Pacific South Recap: Parity Seen Throughout Divisions

It was a weekend of tight finishes throughout the Pacific South.

Men's Division I:

Old Mission Beach Athletic (OMBAC), logged their second win of the year after taking down San Francisco Golden Gate (SFGG). SFGG were in a strong position at the start of the second half, with a 21-17 lead. A try in the 49th minute to Joseph Keane gave OMBAC their lead back and the game was locked in a tight three-point affair; until in the final minutes, OMBAC scored two tries to blow their lead out to 17 points where it stood. OMBAC winning 31-21.

Santa Monica Dolphins had been impressive to kick off the season, going 2-0 and winning some tough fought battles. Their perfect season ended Saturday, when Belmont Shore came to town. Similarly, to the OMBAC SFGG game, the Dolphins and Belmont Shore were in a close battle at the half, with the Dolphins in the lead, 6-3. A penalty followed by a try to Belmont Shore broke the game open and while the dolphins tried to chip away, towards the end, they just fell away. Final score 31-9 for Belmont Shore.

Glendale Merlins were looking for their first win of the season, but Life West's Gladiators made sure they'd have to keep on searching. The Merlins looked to be onto something early, but as the match passed the 20 minute mark, Glendale were dealt an unenviable blow of having to play with 14 men for the remainder of the match as hooker James DelBozque was handed the ultimate sanction.  Then as the game approached the 30 minute mark the game turned back to Life West, they scored 19 unanswered points in as many minutes. Glendale got back to within two, but Life West snuffed them out and sealed the 36-22 win.


Women's Division I:

It was a busy week in Women's Division I play with two games taking place. The Santa Monica Dolphins suffered their first loss of the year, as they fell to the Tempe Ninjas, 24-21. A score, after time expired, by Daejone Jones helped draw the losing margin down but a slow first half from the Dolphins was ultimately too much for them to overcome. In the second game the Belmont Shore Rugby ran out convincing winners over San Diego Surfers D1, 44-31. Belmont's inside center, Emily Rodin, was in immense form picking up four tries in the win.


Men's Division II:

One of the tightest competitions in the country this year, appears to be coming out of the Men's Division II play in the Pacific South. Exemplifying this over the weekend were the Red Mountain Warthogs and San Fernando Valley. The two sides were looked in a tussle with a missed conversion, in the 77th minute, ultimately proving the difference; as the Warthogs won, 28-27. Another close game saw the Las Vegas Irish squeeze by Ventura County Outlaws, 33-29. The two teams played a close first half with the Irish leading at the close, 19-17. The Irish scored two converted tries to a penalty goal, to open the second half and from there they had a firm grasp on the match. A late try for the Outlaws earned them the losing bonus point, but they'll be left ruing the slow start to the second half.

Two games that weren't as close saw the San Diego Old Aztecs bag a 55-5 win over the Oceanside Chiefs. In a full team effort, there were eight different try scorers for the Old Aztecs. Pasadena also landed an important win over Los Angeles Rugby, 39-24 to keep pace with the top of the ladder.

Women's Division II:

The sole game, saw Old Pueblo Lightning hold on for a well-earned win against a tenacious San Fernando Valley side. Emily Bowen got the lightning on the board first, with a try six minutes into the contest. San Fernando were able to claw back within two in the 26th minutes, but that was short lived as Old Pubelo struck back moments later. However and flurry of tries to end the half from Korinna Fite had San Fernando heading to half time in the lead. Another try just past the 50 minute mark saw their slender lead sit out at ten. However, two extreme cases of ill-discipline in three minutes saw the game take a dramatic swing as San Fernando gave up a penalty try and had a player red carded. From there Old Pubelo launched their comeback retaking the lead in the 61st minute thanks to Ruby Parks. San Fernando had fight left in them, as Guadalupe Moreno retook the lead seven minutes later. The final ten minutes were a whirlwind with three lead changes. Tatum Hale got the Lightning back in front with eight left on the clock; only to have Aaliyah Woods put San Fernando back on top. Just as the game looked to be over and San Fernando would hold on, Hale crossed for her second and secured the win for the lightning, 38-34.

Men's Division III:

Plenty of high scoring and close contests in men's division III, Belmont Shore D3 followed their D1 squad's example and knocked off Santa Monica, 60-5. San Luis Obispo moved to 3-1 on the season after beating Santa Barbara Grunion, 38-22. The Back Bay Sharks were eight-point victors over San Diego Aztecs D3, 41-33. Davis Chang and Justin Romans both scored braces in the winning effort. Eagle Rock Athletic sent the Beaumont Bluehawks crashing to their third loss on the year, 34-27. Kern County needed two late tries from Justin Arvizu and Michael Hendrick to secure a three point win against Huntington Beach Unicorns, 33-30. Down by 20 at one stage, Kern County fought back and even face with a nine point defiect and only three minutes to play they did not give up and were able to complete the come from behind win.

In the Arizona Pool, the closest game saw the Las Vegas Irish defeat the Northern Arizona Landsharks 31-29. It was two tries in the final ten minutes, and the trusty boot of Jame Cassidy that saw them over the line. The other games were more severely skewed, the Tucson Magpies beat the Old Pueblo Lions by 40 points, 55-15; and Phoenix Rugby were too strong for Camelback Rugby, taking them down 79-10.

Men's Division IV:

Fullerton outclassed the Los Angeles Rebellion, 65-0. Riverside, similarly were too strong for the San Diego Armada and sunk them 35-15. Jose Ale-Walters was the standout for Riverside scoring three tries in the winning effort.