Ferris, Pangelinan Named Co-MVPs

Life West's Devereaux Ferris and OMBAC's Zach Pangelinan have been named Co-Most Valuable Players of the inaugural Cal Cup. After consultation with the league's respective coaches and administrators Ferris and Pangelinan were selected for their outstanding play throughout the year. Ferris lead Life West to the league's best regular season record while Pangelinan helped push OMBAC into a final two spot and eventually the championship. 

According to Life West coach Adriaan Ferris: "Devereaux capped off a very strong Cal Cup season with another standout performance in the final. His speed of pass, strong & accurate delivery and intuitive game sense created indecision in the OMBAC defense. I thought he controlled our attack well all season and like all good halfbacks, he is very competitive, agile and has an attacking mindset. He has tremendous speed combined with a very good understanding of the game which make for good decision making. He is always looking for opportunities to exploit in the defensive line. 

"I’m pleased to see his performance in the Cal Cup as a continuation of how he was playing during the PRO league for San Francisco. He has had a strong year but I shouldn’t be surprised because he is very professional in his approach to training & preparation, does the hard yards and puts in the work every day. What I am most pleased about is that he is always looking to grow and improve as a player."

Neil Foote, the head coach of SFGG, said that Ferris was the the difference between his team making it to the final and missing out. The scrumhalf is now U.S.-eligible and if he continues his strong play it is probably only a matter of time before he gets a look under Eagles head coach John Mitchell. 

Pangelinan is no stranger to accolades having been previously named the MVP of the Pacific Rugby Premiership. Like the rest of his OMBAC team Pangelinan was on a mission at the start of the season to not only to make it to a grand final but to win it. As the season wore on and OMBAC needed big performances it was Pangelinan that stepped up with timely tries and solid defense. That was especially true in the final when he willed OMBAC to the victory. 

“I’m so pleased for Zach and this victory – especially for him being named a Co-MVP for the season and scoring our 1st try of the day in the Final," expressed OMBAC coach Jason Wood.  "It meant so much to him as Zach has been a go to guy for us, there for the club no matter what, since 2008.  He is a special player, a special friend, and I am honored to have been his coach and teammate for so many years.”

Photo Credit: Connie Hatfield

 

Olympic Club Beats Old Aztecs

Throughout the year both Olympic Club and the Old Aztecs have two of the most entertaining sides. That was once again on full display as Olympic Club beat the Old Aztecs 50-14 to claim fifth place. For Olympic Club it was sweet revenge for their loss to the Old Aztecs earlier in the season. 

Olympic Club opened the scoring in the 11th minute when Tim Rafferty crossed the line. Keegan Engelbrecht would hit the first of his many conversions to put Olympic Club up 7-0. Michael Haley then scored the first of his hat-trick that was soon followed by an Engelbrecht penalty. The fly-half then scored a try to push the lead to 24-0. 

The Old Aztecs responded with a try from Robert Laulualo but Olympic Club had the lion's shore of the possession all match thanks to a dominant display from their pack. It was only fitting that it was prop Tanner Mohr to score next to increase the lead. John Gallo then had a try to put the halftime score at 38-7. 

Laulualo put the Old Aztecs on the board first in the second half to cut the lead to 38-14 but then two more tries for Haley sealed off the match. After the match Olympic Club coach Ray Lehner noted "We played a great 60 minutes and have been long overdue for a good result.  There is always plenty to improve upon and we will look to do so heading into Nor Cal Division 1 league play."

SFGG Edge Past Belmont Shore

SFGG made up in part for their disappointment in missing the grand final by beating Belmont Shore 20-18 to finish in third place. It wasn't the end result they wanted for the totality of the season but it has to feel good to end on a high note. For Belmont Shore the match was emblematic of their season where they were close in most matches but couldn't find the breakthrough. 

Lemoto Filikitonga nearly had the first try of the match after a long break but Belmont was able to hold them. Still, the pressure kept coming from SFGG and soon they were rewarded via the Opeti brothers with Okusi Opeti scoring to take the early lead. Volney Rouse hit the conversion to put SFGG up 7-0. 

