Pacific South Recap: New Teams Rising to the Top

This weekend saw some teams complete their renaissance and cement themselves as contenders in 2019.

Pacific Rugby Premiership:

The Glendale Merlins bagged their first win of the season, with a win over San Francisco Golden Gate, 43-22. In what was a departure from their previous outings this year, the Merlins offense was firing on all cylinders. Assisted by a double for scrum half Vita Makasini, Glendale was able to run all over SFGG- including a scoring spree of 19 unanswered points.

Belmont Shore continued their resurgence since their opening round loss, with a 25-point win over the, previously unbeaten, Life West Gladiators; this marks two consecutive weeks where Belmont has given a team their first loss of the season. Two tries each from Gregory Sisley and Max Paronelli  helped set the tone early and establish an insurmountable lead that eventually to their 49-24 win.

The final game of the weekend saw Old Mission Beach Athletic (OMBAC) slump to their second loss of the season, as Santa Monica recorded their third win of the season, 34-19. 14 points from two tries and two conversions, to Max Rodman at the close of the first half and the beginning of the second half helped secure the win.

 

Women’s Division I:

Belmont Shore look to be the odds on favorites to take the Pacific South Division I crown, after dismantling last year’s champion, the Tempe Ninjas, 42-7 over the weekend. Two tries each to Angela Baker and Priscilla Gardner helped seal the victory. Belmont Shore now sit atop the ladder at 2-0 with ten competition points. There next game will be against second placed Santa Monica Dolphins. If they can secure the win there, it will be tough for other teams to catch-up.

 

Men’s Division II:

Pasadena Rugby lost a close one to Oceanside Chiefs, 29-24. Despite the close nature of the scoreline, the Chiefs never lost their lead established in the third minute. Pasadena brought the game level in the 7th minute,  but after a try in the 24th minute, Pasadena could not get any closer. In other action, the Las Vegas Irish D2 earned a 16-point win over the Tempe Old Devils, 42-16. Rob Gallegos contributed 17 points to the team’s cause including six conversions.

 

Women’s Division II:

Only one game took place in women’s division II play, and it saw a continued return to form for Old Pueblo Lightning, as they were able to take down Pasadena Rugby, 48-24.  Three players stood out in the impressive team performance. Sydney Dudely, continued her immense form this year, adding another three tries to her tally- bringing her to seven from four games. Supporting Dudley and her efforts were blindside flanker, Cassandra Rincon and inside center Judith Gramajo who both had two tries in the contest.

 

Men’s Division III:

It was a three man show for the Scottsdale Blues as they dominated the Old Pueblo Lions, 67-0 over the weekend. Outside center, Sean Todd and number eight, Mitchell Stevens, both had a massive hand in the winning efforts, contributing 38 combined points to the team’s efforts- including a hat trick each.

In an important top of the table clash, Las Vegas Irish D3 sufferd their second loss of the season, as they were outclassed by a strong Phoenix Rugby side, 26-15. Phoenix were in control of the match for the entireity of the match, going up 7-0 after five minutes and never looking back. 

Kern County survived a barn burner against Santa Barbara Grunion, 42-41, in large part thanks to their number eight Michael Hendrick. The anchor of the scrum was responsible for Kern County’s first 25 points; in total contributing 32 points. For the majority of the game the result seemed to be a sure thing, but three tries in 15 minutes and a yellow card to Kern County, brought the Grunion right back into the thick of things. With ten minutes to play, Kern led by two, but looked to have sealed the win after a quick ten points, gave Santa Barbara four minutes to score 14 points. Two tries in the final two minutes saw them come close but a missed conversion with time expired was the difference.

Belmont Shore D3 are now on a six-game winning streak, after dismantling the Beaumont Bluehawks, 46-7.

North County Gurkhas were unable to keep up with Eagle Rock Athletic, as they fell, in a tight one, 31-24. A try in the 72nd minute to inside center Alex Nolasco- sealed the win for Eagle Rock.
 

Men’s Division IV:

The Los Angeles Rebellion ran out big winners over the South Bay Sting Rays, 74-47. Number eight for the Rebellion, Matthew Ripps, had himself a day scoring four tries in the match.