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Written by RUGBYMag Staff    Saturday, 05 April 2014 19:08    PDF Print Write e-mail
PRP Latest
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With their 41-24 defeat of Belmont Shore, SFGG moved into a commanding position in their quest to secure a Pacific Rugby Premiership championship game berth.

With the win, SFGG improves to 6-2 and is more than a game's worth of points ahead of the 3rd--place team.

That 3rd-place team is Denver, which tied OMBAC 41-41 in a wild one. Both teams garnered bonus points for four tries, thus getting three points from the match.

Olympic Club defeats Santa Monica for their second victory.

With the tie against Denver, OMBAC is now 4-2-1 but a little shy on bonus points. Still, they have scored 110 points in their last two games, and with the San Diego team having played one or two fewer games than anyone else, they can jump into playoff contention soon.

Belmont Shore drops to 4-4 and will have a lot of work to do to get back into contention. First-place Glendale had a bye this week.

Pacific Rugby Premiership 2014
Team W L T Pf Pa Pd BT BL Pts
Glendale 7 1 0 309 194 115 7 1 36
SFGG 6 2 0 227 178 49 5 1 30
Denver Barbarians 4 4 1 212 215 -3 3 2 23
OMBAC 4 2 1 253 220 33 3 0 21
Belmont Shore 4 4 0 206 220 -14 3 2 21
Olympic Club 2 7 0 209 281 -72 3 2 13
Santa Monica 1 8 0 252 360 -108 5 4 13

Written by Alex Goff    Saturday, 05 April 2014 18:46    PDF Print Write e-mail
O-Club Wins on Pink Jersey Day
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The Olympic Club ran out to a big lead, lost it, and took it back again to earn their second victory of the Pacific Rugby Premiership and beat Santa Monica 43-31.

The Pink Jersey Pink Tie team from 2013. Hennie Strydom photo.Santa Monica led 19-15 at halftime, fell behind 29-19, and then scored twice to lead 31-29 with 12 minutes to go. But Olympic Club's lineout worked when it was needed and set the platform for the go-ahead try, and then they added another for good measure.

Olympic Club wore pink for this game. This was the 5th Annual ‘Pink Jersey Pink Tie’ event run by Olympic Club Rugby team.  As a part of the event Olympic Club wore pink jerseys and pink socks, provided by Canterbury USA. 

Santa Monica, in a show of support for the event, also wore pink socks on the day, and will be attending the evening’s festivities.  In another great show of unity from the PRP clubs, San Francisco Golden Gate will be donating a portion of the gate from their Ray Sheeran Field that they have shared with OC this year back to the charities supported by the event.  Golden Gate (twice), Glendale and OPSB have provided great games for this event in the past, and this year's clash was equal to it.

The Pink Jersey Pink Tie Charity Event was established in 2009 as a Breast Cancer Awareness charity event and fundraiser to support local breast cancer services. The idea for the event was established following the unfortunate passing of Kathleen Ann McClenahan, the mother Olympic Club player and former Eagle Brian McClenahan. The beneficiary for the 2009 event was the KAM Foundation, a local breast cancer foundation established in Kathleen's name and honor.  Since then the event has grown and also raises money for the American Cancer Society along with the KAM Foundation.  

Rugby, like no other sport, has a history of rallying around teammates in times of need. After Kathleen's passing, the teammates of Brian McClenehan rallied around without hesitation to establish the event and show their support. In the years since, even though Brian has retired from playing, various players and club members have stepped forward to lead the event and continue this great tradition.  Annually the event raises almost $20,000 for the two charities.  

Olympic Club Director of Rugby Eoin O’ Toole remarked:  "There is something special about the rugby community; at the team and club level as well as at a league and nationwide, if not worldwide, level.  When you put your body on the line on a Saturday afternoon for the men next to you there is a strong bond that is unshakable amongst rugby players.  I was still playing for the club in 09 when we started the event and I know the support meant the world to Brian and his family at the time; and now to many more families since that we have been able to help in a small way through our fundraising and awareness efforts with this event.  It's fantastic to see the support from Santa Monica and Golden Gate for the event, and who knows, maybe next year all PRP clubs will be sporting pink for the day!" 