Still, Belmont Shore were going to be kept off the board for long. A line out maul resulted in Brice Schilling scoring a try and Andy Jackson converting to knot it up at 7-7. Rouse would add another penalty for SFGG but from there Belmont Shore added another try about ten minutes later. It was Schilling again but this time with a pick and go at close range. The conversion missed but Belmont Shore led 12-10. 

SFGG went ahead permanently in the second half. Izzie Donaldson made a break before finding Filikitonga in the corner for the score. That put SFGG up 15-12. At the 55th minute mark Tom Rooke scored yet another try for SFGG as they wen tup 20-12 with about 20 minutes left. Belmont Shore scored two penalties from Andy Jackson to make it close but Belmont simply ran out of time to complete the comeback. 

OMBAC Claim Title Over Life West

OMBAC were on a mission at the start of the Cal Cup to not only get into their first big final in a few years but to win it. Mission accomplished as they beat the Life West Gladiators 26-22 in a thrilling final at Treasure Island in San Francisco. 

OMBAC started out strong with a try from try scoring machine Zach Pangelinan in the 7th minute. Kalei Konrad kicked the conversion. Life West then replied through a penalty against the wind by Guillaume Cazenave not long after. But as the back and forth match continued as OMBAC exploited a turnover to find an overload with Tim Stanfil scoring. That put the match at 12-3. 

Konrad added another penalty in the 20th minute before center John Grant exploited a weak side gap to put OMBAC up 20-6. That stretch proved to be crucial in the match as it allowed OMBAC a cushion. Life West made a push in the final ten minutes of the half but OMBAC prevented a try, despite Konrad receiving a yellow card. 

Life West got out to a strong start in the second half when Cazenave scored Life West's first try. That made it 20-8. The Gladiators then continued the push with Alex Pedjase scoring a try in the 50th minute to make it 20-15. However, a penalty from Konrad in the 53rd minute and then another by Ian Cassidy gave OMBAC the gap they needed. Life West made one last push that saw Siupeli Sakalia get a try with just a minute left. 

Congrats to OMBAC on the championship and Life West on the great season. 

 

 

Finals Round Preview

 

OMBAC vs. Life West (Championship Match, 3:00 p.m., Treasure Island)

After a short season of twists and turns OMBAC and Life West will duke it out for the inaugural Cal Cup title. Both teams have been excellent on the year, each suffering at least one loss, but each also dominating opponents. Now, each will have to dig deep if they want to come away with the trophy.

OMBAC have had the league's most powerful attack this year. With players like Kalei Konrad, Tai Tuisamoa, Tim Stanfill, Todd Clever, and Zach Pangelinan, all of whom are available and will start on Saturday, they have scored a league leading 231 points. Life West are the next closest team with 164 points. Even better for OMBAC, their offense has come alive in the last few week in particular thanks to Pangelinan who had a hat-trick in the first 20 minutes against the Old Aztecs last week. Defensively OMBAC have also let in the second lowest amount of points for a point differential of 118. Only Belmont Shore, who played one less match, let in less points. That combination has OMBAC as a lot of folks pick to win this weekend. 

Life West have been underdogs before. They took the step up to elite club competition for the Cal Cup and no one was quite sure how they were going to do. They had success at all other levels and have risen from a DIII club is just a short period of time. However, it was thought that they wouldn't be able to get past SFGG and OMBAC for a spot in the final. They proved all of the people that thought that way wrong with a stellar season. Straight from the start they saw good things happened and they racked up a lot of points. Their only blemish was a loss to OMBAC in week four. Their defense was the issue but if they can hold OMBAC then they have a good shot at winning. 

