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Rain swept away this weekend's slate of DI men's club games in Southern California, but rugby did get going elsewhere.
In Texas, the Austin Blacks pulled off an important result, beating contenders HARC
28-7 36-23. The Houston club dropped to
7-2, remaining in 3rd behind idle New Orleans and the Dallas Reds, while
the Blacks remained in 4th but improved to 5-2-1 - somewhat closer to the
top three and with a game in hand over HARC and two over New Orleans.
The Dallas Harlequins gave up 21 but put up 90 on winless Woodlands to improve to 4-4, while the Frisco Griffins defeated the Austin Huns 51-23.
New Orleans and Dallas remain in the driver's seat in Red River, but they can't relax yet.
In Northern California, the East Palo Alto Bulldogs were back in action after their banning from the league was overturned by USA Rugby. That overturning is being appealed, but in the meantime the Northern California RFU is creating a de-facto ban by ignoring the team's results. The Bulldogs remain banned from the playoffs, but beat Fresno 128-5 on Saturday.
Not to be outdone, the Sacramento Lions beat Diablo 82-19. Lock and captain Joel Scott scored three, and, said Head Coach Ofereimi Tawake, “today was a big improvement from our game against Fresno. We talked about sticking to the basics and the game plan. I think there were some moments where the boys were able to demonstrate that in this game. We still have a log way to go."
The East Palo Alto Razorbacks won big 52-14 over SFGG, and Santa Rosa kept pace with Sacramento at 4-1 with a 42-17 defeat of San Jose.
San Jose scored first, but Santa Rosa replied with four straight tries, with scrumhalf Chris Willover scoring two of them. Two players who were a big part of last year's squad got their first starts of the season - wing AJ Gutierrez and flanker Kobus Grobbelaar - and performed well. Captain and lock/No. 8 Robert Meeson has been a monster, and made a statement in this game. After San Jose scored two tries to make it interesting at 35-17, Meeson fielded the restart and rumbled all the way to score under the posts to make a statement.
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Note: EPA Bulldogs not eligible for playoffs