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Round seven in the Pacific Rugby Premiership was Saturday triple-header at Treasure Island in San Francisco, Calif. Like the season opener, all of the teams of the PRP gathered in one location for a day of California rugby. OMBAC, Belmont Shore, and SFGG each notched wins as the league enters its last four weeks of competition. OMBAC leads the pack with a 7-0 record and Belmont and SFGG are tied for second at 4-2-1. Life West is in fourth at 3-4.
OMBAC vs Life West
After a difficult defeat last week to Santa Monica, Life West gave everything it had against the undefeated OMBAC. Following 80 minutes of intense rugby, OMBAC survived its toughest test yet with a 39-33 win. OMBAC never trailed but the Gladiators were always in the rear view one step behind. Tim Stanfill, Tai Tuisamoa (2), Stevie Johnson, and Jed Gillespie found the endzone for the victors.
“I’ll just say we did enough to win,” OMBAC head coach Tai Tuisamoa said. “One of the good things about our team is the mental toughness that we show when things don’t go right. We showed that yesterday along with the experience that we have to come away with the win.”
“It was back and forth all game,” Tuisamoa continued. “Even when we were ahead, we knew that Life West would push us to final whistle because they kept fighting. They’re well-coached, their players played hard they fight for every possession. We knew going in we had to play the full 80 to get a win and I’m happy we did.”
Even though OMBAC won, there were plenty of lessons to learn from. “We have a massive game against Belmont next week,” Taisamoa said. “We have to prepare our best for it and work on our strengths in training and be ready for the big challenge...We made too many mistakes [against Life West]. Too many penalties and Life West capitalized off of it and scored points. We have work to do and looking to fix some of the areas of our game.”
Belmont Shore vs Olympic Club
Olympic Club started the match with vigor controlling most of the possession for a 3-0 lead. After the 15-minute opening salvo, Belmont Shore got its feet and proceeded to dominate its opponent for 44 straight points until OC scored in the final minutes of play. Fullback Viliame Longi led the way with four tries and Alex Fletcher and Ben Weischedel each found the endzone for Belmont.
Longi’s set-piece try in the 25th minute settled down the offense and the rout was on. “The game was good from our point of view as I thought our defense was solid, our set piece was good, and we finished off some nice tries,” Ray Egan, head coach of Belmont said.
Next week is the highly anticipated rematch against OMBAC in San Diego. “It will be a big challenge next week against the best team in the league but we will go in with good confidence,” Egan stated. “We will have to control the contact if we are to get a result but I know our club will be up for this game.”
SFGG vs Santa Monica
San Francisco Golden Gate hosted the triple-header and gave the home crowd a show with a 43-17 win over Santa Monica. SFGG outscored the Dolphins three tries to one in the first half to lead 19-7 and then dotted down the first two in the second for a 29-7 advantage. Aided by a pair of yellow cards, Santa Monica cut the tally to 12 points with back-to-back tries but two late scores hammered home the victory for SFGG.
“We stayed in our structure pretty well this week,” SFGG head coach Neil Foote said. “When we created space, we were more patient than previous weeks when we were trying to force things. We took the opportunities when they came.”
Brendan Daly and Akuila Uisaele each scored a pair of tries in the win with Lisiate Huihui, Eakalafi Okusi, and Tevita Okusi dotting down the others. Quinn Berry, Allen Corruth, and Victor Woo scored for Santa Monica.
SFGG will enjoy a bye week before hosting OMBAC on April 14th. “We have a few bodies that are banged up so we will be using the week to get everybody refreshed and back on deck. We have a few players coming back from injury so it comes at a pretty good time,” Foote said.
As for all the PRP teams in one place for an afternoon, Foote expressed, “It’s brilliant. We got good crowds to watch some good quality rugby. It gives the players the chance to mix and mingle with other teams. It’s a great opportunity and the next one will be down in San Diego for the finals.”