Sunday, December 11, 2016

Cal Cup Week Two Recap

Photo: Connie Hatfield

Week two of the Cal Cup is in the books. The round was highlighted by an upset win, a win in the last minute, and a win in soggy conditions.

Belmont Shore 31-16 OMBAC

Belmont Shore have scored the first upset of the young Cal Cup season beating OMBAC 31-16. OMBAC were favored to win the match after their dominating display last week but Belmont Shore were ready for them as OMBAC made their way up the coast to Long Beach. The win for Belmont Shore now puts them in the thick of the hunt for one of the top two spots while it dents OMBAC's chances.

Belmont Shore made their presence known early in the match with a penalty from Andy Jackson to go up 3-0. However, OMBAC eventually responded with an unconverted try from Ben Batger to go ahead 5-3. That's how it said until halftime.

In the second half Belmont Shore went up 10-5 thanks to a try from wing Greg Daniels and a conversion from Jackson. Two penalties from Kalei Konrad temporarily gave OMBAC the lead in the 53rd minute.

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Still, OMBAC were picking up penalties while Belmont Shore were scoring tries. Pita Semeane was the next to score for Belmont. Josh Vainikolo scored for OMBAC to cut it to one. But a strong ten minute stretch from Belmont with tries from Rob Newcomb and Daniels sealed the win.

Life West 27-25 Old Aztecs

For the second week a row Life West have come away with a narrow 27-25 win. Yet once again they took away all five points putting them in a tie for first at the top of the table with SFGG. For the Old Aztecs they pick up their first points of the competition. Life West also retain the Jarrod Faul "Chur Bro" Cup.

The first fifteen minutes saw each team feel each other out and trade penalties. Guillaume Cazenave hit for Life West and Tim Howard for the Old Aztecs. Howard would add another penalty for San Diego to make it 6-3 roughly twenty minutes into the match. After that Life West were able to form their groove and were able to break the line, eventually leading to a converted try. At the half Life West led 10-6.

In the second half Life West scored a converted try off pressure to move up to 17-6 but then it was the Old Aztecs turn to take over. Just five minutes late they score via Tasi Toilolo to cut it to four. Life West would continue the trend of swapping scores with yet another to put it to 22-13.

Great work from Robert Stortz for the Old Aztecs and a conversion by Tim Howard put his team within two with 15 minutes to go. Soon they were able to grab another try to push it to 25-22 with five minutes to go. That missed conversion would come turn out to be big. With less than a minute to go Life West went through multiple phases and the length of the field for the match winning score.

SFGG 28-7 Olympic Club

San Francisco Golden Gate have beaten Olympic Club 28-7 in a Bay Area derby match. Severe rain pounded the Bay Area on Saturday and as a result the match was played in very sloppy conditions. Despite that each team was able to play solid rugby at times. Thanks to their four tries SFGG picked up another bonus point. That puts them into a tie with Life West for first place. Olympic Club are still searching for their first point.

The tries for SFGG came from Pila Huihui, Jack Halalilo, Ismeli Ratumaimuri, and hooker Neil Barrett. Volney Rouse converted all four tries. Scores for Huihui and Halalilo are good signs for the club as both players are being looked to deliver lots of points.

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