of penalties and a late try extended the lead to the eventual final score of 33-6.The Raptors blanked OMBAC in the second half and coach Andre Snyman was pleased with defensive effort.

“We won the game by our defense. The guys played really really well. They stuck to the structure, made their one on one tackles. We just pressure on pressure on pressure and they made mistakes,” said Snyman.

In the most thrilling game of the weekend, Belmont Shore scored a late try to edge out Olympic Club. Belmont Shore came out flat in the game and OC took full advantage of it. The visitors took a 10-0 lead and would have taken that lead into the break if not for an overthrown lineout that resulted in a score under the posts for Belmont.

“Olympic Club were very good in terms of their possession. We were in a lot of trouble defensively. They broke us numerous times in the first half and it was just very good scramble defense that held them out,” said Belmont Shore coach Ray Egan.

Belmont Shore started much stronger in the second half and notted the game up at 10 with a penalty. Very good forward play from Olympic Club, however, broke the Belmont line to give Olympic Club a 17-10 lead. The away side added another penalty and looked to be well on its way to a victory.

Belmont Shore unloaded the bench and it turned out to be a brilliant tactical move.

“It made the difference in the game. They made a big impact when they came off the bench,” added Egan.

The home side scored a try midway through the second half but Olympic Club still managed to control play. However, with two minutes to play, Belmont turned over possession in its own 22 and made a line break down the right sideline. After a number of phases the Shore ended up scoring under the posts.

“We kind of got out of jail a little bit with very good play in the last five minute,” said Egan….To be honest, we stole the game from Olympic. Overall, they were the better team. I think it was a lot of grit by our guys….I commend the guys for staying with it and keep believing.”

For Olympic Club, it has been a frustrating tenure in the PRP. The team has shown improvement but has not been able to close out games.