SFGG Rhinos vs. Glendale Raptors (3:00 p.m.; Treasure Island; Live on USARugbyTV.com)
It doesn’t get much bigger than this early in the season. Two undefeated teams with ambitions to finish at the top of the table. Two teams that have battled it out over the last two years alternating championships and developing a bitter rivalry at the same time. At the moment, SFGG vs. Glendale is the biggest rivalry in the country and this week’s match promises to be special.
There are storyline through the match. How will Mose Timoteo do against the club he was a member of for so long? Who is going to win the battle of the forwards when each posse so much depth? Week speedy and experienced backs are going to get out first? From top to bottom this match promises to be electric.
Both teams are very even. SFGG has been an excellent defensive team so far but Glendale aren’t far behind them. The Raptors have been able to score pretty much at will, reaching over 50 points twice in three matches. Each team is also solid at the breakdown and has kickers that can hit big shots. All in all, a much watch.
Olympic Club vs. Denver Barbarians (1:00 p.m.; Treasure Island; Live on USARugbyTV.com)
Both Olympic Club and the Denver Barbarians enter their match desperately needing a win. For Olympic Club, they have played very well at times and in their match against Belmont Shore were only inches from the win. That said, they need to find a way to turn some of those close matches into wins. Missing Alec Gletzer and Jake Anderson to international duty doesn’t help but they still have Darrell Honaker, Isaac Helu, Michael Haley, and Keegan Engelbrecht.
The Barbarians have surprised some with how slow they’ve started. Having an early bye week and going on the road two weeks in a row certainly doesn’t help. So far both scoring and defense have been concerns. They’ve scored only 10 points combined in their two matches while giving up 82 points.
Belmont Shore vs. Santa Monica (3:00 p.m.; Long Beach State University)
Belmont Shore have ambitions of finishing in the top two at the end of the season and a win against Santa Monica would go a long way towards accomplishing that. They will be missing both Joe Taufete’e and Mike Te’o as they are starting for the Eagles against Chile. Still, they seem to have more depth this year and will be looking at that to push them through against the Dolphins.
Santa Monica are showing signs of improvement this year. Scoring is still there but their defense has also improved. One thing to watch for this week with the Dolphins is the absence of Harry Bennett. He’s been a jack of all trades for the team so it will be up to the others to step up and fill the void.