You are here
Two non-conference heavyweight club games will take place this weekend with OMBAC traveling to the Austin Huns and Life West hosting the Glendale Raptors.
Austin Huns vs OMBAC
After completing a grueling seven-week campaign in the Cal Cup that culminated in a thrilling title victory over Life West, OMBAC will be tested once again when they travel to Texas to take on the Huns.
"It will be a tough match as the Huns are playing to prove they can compete at the elite level. To us it is more an end of season celebration social trip but come Sat at 3:00 we'll be taking the game serious with the intent to win,” said OMBAC coach Jason Wood.
It will be an uphill battle for the southern California squad, however. After the tough early season, OMBAC will be missing four starters, including the most capped Eagle of all time, Todd Clever. To add intrigue, Clever was supposed to suit up for the home side. Clever had been on loan to OMBAC for the Cal Cup and was planning on playing in the game until national team duty got in the way.
“We wish he could be here but USA Rugby camp kept him away. To tell you the truth Todd really wanted to be here because helped us put together this project and wanted to make us look good,” said Austin Huns General Manager Thierry Daupin.
For OMBAC, missing Clever and several others players will be tough, but Wood believes that the depth on his squad will be prove to be beneficial this weekend.
“The team we put on the field will be one I'd be happy to start in any Cal Cup game, including the final.”
The Huns opened their season last week with an emphatic victory over the Dallas Harlequins. The newly minted professional team had its way on the scorecard but admitted that things to need to be more effecient in a clash with OMBAC.
“We need to be sharper this week. We needed the first game before playing a team of this caliber. We had a really long preseason so we needed to have someone in front of them so we would be ready for OMBAC,” Daupin concluded.
Austin is very excited to welcome a team with a prolific history of rugby. OMBAC has won a number of national titles in the past and the Huns are looking forward to testing themselves before they head into a tough Red River Conference.
“We love to play stronger teams and to OMBAC be able to come and play against us this weekend is a good benchmark of where we are,” Daupin added.
Life West vs Glendale
This will be an intriguing match as Life West effectively made the jump to compete with the top teams in California. After a strong showing in the Cal Cup, the Gladiators will now welcome former PRP stalwarts Glendale to town.
Glendale is under new leadership as Andre Snyman stepped away from coaching to spend more time with his family. A familiar face has taken hover, however, with long time assistant David Williams taking over the program. For the Colorado side, however, it has only managed a hand full of practices coming into the game and yet to play an 80 minute match.
“We have had a short preseason with only five training sessions coming into the game. It is not an excuse. It is what it is and we are very excited to go to California and play a finalist from the Cal Cup and see how we match up,” said Williams.
Life West is riding high despite a disappointing finish in the final of the Cal Cup. The team is excited to continually welcome tough competition. Despite a compressed and stressful early season schedule, Life west is excited to welcome one of the greats to town.
“For our program, we have enjoyed playing in the Cal Cup. Our goal has always been to play at the highest level, against strong opposition and to continue to grow as a club and develop players,” said Life West coach Adriaan Ferris.
Glendale will have some new faces in the side that the new coaching staff brought in but a lot of the team has played together in the past. This first game will be an early benchmark for the traditionally strong club.
“We will have to see how we gel as a team and see how good we are at the systems that we have put in place,” Williams added.
The match will be the first of a home and away series between the two sides. Glendale will welcome Life West to Infinity Park later this spring.