Glendale lead from the first minute to the last in their 51-10 defeat of the Boston Irish Wolfhounds in front of a healthy Infinity Park home crowd on hand for Saturday's DI Men's Club Semifinal.
Ata Malifa opened scoring with a penalty right at the first minute mark, giving the Raptors the edge they wouldn't relenquish.
The Wolfhounds had a great chance to get ahead when granted an early five-meter scrum, but the Raptors stuffed the Wolfhounds off the setpiece and pressured Boston into an offside, ending the threat.
Glendale extended its lead after stealing a Boston scrum and putting the ball through several hands before wing Dewon Reed crashed forcefully through the final Wolfhound defender for the try. This would be Reed's first of many impressive runs.
The next one almost ended in a 50-meter try, but he ran out of real estate about 10 meters short of the try line and sailed a bad pass, which the Wolfhounds deflected into the hands of Glendale's other wing, Dustin Croy, who touched down Glendale's second try. Malifa hit the conversion, putting the Raptors up 15-0.
Boston finally got on the board in the 19th miunte with a Mark Tutton penalty (he missed a shot at post earlier).
Reed ripped off another line break, during which he flat-backed a Boston defender, but deferred to a teammate who booted it through the back of the end zone, drawing a 22-meter drop.
Don't worry Reed fans, though, becuase the next Glendale score would go through the electric wing, who wiggled past multiple would-be tacklers before finding hooker Shae Tamate in support. Tamate carried the ball the rest of the way for the score, giving Glendale a 20-3 lead.
The Wolfhounds scored their next seven, and final seven, points of the game a few minutes later when center Owen Collins found a hole in a seemingly confused Glendale defense (they looked like they were expecting an obstruction call) for Boston's lone try, which was converted by Tutton.
Reed set up one more try in the first half when he again penetrated Boston's first and second lines, dishing to scrumhalf Andre Bachelet in support, who took in Glendale's easiest-looking score of the day.
That's how the first half would end, with the Raptors up 27-10. Glendale poured in four more tries in the second half, one a 90-meter blinder by Reed, to win comfortably.
"I was just trying to make something happen," said Reed, describing his second try. "All I saw was the ball came out wide, I had two defenders, I was basically going into contact to stay on my feet, and last minute I changed it up, hit the hole, put the stiff arm out, shook free and it was off to the races."
Reed stole the day's final show, drawing many warranted dropped jaws from the partisan crowd.
"Dewon Reed played over the top," said Glendale coach Mark Bullock. "Part of the plan was to get the ball in his hands, because we thought we had a mismatch at the position he was playing, and apparently we did, so it worked out for us."
Reed scored only two tries, but he had his hands in several more, and he seemed to take as much pride in the ones he set up as he did in the ones he finished off.
"Back home (in Sacramento), I was just a try scorer. They never asked me to pass the ball, they just wanted me to take the ball and go," Reed said.
"Since I’ve been out here, the coaches have been working with me on passing the ball, moving the ball around to my team, trusting my team. This game showed that practice makes perfect. I trust in my team and use my teammates and it just opens the game up a lot more. We’ve all been here before, got some new boys, but this year is our year. All we have to do is finish."
Glendale squares off with Olympic Club 4pm local time Sunday for the national title.