Another win closer to the PRP Final

Just four more points needed.

A different week ended with the same result for the Glendale Raptors (9-0), adding more points to their lead in the Pacific Rugby Premiership (PRP) race with an emphatic 85-3 victory over the Santa Monica Dolphins this past weekend.

While the final score line was indicative of a dominating performance, once again the Raptors got off to a slow start as Santa Monica opened up the scoring with a penalty and a 3-0 lead. Glendale finally scored its first points 25 minutes into the match when prop Chris Hathaway scored the game’s first try.

“The first 40 minutes was a bit of a slow wind and mixed emotions,” Raptors head coach Andre Snyman said. “We didn’t know what was going on. It looked like the guys were playing in slow motion.”

Nevertheless, Glendale slowly built up a 19-3 lead by halftime.

“We said we need to change something and I think the boys made a mind shift and an attitude shift,” Snyman continued. “It showed in the second half. They came out and started playing good rugby.”

The Raptors’ gaffer cited a “back to basics” approach, and it paid off. Glendale built its lead to 61-3 by the 65th minute and by the end of the match, eight different Raptors scored tries in what ended as an 85-3 win.

Even though Glendale remains undefeated, they are far from peaking, according to Snyman.

“[The slow start] is definitely a concern,” he explained. “We’re normally a team that starts quick. The last two games have been slow. We have to have high energy. The last three games we’ve been in a little bit of a slump with injuries.”

The Raptors did manage to secure much needed bonus points however, setting up what will be essentially a play-in game to the PRP Final next week when Glendale hosts San Francisco Golden Gate (SFGG). A win in that game will secure a Raptors berth in the Final.

“If we lose the next three games, we’re in trouble,” Snyman said. “We’re not in the final yet. SFGG has a chance to get it, so does [Old Mission Beach Athletic Club]. We have to pick up four points. If we do that, then we’re definitely in the final.”