Written by Alex Goff    Saturday, 05 April 2014 16:50    PDF Print Write e-mail
Late Try Ties Denver-OMBAC Game
Clubs - Top Club Leagues

The Denver Barbarians scored a try by Hunter Leland with five minutes to go, and with fullback Max de Achaval's conversion, secured a dramatic 41-41 tie with OMBAC Saturday in Pacific Rugby Premiership action.

OMBAC, who had come back from 25-7 down against Santa Monica last week, led 25-10 with five minutes left in the first half, but were overhauled by Denver in the second period.

Center Will Holder opened the scoring with a long, slicing run for a try for OMBAC in the 4th minute. Zach Pangelinan kicked the conversion and added a penalty goal nine minutes later. Pangelinan added to his league-leading points total with a big break for a try after that to make it 15-0.

Denver replied with a penalty from scrumhalf William Jennings - Jennings had come on for Tyson Meek, who was injured early, and was kicking because Max de Achaval was in the sin-bin. But OMBAC was on the front foot and a try from wing Ben Leatigaga, with Pangelinan's conversion, made it 22-3.

Denver center Hunter Leland's try pulled the Barbarians a little closer, and then, after a Pangelinan penalty, flanker Brendan Shea was on the end of a long period of Barbarians attack and that, with a de Achaval conversion, made it a ballgame at 25-17. Pangelinan put OMBAC at 28 with a 50-meter penalty goal, and that's how the half ended.

The teams traded scoring in the second half. Pangelinan kicked another penalty, then Denver wing John Godinet scored, and then OMBAC and USA lock Tai Tuisamoa powered through several Denver players to touch down. That last try made it 38-22 OMBAC. But Denver finished strong. Jennings, who came on early for Tyson Meek after the starting scrumhalf sustained a nasty cut on his head, sniped over while the OMBAC players complained that he had knocked the ball on (the call was that the ball had gone backward, and OMBAC should have played the whistle). And after a Pangelinan penalty, Mike Garrity's Iniki Fa'amausili was put away by Taylor Howden to make it 41-34 for OMBAC with 13 minutes to go.

It took a while, but eventually Denver did score the final try - Leland going over for his second after a nifty break from de Achaval - and de Achaval's kick locked the game up.

The result, then, was inconclusive for both teams. Denver moves to 4-4-1, adding a bonus point to put them at 23 points. OMBAC moves to 4-2-1, and 21 points.

"We just did a better job of making tackles past the gain line," said Denver coach Lance French. "They are very organized 1st and 2nd phase on defense so we needed to get into the 3rd phase. We left gaps early in the game on defense - allowing them to come in behind the tacklers to get the offloads. We fixed that, and we almost stole it."

Denver 41
Tries: Leland 2, Shea, Goodnet, Garrity, Jennings
Convs: de Achaval 4
Pens: Jennings

Tries: Holder, Leatigaga, Pangelinan, Tuisamoa
Convs: Pangelinan 3
Pens: Pangelinan 5

Written by Alex Goff    Friday, 04 April 2014 17:28    PDF Print Write e-mail
Must-Win Time in PRP? This Week's Matchups
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Round 10 of the Pacific Rugby Premiership kicks off and while it might be a shade early to start talking about playoffs.

Schilling (#1) and Sweet (#2) in action for Belmont Shore. Leslie Wood photo.
Last week's highlights

Oddly, only one of this week's matchups has happened before - Santa Monica against Olympic Club in Week 6.


With the championship game now a mere six weeks away, it is time to look at where the teams are in their chase for the top two spots.

Sitting pretty, of course, at the Glendale Raptors. The Colorado team has lost just one game and have more than two games' worth of points between them and their closest competitors, SFGG.

