A clash of the titans.
By Marco Cummings
GLENDALE – Two of the hottest teams in the current run of Pacific Rugby Premiership (PRP) will clash when the Glendale Raptors host Old Mission Beach Athletic Club (OMBAC) at Infinity Park this Saturday.
Glendale (7-0) will look to remain undefeated against an OMBAC (6-1) side which has won five-straight since the two team’s previous meeting, a 33-6 victory in favor of the Raptors. OMBAC’s recent string of wins has helped the San Diego based club secure a firm grip on the second spot in the PRP table behind Glendale.
“They are on form at the moment,” Raptors head coach Andre Snyman said of this week’s opponent. “[OMBAC] were winning the games, but had a slow start. They recruited some quality players and are playing really good rugby. It’s going to be a tough game and they deserve to be in second place. It’s going to be the clash of the top two teams and we’ll have to be prepared for whatever comes our way.”
While the previous match was a vital “W” during the Raptors’ season opening road trip, Snyman and the Raptors are preparing for a team which looks quite different from the one they defeated back in early February.
“It was our second game of the season so everyone was trying to get off their rust and offseason blues,” he explained. “The way they played the first time and the way they’re playing right now is totally different.”
In preparation for this week’s game, the Raptors instead focused on game film from OMBAC’s last game: a 49-3 victory over the Denver Barbarians.
“It gave us a few pointers of what they like to do,” Snyman said. “They are a better team than when we played them the first time around.”
Fundamentals will once again be a key focus for the Raptors; a team which has been looking to put together a full 80 minutes despite dominating performances throughout the season.
Snyman offered his keys to the game saying, “I would say the most important thing is ball possession and defense. We have to make them defend us and when we are on defense we have to stay connected and try to take away their space.”
Saturday’s game will be free to spectators and with both teams currently sitting as the cream of the crop atop the PRP, it could offer added value as a possible preview of the PRP Final.
“If they keep playing the way they’ve been playing and we keep playing the way we’ve been playing, I would say it is probably a good preview of the Final,” said Snyman.