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Old Mission Beach Athletic Club surprised SFGG Saturday with a 36-21 defeat in PRP action in San Diego.
OMBAC played much improved defense following their 58-30 loss to Glendale a week ago, and with Orin Catrett scoring key tries they upended an SFGG team that had been rolling in the early going.
In a tight game both sides had difficulty scoring. It wasn't until 26 minutes in that SFGG drew first blood - prop Pasi Taupaki rumbled over as part of an impressive maul to give his side a 5-0 lead.
Seven minutes later wing Derek Wavomba capped off a series of defensive pressure helped along with a blocked kick to make it 10-0. SFGG flyhalf Volney Rouse kicked a penalty to make it 13-0, and things looked rough for OMBAC.
But the hosts, playing with the wind in the first half, scored a key try just before halftime, with Orin Catrett breaking out of a couple of tackles to score out wide. Zach Pangelinan added a penalty kick right on the whistle to put the score at 13-8 SFGG in the lead.
But OMBAC had the momentum now, even as they went against the wind. Pangelinan kicked another penalty, and while Rouse also hit one, the OMBAC flyhalf kicked his third to make it 16-14 SFGG.
With 20 minutes to go, OMBAC looked the stronger.
"It was unseasonably hot," said OMBAC Head Coach Jason Wood. "I think we were in better position to handle it, and they started to tire."
Lock Derrick Broussard, a San Diego State product who moved from No. 8 (his college position) into the second row, scored an impressive try, bulling through several tacklers, just after Pangelinan's penalty to put OMBAC ahead 19-16.
"Derrick has been playing really well and getting better and better each week," enthused Wood.
SFGG wrenched the lead back with Wavomba's second try, but Pangelinan's fourth penalty with ten minutes to go made it 22-21 OMBAC.
After that, it was all the San Diego team. One of the frustrations for OMBAC this season is that even though they have scored plenty of points, too many of those points have come from the boot of Pangelinan. In four previous games they had failed to score four tries.
This looked to be case once more, even after No. 8 Patrick Mallon went over for OMBAC's third try. This was a bit of a soft one, as SFGG were on their own line trying to consolidate possession and get out of trouble. From a scrum SFGG won but won sloppily, they bobbled the ball, it fell into Mallon's hands, and the loose forward didn't have to be asked twice.
With time essentially up, SFGG were now behind 29-21 and pressuring to at least get a close-loss bonus point, perhaps even win the game. But deep inside the OMBAC 22, Catrett intercepted an SFGG pass and went the distance to put the game away and secure the bonus point for OMBAC, their first.
"We played much better defense this week," said Wood. "We tackled much better and while those last tries weren't really from anything we constructed, we'll take them."
OMBAC improves to 3-2, while SFGG falls to 4-2. Pangelinan, who came into the weekend leading the league with 72 points, scored 16 and leads the league with 88. Only Mike Graham, who scored 13 Saturday, is close to the OMBAC flyhalf.
Tries: Catrett 2, Broussard, Mallon
Convs: Paneglinan 2
Pens: Pangelinan 4
Tries: Taupaki, Wavomba 2
Pens: Rouse 2
(Editor's note. We used the official scoresheet to track scorers for this game, but the official scoresheet was wrong, and credited Andre Coquillard with two tries for SFGG when it was Derek Wavomba who scored those tries. We have corrected the error. - Ed.)