Week 2 of the Pacific Rugby Premiership.
By Marco Cummings
GLENDALE, CO – Intense preparation by the Glendale Raptors paid off for the second-straight week, as the team took home its second victory of the Pacific Rugby Premiership (PRP) campaign with a 33-6 road win over Old Mission Beach Athletic Club (OMBAC) in San Diego this past weekend.
As was expected the hosts presented a worthy challenge, jumping out to a narrow 6-5 lead after 20 minutes of play.
“It was a clash of the top two teams at the moment, so we knew it was going to be a tough one, especially without our international players,” Raptors head coach Andre Snyman explained. Glendale was without a handful of USA Eagles including Zach Fenoglio to injury and Chad London, Niku Kruger and Hanco Germishuys, who were absent as the U.S. took on Argentina in the 2016 Rugby Americas Championship.
But depth players shined through, including James DelBozque who continued the strong form he showed during the preseason clash with Seattle, scoring a pair of tries in the first half.
“James was a DII player last year and I’m really impressed with the way he’s conducted himself and slotted into that No. 2 jersey,” Snyman said of the performance. “He’s playing really well at the moment.”
It was DelBozque’s second try which pushed Glendale back in front, and the Raptors took the 12-6 lead into halftime.
“In the first half, we pretty much weathered the storm,” said Snyman. “At halftime we changed our game plan a little bit. The one way we were going to beat them was by increasing the pressure.”
The second half is when the offensive floodgates opened, and the defense stiffened up for Glendale. The Raptors opened the latter half with a Justin Pauga forced turnover. The powerful Center went the distance, rumbling in for a try which led to a 19-6 Raptors advantage.
Subsequent converted penalties from Armandt Peens and Max Statler later in the half had Glendale build up a commanding 28-6 lead. A late try by Sean Mills capped the win, ending in a 33-6 final score as the Glendale defense held for the final 10 minutes.
“I think it was just discipline,” Snyman said of the defensive performance. “The guys didn’t jump out of line, they trusted each other and they didn’t commit too many bodies to the run or the tackle situation. That made the difference.”
Fresh off of the win, the Raptors will look to make in three in a row this upcoming weekend in another road trip to California to face Santa Monica on Saturday.