Belmont Shore played really well.
By Marco Cummings
GLENDALE – For the first time this season, the Glendale Raptors (9-1) went home with a defeat in Pacific Rugby Premiership (PRP) play, falling 28-20 on the road to Belmont Shore over the weekend.
“It was one of those games, where we went into the game confident and knew it was going to be a tough game,” Raptors head coach Andre Snyman explained. “They can cause an upset and that’s what happened. They wanted it more than us. On the day, we were our own worst enemy: we were rushing our decisions, making too many errors and taking too many penalties.”
Belmont scored early and often to build a 13-0 lead by halftime.
“They played really well and put us under pressure,” Snyman continued. “We just didn’t execute properly.”
Glendale’s fortunes became worse when David Hardy went down with an injury just before the half. The Glendale forward is expected to miss the remainder of the season with a serious ankle sprain.
The onslaught by the Belmont Shore attack continued in the second half, as multiple tries pushed the host’s lead to 28-0 in the late stages of second half. Glendale was finally able to get on the board with a try however, sparking a late rally effort.
“We had the wind behind us and we started playing the territory battle,” Snyman said of the second half effort. “We started to keep them in their half. We turned the ball over and scored a couple tries. There was also a brilliant individual try by Zach Pauga.”
The Raptors were able to mount three additional tries, but time was not on Glendale’s side, and Belmont was able to hold onto the 28-20 victory. Despite the loss, the tries were important in securing a crucial bonus point for Glendale, which now sits just one point from clinching a spot in the PRP Final.
“It was too little, too late,” Snyman lamented.
Moving on from the defeat, Glendale will now face a crucial matchup against SFGG on Tuesday in a replay of the April 16 game which was cancelled due to snow. With a win in that match, the Raptors will clinch the top spot in the Final outright. The quick turnaround of a mid-week game will be a looming challenge, however, as the Raptors face player management issues with injuries and non-rugby related commitments.
“We’ll just have to play with whoever is available,” Snyman said. “We want to give a good show and a good performance, but it’s tough. The guys know that we can’t slip up again. We have to win one of these next two games.”