Roughly halfway through the season it’s a big weekend for teams hoping to make the top two at the end of the season. The competitions four top teams go head to head and for some teams it’s a chance to distance themselves from the others.
Belmont Shore vs. Glendale Raptors (3:00 p.m. MT; Infinity Park; Livestream here)
There is a lot at stake as Belmont Shore travels to Glendale. For the Raptors, it’s a chance to increase their lead at the top of the table over a key rival while for Belmont Shore it’s an opportunity to score a marquee win and pick up points in the chase for the final. Both teams enter the match on hot streaks. Glendale have one all four of their matches and are the only undefeated team in the league. Belmont Shore have won three straight after falling to SFGG in week one.
Additionally, each team have some of their Eagles back in the line-up. Belmont Shore are still missing Mike Te’o but they have back Joe Taufete’e and Mike Sosene-Feagai. Since both play the same position Taufte’e will fill in at number eight. Glendale have Niku Kruger and Chad London available on the bench.
Of the four teams at the top of the table Belmont Shore sit last with 14 points, just one point behind SFGG and OMBAC. They will need to pick up as many points as possible in this match to help them the rest of the way. Glendale have taken out the maximum 20 points and will look to add to their total.
SFGG Rhinos vs. OMBAC (3:00 p.m. PT, Little Q)
The other match featuring teams from the top four also has big playoff implications. The SFGG Rhinos currently sit tied for first with the Raptors but have played one more match. They will need a win to hold off OMBAC from taking over the second playoff spot.
Like the Belmont Shore-Glendale match this match also has rosters full of key, veteran players. OMBAC once again have the likes of Jamie Purcell and Brian Doyle to lean on. Over the past few weeks OMBAC has been great in attack and has posted a strong defense as well. However, most of those wins have come against teams lower in the table. This weekend will be a big test to see how they do against one of the top teams. For SFGG, it’s about showing they are still are considered in the top tier along with Glendale. Their veteran backline is as good as any in the league.
Santa Monica vs. Denver Barbarians (3:00 p.m. MT; Infinity Park; Livestream here)
The Dolphins and the Barbarians enter their match desperately needing a win. Santa Monica have yet to win on the season. They were close to SFGG in their opener but have looked flat since then. Their offense, which had been one of the best in the league, has stuttered while their defense remains an issue.
The Barbarians have similarly struggled. They lost their first two matches of the season by relatively big margins but then beat Olympic Club and played Belmont Shore tough before the Vegas 7s break. The Barbarians will be hoping that their recent form is their true form and it sets them off on a strong second half of the season.