SFGG (2-0-0) vs. Glendale Raptors (0-1-0), 3:00 p.m., Ray Sheeran Field
It doesn’t get much better than last year’s champion vs. last year’s runner-up as SFGG play host to Glendale on Saturday. The two teams only played three times last year but have already developed quite a rivalry. Each views the other as their main challenger for the title and they won’t want to lose early season bragging rights.
SFGG enters the match having escaped with a two point win over Denver last weekend. As head coach Mark Giacheri admitted after the match he was happy with the win but not the way they played. The weather had an impact on that match but still SFGG were exposed in a few areas. Look from them to learn from those mistakes this week. Even more important, the team will not be losing players to the Las Vegas Invitational.
The same can’t be said for Glendale. The Raptors won’t be missing their whole team but they will be missing one or two players that could help them against SFGG, including Brett Willis who will be with the USA Falcons. The Raptors are also coming off a 14-12 loss to Arkansas State in Jonesboro where they had enough of their PRP players playing to make it more than just a slip-up. The Raptors form certainly isn’t where they want it to be but there is nothing like playing a major rival to get you ready to play.
Santa Monica (1-1-0) vs. Denver Barbarians (0-1-0), 3:00 p.m., Daniel Webster Middle School
Despite losing to SFGG last week the Denver Barbarians played well in their first league match of the season. Elliott Dillon-Herzog scored a pair of fantastic tries for the team while Max De Achaval was solid from the tee. They will need that same type of effort this week as they face Santa Monica.
The Dolphins come into the match full of confidence have beaten Olympic Club last week. Harry Bennett is looking like a great pick up and scoring is still up. That said, defense is still a bit of an issue and against a Denver team that can score that could be trouble. If Santa Monica can win they will have surpassed last year’s win total.
Olympic Club (0-2-0) vs. OMBAC (1-1-0), Friday, 2:00 p.m., Las Vegas Invitational field #23
This match will take place at the LVI on Friday. Both Olympic Club and OMBAC are coming off losses. OMBAC’s was closer than Olympic Club’s loss but they will still be disappointed not to pick up the win over Belmont Shore. So far this year they have relied heavily on Zach Pangelinan to carry them through but they are going to have to find someone different this weekend as Pangelinan will be playing with the Falcons. It’s possible that Todd Clever, who came off the bench last week, plays a much bigger role this week.
Olympic Club are the only team in the competition with two losses and desperately need a win. It was expected that the team would emerge from their rebuild mode this year but so far they still look to be a step or two away. Scoring has been an issue for the team and they have given up a league leading 100 points.