Denver Barbarians vs. Glendale Raptors (5:00 p.m. MT, Infinity Park, live steam here)
It’s pretty simple for the Raptors. A win over Denver and all they need is a win over bottom of the table Olympic Club to seal a spot in the final. However, a win over their rival is easier said than done. The Raptors are missing Chad London, Zach Fenoglio, and Nick Wallace to Eagles duty. Those absences were big in their loss to Belmont Shore last week as the Raptors looked sluggish in attack and on defense. Playing at home will help but the Raptors are going to need players to step up and fill the void. One of those players that could have a big impact is Hanco Germishuys who will start for the first time but at the same time players like Dustin Croy and Armandt Peens need to step up.
The Barbarians are looking to play spoiler and finish above .500 on the season. So far the Barbarians have been back and forth, one week earning a win followed up by a loss. The Barbarians have been able to beat teams below them in the standings but by and large they haven’t been able to top teams at the top of the standings. They need more than just Ata Malifa and Max De Achaval to win. This is a rivalry match and anything can happen when the Barbarians and Raptors get together. In their previous match this year Glendale won 35-21.
SFGG vs. Santa Monica (3:00 p.m. PT, Daniel Webster Middle School)
Despite having the week off SFGG saw themselves slip in the standings after OMBAC racked up a big win. Belmont also put pressure on SFGG with their win and sit only four points behind. However, SFGG have a game in hand over OMBAC and can retake second place with a win over Santa Monica. They can also put the pressure on Belmont Shore to beat Olympic Club setting up a potential winner take all match to end the season. Golden Gate will stick to the same strong line-up that has served them well this year. Patrick Latu has been a stabilizing presence at prop while their entire back line is extremely experienced. The absence of Seamus Kelly will hurt but Samisoni Pone can fill in.
For Santa Monica Saturday’s match is the last of the season. After a strong start to the year the Dolphin’s haven’t been able to keep up the pace. They have played well at times but lately their defensive issues and injuries have impacted their ability to compete. They will hope to end their season with a win in front of the home fans.
Belmont Shore vs. Olympic Club (3:00 p.m. PT, Cal State-Long Beach)
With two weeks left in the season Belmont Shore still don’t control their own destiny. Even if they beat Olympic Club this week, which is likely, they still need to not only beat SFGG in their final match of the season but they need to prevent SFGG from picking up bonus points. At this point all Belmont Shore can do is focus on Olympic Club. Belmont have been playing very well as of late as evidenced by their win over Glendale. The win should give them plenty of confidence but hopefully not overconfidence. Mike Te’o has been phenomenal this season and has put himself in MVP consideration.
Olympic Club will be anxious not to finish at the bottom of the table. They will have to win two matches in a row to make that happen, including their finale against Glendale. The team will be bolstered this week by the return of props Darrell Honaker and Will Johnson. Honaker has been one of their best players this season while Johnson is a capped Eagle. They will be missing Keegen Engelbrecht, however.