Golden Gate had played one less game, however. And they play the #3 team, Belmont Shore, this weekend in San Francisco. This is essentially a battle for a playoff spot right here.

Belmont Shore seemed to have found its defensive voice in the last few weeks, although they were undercut by three cards against Glendale, and what appeared to be fatigue in their 30-24 defeat of Olympic Club this past weekend.

"Our defense was better in the two games preceding that one," said Shore captain and lock Ian Carpenter. "I don't know if the guys got tired or what. For us that Glendale game was a game we felt we absolutely had to win, and we did everything in our power to put that game away. But we lost, and the residual effects of that hurt us. That's not to say O-Club didn't play well, but I don't think we were giving our best."

The game in Glendale was interesting in that Belmont Shore led 25-10 before the cards started getting handed out. Had they won that game, Shore would be 5-2 and in second, probably just a few points behind Glendale.

That's all changed.

"Every game here on out is a must-win," said Carpenter. "We talk about it in practice every week, every player. We feel our backs are against the wall."

Carpenter is an ideal captain to have with you in that scenario, and he and lock Sam Lilley have not backed down one inch. But also pulling the team along is a tough front row that includes Jake Grubbs, Mike Sweet, and Brice Schilling.

"Schilling's always been a competitor and always been a good player," said Carpenter. "He doesn't get the recognition - at least not until he was named a mid-season all-star. We've been giving him a hard time about that and I think it's motivated him to play better. He is a technician in the scrums and has a good rugby IQ. Mike Sweet's new to the program from Wyoming. One of our old boys is in Wyoming and saw him and told him if you want to really get better get out to California and player with Belmont Shore. He's improving every week and he's of those surprise players you didn't know you were going to get."

Of course, SFGG has a pretty good front row, too, and Paula Fukafuka against Jake Grubbs might be a seismic impact for both sides. Neil Barrett and Mosese Atiola round out that unit. SFGG has a shift in their lock pairing, with Tom Rooke coming in for the absent Michael Stack. USA 7s player Danny Barrett is on the bench as a guest player, and he might join his brother Neil at some point, and if Grant Hyjer comes on, the SFGG pack could have five Cal grads playing together.

David Tameilau comes in at No. 8 for Rooke. But the key for SFGG is continuity in their backline. Mose Timote, Volney Rouse, Mile Pulu, Soni Pone, Peter Moala, Andre Coquillard, and Tai Enosa have been the unit with few interruptions for the past few weeks.

Also on the docket, Santa Monica and Olympic Club face off in a game that might confirm who will finish last in the PRP. That's a tough place to be because all of the teams have been extremely competitive.

Meanwhile, waiting for someone to slip up are Denver and OMBAC. Old Mission Beach exploded for 55 points in the second half of their game against Santa Monica last week. They did that by being patient and using their forwards to set a platform. It also helped that their backs stopped turning the ball over.

OMBAC has been bringing in guest players from the USA 7s residency program. Some, like Chris Turori-Bergquist, are regulars, while others (last week it was Thretton Palamo) have been less frequent. Palamo was certainly an exciting addition, but he won't be in the lineup this week. Instead, former West Point All American Will Holder gets time at inside center and former West Point All American Andrew Locke starts at scrumhalf - both are flyhalves, normally.

Another Army man, Ben Leaatigaga, is on the wing. All of that sounds exciting, but if OMBAC can't fit those pieces together, they might again have issues. Zach Pangelinan leads the league in points.

Denver, meanwhile, are without Ben Pinkelman, who is in Hong Kong with the USA U20s. But Brendan Shea, Tom Pasque, and Logan Collin are as opportunistic a group of back rowers as you'll find in the league. With Tyson Meek playing well at scrumhalf and Max De Achaval 3rd in the league in scoring, they have plenty of tools to punish OMBAC if they make mistakes.

