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Belmont Shore, OMBAC and Santa Monica all solidified their places as the 1st, 2nd and 3rd DI club teams in Southern California, but there was something of an upset this week.
Las Vegas scored three tries in the final ten minutes to beat Santa Monica 36-30 in Nevada.
In the first match since the two teams had a very regrettable confrontation in 2011, which resulted in Las Vegas being suspended for a period, the game was fractious but controlled well by referee Stu Nolan.
Santa Monica left a few starters at home, but looked good early on, leading 30-19 with time winding down. They couldn’t, however, seal the deal.
“It was kind of a medium day,” said Santa Monica Head Coach Doug Bratcher. “In spurts we played some really good rugby. But Vegas did a really good job of capitalizing on our mistakes, and won the game. We came away with two bonus points, and we’re still third. We know that.”
New, English-born lock Len Ashcroft-Leigh had a solid game for Santa Monica while the Las Vegas back row had a big impact as well. The victory puts Vegas in sole possession of the 4th and final playoff spot in SoCal.
OMBAC took advantage of Santa Monica’s loss, beating Back Bay 33-18 and now sit nine points clear of the Dolphins in 2nd.
Belmont Shore remains 1st, beating Los Angeles 36-6. The game was supposed to be played at Belmont Shore, but the rainy weather threatened the field. LA stepped up to host the match, and Shore agreed.
“I was happy to put the guys in a bit of a difficult position where they had to adjust to moving the game and stay with it,” said Belmont Shore Head Coach Ray Egan. “I thought they responded well.”
Wing Sinipate Uiagalelei was outstanding on the outside, and with the Shore lineout and scrums singing, they controlled the game fairly well.
“It was tough conditions, but we got through the first half and put the game away,” said Egan. “I thought our pack did really well. We are thought of as a team that played a back-oriented game, but our forwards are underrated.”
With three games left, Belmont Shore has already clinched a playoff spot,
and with their win today, so has OMBAC.
|SoCal DI Men League||