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More questions to answer in the Pacific Rugby Premiership as Week 8 kicks off this weekend.
Can SFGG win on the road? After losses to Denver and OMBAC, San Francisco Golden Gate could use a win at Santa Monica this weekend.
"We've got to stay patient and play to our pattern," said SFGG scrumhalf Mose Timoteo after their first loss, at Denver. "We played just OK, but the tough thing for us was we spent most of the first half in the Denver 22 and came away with no points. When we put teams under pressure we have to come away with points."
They did that more against OMBAC, but they faltered late.
Can "close" lead to "win for the Dolphins? Santa Monica got a much-needed weekend off. They are 1-5, but three of those five losses were by a try or less. They can score and they can run and they can kick - their 26.2 points per game sit third in the league.
Can the Barbarians be Stopped? The Denver Barbarians, after starting the season 0-3, are now 3-3, and they've done it, for the most part, on the backs of their defense. Goal line stands and maul defense have been their bread and butter. And don't forget that two of their three losses were close. With a little bit of luck Denver could have been 5-1, or, conversely, 1-5.
Helping Denver along has been their depth - they won without Ben Pinkelman. They competed while playing musical flyhalves. Tyson Meek has proved an exciting impact sub at scrumhalf, spelling Will Jennings.
Where do the O-Club Pieces Fit? This week the Barbarians host Olympic Club, an excellent group of rugby players, but they haven't always played together, or been available together. Andrew Cook is one of the better hookers in the league, and RUGBYMag.com named prop Darrell Honnaker to their mid-season all-PRP XV. They did the same for flanker Kelly Harris, who is a workhorse.
But where all the pieces fit is a question. Colin Hawley is an outstanding back, who could play center, wing, or fullback. Dustin Muhn seemed an exciting addition at scrumhalf last week, although he's normally a deep three back and Chad Clark is a pretty nifty #9 also. Rikus Pretorius was a flanker in college and a center at O-Club, but might best serve the club back in the #7 jersey.
Olympic Club need their tight five to battle a little harder in tigh, and they need to be crisper in the backs - something that would come with consistency of personnel.
And finally, Is Glendale Vulnerable at Home? League-leaders Glendale host 3-2 Belmont Shore. Shore is an exciting team that has a backline that can break open a game. But they haven't pieces it all together, and they could stand to have a little bit more spring in the step of their forwards - Sam Lilley and Ian Carpenter and Mike Sweet can't do it all. RUGBYMag put prop Brice Schilling on the mid-season All-PRP team for being tough in tight and hard in set piece. But he's not mobile, not is he necessarily meant to be. But somebody needs to be.
Eric Duechle was strong with the ball in hand last week.
They face a Glendale team that has as good a backline as anyone. Glendale is probably the most structured team in the league, and the crispest. They have height in the second row, and speed in the back row - which is all they need with the backs they have.
Belmont Shore will face a tough task in their second trip to Colorado in as many weeks.
As Timoteo said, "it's a Premiership; it's supposed to be hard."
SFGG (4-2) at Santa Monica (1-5)
Belmont Shore (3-2) at Glendale Raptors (5-1)
Olympic Club (1-5) at Denver Barbarians (3-3)