OMBAC is at 4-2, but low down due to a lack of bonus points, and Denver is 4-4, and needs a victory to worry those above them.

Santa Monica (1-7) at Olympic Club (1-7)
OMBAC (4-2) at Denver (4-40
Belmont Shore (4-3) SFGG (5-2)

Notes: Pangelinan leads the league with 115 points in only six games. Second-place Mike Graham's Glendale Raptors have the week off - they are playing Park City Haggis just for fun. A good day for Max de Achaval may see him move into second.

Leading the league in tries is Glendale's Chad London as Dave Martini's scoring has tapered off somewhat. Martini, who has eight tries to London's nine, starts at left wing for the Dolphins this weekend.

Written by Alex Goff    Tuesday, 01 April 2014 14:28    PDF Print Write e-mail
Forwards, Patience, Led to OMBAC Comeback, Rout
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OMBAC sits at a comfortable 4-2 in the Pacific Rugby Premiership after coming back to beat Santa Monica 69-32 in a wild game Saturday in San Diego.

Doing the tough work worked for OMBAC, in blue. OMBAC was almost inept in their execution through much of the first half, throwing passes ten maters behind teammates, fumbling balls in the breakdown, and giving up interceptions. As a result, Santa Monica burned the San Diego club for five tries, all unconverted, in the first half

The only bright spots for OMBAC was a 10th-minute Shane Moise try under the posts, and a 39th-minute try from Thretton Palamo.

The presence of Palamo might have been part of the troubles for OMBAC. Palamo was a 7s and 15s international  at 18 and an All American at Utah before switching to football to finish his schooling. Now in camp with the USA 7s team, but also a pro football prospect, as well, Palamo is a serious weapon on the rugby field.

Lining up at outside center, the 6-2, 250-pound power-runner with a much smaller man’s sidestep and a burst of pace seemed to be the guy OMBAC needed to send into space. But changing your approach for one guy, especially one relatively new to the club, can backfire. It certainly took time for OMBAC to run smoothly, but when they did smooth things out, the change was palpable.

In the second half OMBAC stopped trying to score a try from every possession, and used their superior size to push Santa Monica back. As often happens, such patience can sometimes yield quick results. Another silly turnover gave Santa Monica an early try in the second half, making it 32-14 after 44 minutes.

But, amazingly, Santa Monica would score no more that day. Zach Pangelinan made a break and chipped ahead. Andrew O’Connor covered the kick, but OMBAC had numbers to the breakdown and No. 8 Patrick Mallon, the Irishman who seems to be everywhere he’s needed this season, picked up and dove over. In fact, numbers to the breakdown seemed to be the recipe for success for OMBAC.
After the restart, it was a gang tackle that held the ball up, and then produced a turnover for OMBAC. Then they used their forwards in numbers to force a penalty and then set up a maul from which Derrick Broussard peeled off and scored.

At about this time, Palamo also realized he wasn’t required to score five tries to help the team. He started sucking in defenders and presenting the ball, and OMBAC scored again by going up the gut with the forwards as a group. Palamo then set up Ryan O’Connor, going on a long break and then offloading to the sub forward.

The tries flowed from there. But, interestingly, in a game where the winners scored 69 points, it wasn’t about sending the ball wide and taking a seat while the speedsters tallied up the tries. It was a game where OMBAC realized their breadth of talent, and the use of forwards such as Chris Clever, Brendan Purcell, and Ethan Willis, to name three under-appreciated tight-fivers, as the engine room, they would score.

Notes: With his 23 points against Santa Monica, Pangelinan now leads the league with 115. Glendale's Mike Graham is second with 99.

Tries: Moise, Palamo, Mallon 2, Broussard 2, Witkowicki, O’Connor, Denham, Pangelinan
Convs: Pangelinan 8
Pens: Pangelinan

Santa Monica 32
Tries: Serfoss, Chaput, O’Connor, Lesgourgues 2
Convs: LesGourgues


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