The Denver Barbarians have kept their playoff hopes alive after beating Santa Monica 46-10 at Infinity Park. The match was tight throughout the first half before Denver blew things open in the second. Denver are now one of four teams with a winning record and with a game in hand are nine points behind SFGG for the final playoff spot.
It didn’t look like a Denver win early as Martial Chaput gave Santa Monica a 7-0 lead. Santa Monica used a dominant scrum early to work the ball across the pitch into the hands of Chaput for the try. Brian O’Shea, who was a last minute starter, would kick the conversion.
Santa Monica had more opportunities over the next twenty minutes, especially due to their work at the scrum, but weren’t able to come up with points. Instead, it was Denver that would be the next on the board. Max De Archaval recovered his own chip and soon the ball found the hands of Ata Malifa who dummied, froze the Santa Monica defense, and went in for the try. The conversion would miss as Santa Monica would hold on to a 7-5 lead.
O’Shea would add a penalty a few minutes later to extend Santa Monica’s lead to 10-5 and it looked like that would hold up until the break but a late and long drop goal from De Achaval cut the halftime lead to 10-8.
As mentioned the second half would belong to Denver. Seven minutes into the half Justin Pauga would score to give the Barbarians their first lead of the match and there was no looking back from there. Ben Pinkelman would score two tries with Dillon Elliot-Herzog, De Achaval, and Paul Smith each scoring one a piece.
The Barbarians still have work to do if they want to make the playoffs but they have done everything they can in the last few weeks. They face a must win match against SFGG next week. For Santa Monica if they lose next week to Olympic Club and SFGG win they will be eliminated from the playoffs.
Tries: Malifa, Pauga, Pinkelman (2), Elliot-Herzog, De Achaval, Smith
Conversions: De Achaval (4)
Drop Goals: De Achaval