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In defeating Belmont Shore 27-15 SFGG has clinched a spot opposite the Glendale Raptors in the Pacific Rugby Premiership championship game May 17.
SFGG only needed a single bonus point, but got the victory and the bonus point to tie an emphatic bow on their title run.
Gate led early from a Volney Rouse penalty goal, but Shore rebounded with a try from Pasefika Iosia to make it 5-3.
The teams remained close throughout most of the game and changed ends with Shore leading 10-8. Peter Moala scored for SFGG to put his side ahead only to see flanker Eric Duechle touch down at 35 minutes.
In the second half, it looked for all the world like Shore would pull out the win. Duechle's second try put Shore up 15-8, and while Samisoni Pone scored moments later, with Volney Rouse's conversion tying the game, the SFGG center would leave the field with more than 20 minutes to go, the victim of his second yellow card, and therefore, a red card.
Down to 14 men for the remainder of the game, SFGG didn't fold, and in fact scored minutes after Pone was dismissed - Neil Barrett continuing his scoring streak. And then for good measure Tom Rooke make it, with the Rouse conversion, 27-15. Neither side scored in the last 14 minutes, but Belmont Shore's hopes of making the final were dashed by then.
Meanwhile, Glendale beat Santa Monica 42-31 to remain in 1st, and OMBAC won a wild one 46-39 over Olympic Club. In that game, OMBAC led 41-27 with nine minutes to go, but tries from No. 8 Nick Wagner and sub Matt Pautler pulled O-Club within seven points to get two bonus points out of the encounter.
In this remarkably competitive PRP, Olympic Club and Santa Monica have continued to play good rugby despite being the bottom two clubs. Eight of their combined 20 losses have been by a try or less, and in 12 of their 23 games they have scored four tries or more. In fact, of the 20 losses those teams have suffered, 14 have been by two tries or less.
OMBAC passes Belmont Shore for 4th place, and with one more game to play than Denver, either OMBAC or Belmont Shore are well placed to pass the Barbarians for 3rd.
|Pacific Rugby Premiership 2014|