Sponsor: Pitchero

Friday, December 16, 2016

Cal Cup: Week Three Preview

It's time for one last round before the holiday break!

SFGG at OMBAC (Little Q, 12:00 p.m.)

This could be a preview of the Cal Cup final or it could sink the chances of one team. OMBAC are still smarting from their loss to Belmont Shore and need a rebound performance. With the competition only lasting five weeks before the final OMBAC can't afford to lose to SFGG this week. Similarly, they need to inflict a loss on SFGG in order to help their position in the table. If OMBAC lose then it's hard to see them coming away with a spot in the finals unless Life West lose twice.

OMBAC once again will bring a strong team. Tai Tuisamoa, Josh Vainikolo, Ben Batger, Kalei Konrad, and Zach Pangelinan have all been very strong for the team over the last few weeks. This week they get Tim Stanfill back in the line-up. His presence on the wing is going to be big. Maybe the most impactful will be Todd Clever coming off the bench for the team.

SFGG are loaded themselves. From top to bottom they have players with PRO Rugby experience and solid club experience. In very poor conditions last week the team still put up four tries. A lot of credit goes to the backs were Pila Huihui, Ismeli Ratumaimuri, and Jack Halalilo have been fantastic but it's the work of the forwards that is making the difference. Their defense has also been spectacular giving up the least points in the competition. A win over OMBAC and SFGG will only have to close out two more games to earn a berth in the championship match.

Take the jump to read more.

Belmont Shore at Old Aztecs (Robb Field, 12:00 p.m.)

Belmont Shore are riding high after their win over OMBAC last weekend. They now are in a good position to fight for a spot in the championship match if they can get a win against the Old Aztecs on Saturday. It was their strong defense that led to the win last week and they will need that same effort this weekend once again. The team will have the services of Sione Tuihalamaka off the bench. He has the ability to be a difference maker in the end if the game is close. Right now Mason Pederson, Andy Jackson, and Ian Carpenter are all playing well.

The Old Aztecs were disappointed to fall narrowly to Life West last week. They played their best rugby of the competition and have a lot to build off. Pat Blair is providing a steady presence for the side and they are scoring tries. If they can figure out how to keep teams off the board then they are going to pick up the win. Belmont Shore haven't always been the most consistent team and if the Old Aztecs are on their game they can come away with the win.

Life West at Olympic Club (GAA Fields, 1:00 p.m.)

Of the three Cal Cup sides in the Bay Area Life West were arguably hit the most by PRO Rugby's decision to withhold come players from playing in the competition. However, now that the San Francisco Rush are no more the Gladiators are now infused with several returning players. Pila Iongi has been turning out with the club for the last several weeks but now Martini Talapusi will also be with the team along with the likes of Siupeli Sakalia and Fancy Namulauulu. Those players are going to be a big help to the team as they look for their third win in three matches. A win would guarantee that Life West won't finish in the bottom part of the table and it gives them a great chance of making the championship match next month.

Olympic Club have yet to find their groove this year. They suffered a big set back against OMBAC and then couldn't get anything going in the rain against SFGG. The team has the talent to succeed it's just been a matter of getting it all going at the same time. If there feels like a breakout game for O-Club it's this match. Playing in the Bay Area once again against a team that has had close, albeit winning, results. 

4 comments:

  1. The OMBAC Facebook page had the SFGG match starting at 2pm with a lower division side going at 12pm...any chance for clarification...as an SD resident I really like the idea of seeing both the Old Aztecs match and the OMBAC match.

    ReplyDelete
  2. SFGG vs. OMBAC, Cal cup match is at 2pm.

    ReplyDelete
  3. OMBAC Facebook now reporting that game time AND location have changed. New time 3pm, new location: Robb Field in OB.

    ReplyDelete