Tuesday, May 9, 2017

DI West Coast Recap: Four Advance To Regionals

It's time to take a look around DI club play in the West.

Pacific South

Arguably the most anticipated match of the weekend was the clash between Belmont Shore and OMBAC for a spot at the regionals in Tucson. Southern California is known for strong programs and Belmont Shore and OMBAC have been at the front of that in recent years. Belmont Shore finished at the top team during the regular season and then beat the Old Aztecs to make it to the final. OMBAC had a bit of a down year after the Cal Cup, finishing third in SoCal. However, they upset Santa Monica in the semi-finals. 

The final between the two teams was everything you could expect with both playing physical, attacking rugby. In the end a late try from Belmont Shore was enough to give them a 31-28 win and a chance to face Life West in Tucson. 

Take the jump to read more.
Kalei Konrad started things out for OMBAC with a penalty early but then a yellow card to Charlie Purdon put them in a hole. Still, Purdon would have his revenge. Not long after coming on to the pitch he scored a try. Additionally, Konrad was able to add another penalty while Purdon was in the bin to put OMBAC up 11-0.

That's when Belmont Shore started to chip into the lead. First it was a penalty from Kameron Moeller, then it was a try from Jonathan Gray followed up by a try from Keni Nasoqeqe that gave Belmont Shore a 17-11 lead at halftime. 

In the second half Tim Stanfill would score a couple of tries for OMBAC to propel them back into a 25-17 lead. However, a try from Robert Newcomb would cut the gap to 25-24 with not much time remaining. A penalty from Konrad would extend the lead for OMBAC but when Andy Jackson scored with roughly five minutes to go and Tai Tuisamoa was sent to the bin for OMBAC it was all the space Belmont Shore needed to win. 

Pacific North/Red River

The Life West Gladiators are through to regionals after beating the Austin Blacks 36-28 in their play-in match. Life West ran out to a 14-0 lead and then pretty much maintained that cushion as the teams traded scores. It was close with the score 32-28 in favor of Life West with five minutes to go. They would add an insurance try to book their spot. 

The other side of the bracket in Tucson will feature SFGG against the Austin Huns. The Huns clinched their spot as the top team in the Red River while SFGG beat Pacific Northwest champions 90-0 to take their place. 

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