First thing Saturday morning we flew to San Francisco to play Life West in the opening round of this season’s PRP competition and were beaten 41-13 by a well-organized and well-drilled team who made few mistakes and were quick to capitalize on ours.
It’s easy to see why Life West are favorites to win our conference with a clinical performance to get their season started. If we are to beat them and other teams in this competition we will need to be more clinical than we were over the weekend.
That said, we were the team that played 80% of the rugby yet came away with 20% of the points — our set piece, ball retention and phase play was just as good if not better than Life’s. Credit to Life’s defensive structure that was rock solid, we missed a handful of chances that we were given and they turned us around quickly to score against the run of play on a couple of occasions to gain the momentum.
While the result didn’t go our way and we continue to deal with refereeing that disallowed a clear try for us yet missing obvious knock-ons and forward passes for the opposition. I am very proud of the way our men played for the full 80-minutes and never slowed down or dropped their heads, it was and is a real testament to the team’s character and their desire to succeed at this level.
Most pleasing was the fact that we emptied our bench and the team didn’t miss a beat if anything the bench players helped to lift the tempo which is exactly what we want to see. Standout player and Man of the Match for us was 2nd-row forward Pierre Courpron who played his first game in a Dolphins jersey, Pierre is a product of UCLA Rugby where he spent two seasons under coach Murray before heading over to France for a season playing Top 14 pro rugby.
Pierre had a dominant performance in the lineouts, kick-restarts and was strong in open play, Pierre was one of a handful of players to play their very first game for the club and he did it in true style notching up a stellar performance. Quinn Perry a product of our youth program played his first senior premiership rugby game for the club on the wing and also had a solid performance to kickoff his senior career with the club.
We have two training sessions to work on fine tuning this weekend’s performance before taking on SFGG at home this weekend, both teams are coming off first-round losses and will be pumped to notch up season wins. We need to tighten up our defensive structures, improve on our communication, depth on attack and be more clinical when presented with opportunities to score, all relatively easy fixes. Our desire, and commitment are exactly where they need to be, this week is going to fly by as the anticipation and excitement builds.
All the details for this weekend’s game will be released soon, please clear your Saturday afternoon dress in club colors and show up in force to support our men as they go toe-to-toe in another huge PRP fixture!!
Congrats to our 2nd team who picked up their first season Win in a nail-biter over Kern Country 29-26!!
P.S A full match report is here: https://tinyurl.com/yc6lungb