SFGG vs. Belmont Shore (3rd/4th Place Match, 1:00 p.m., Treasure Island)

SFGG have to be massively disappointed not to make the final at their home grounds. Golden Gate simply ran out of time this year as they have dealt with injuries. They only got Volney Rouse back last week and have been missing some key players. They still have a very potent offense but haven't been able to put teams away like they used to. Defensively they also gave away an uncharacteristic amount of points. This week should be better. Not only is Rouse back again but Lemoto Filkitonga is going to add some punch to the line-up as well. 

Belmont Shore come into the match having seen their match against Olympic Club rained out. They were in contention for a top two spot before their narrow two point loss to SFGG in week four. In that match Belmont Shore were able to assert themselves at times and will hoping to do that again this week. Belmont Shore gave up the lowest amount of points in the competition but did have one less match. That defense could propel to success this week. 

Old Aztecs vs. Olympic Club (5th/6th Place Match, 11:00 a.m., Treasure Island)

Neither the Old Aztecs nor Olympic Club wanted to find themselves playing in the 5th/6th place match but you can be sure that both are going to go full out to win it. The Old Aztecs, like Life West, had their first season at this level and generally they did well. They only lost to Life West by two points and they had other closer results. Defensively is where the team had trouble. They gave up the most points in the competition. However, their best defensively outing came back in week four when they held Olympic Club to just 23 points. If they keep that up they might get their second win of the year. 

Olympic Club unfortunately haven't been able to put together the season they wanted. International absences took their toll in keeping Alec Gletzer off the pitch. They also missed Colin Hawley for the entire season. All together it did help their offense get getting and they easily scored the fewest points in the league. Defensively they were decent but if you don't score you can't win. 

All three matches will be at Treasure Island in San Francisco. 

OMBAC Beat Old Aztecs, Will Play In Final

OMBAC's long frustration of missing out on championship matches is at an end as the club has advanced to the Cal Cup championship next week. They needed a win over rivals Old Aztecs to make the final and they made sure to take care of business with a 47-8 win. They will now face Life West next week at Treasure Island while the Old Aztecs will play Olympic Club in the 5th/6th place match. 

The Old Aztecs got on the board first with a penalty but three tries from Zack Pangelinan in the first twenty minutes to take a commanding lead. Kalei Konrad would make one of the conversions and add a penalty to make the lead 20-3. John Grant added two tries of his own to push the halftime lead to 30-3. 

In the second  half Ian Cassidy had a try and Jed Gillespie added another try. The Old Aztecs got their first try of the day before OMBAC added a final try. 

 

Life West Edge Out SFGG, Make Championship Match

Photo Credit: Andrew Kearney

It took until the last possible moment but Life West did what they needed to do to beat SFGG 36-34 at Cal Maritime Academy on Saturday to advance to the Cal Cup championship match next week. It would have been cruel for Life West to find themselves out of the championships match after leading the table for much of the season and it looked headed that way until three minutes left in the match when a try gave Life West the win. 

The Gladiators came out first to grab a penalty. However, it didn't last as a good move from Fatai Velala set up Neill Barrett for the try. The conversion was good and SFGG led 7-3. About a quarter into the match the Life West came back to take the lead for a second time with a converted try. SFGG would score two tries to take a lead before Life West responded with another try. At halftime SFGG led 24-17. 

In the second have Isoa Donaldson scored for SFGG to only increase their lead to 29-17. Life West were able to add a penalty but when Donaldson scored again SFGG looked set at 34-20. However, that's when Life West made their play as SFGG had a man sent to the bin. That allowed Life West to put in the requisite scores for the win. 

Life West will play OMBAC in the final at Treasure Island next week at 3:00 p.m. while SFGG will play Belmont Shore at 1:00 p.m. 


 

 
 

Rain Washes Out Belmont Shore-Olympic Club

The match between Belmont Shore and Olympic Club scheduled for last Saturday has been cancelled. Both fields available for the match were washed out after heavy rains in California. Because of results elsewhere the result of the match would not have an impact on the standings and therefore will not be played. Each team was awarded two points for a tie. Olympic Club will play the Old Aztecs in the 5th/6th place match while Belmont Shore will play SFGG in the 3rd/4th place match next week at Treasure Island.