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Belmont Shore Downs San Diego Mustangs

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Belmont Shore Downs San Diego Mustangs

Belmont Shore defeated the San Diego Mustangs 26-19 in Southern California action.

It was a big result for Belmont Shore which had been showing well this season.

"The Socal Competition gets tougher every week," said Belmont Shore Head Coach Johnny Pua. "Belmont Shore does not underestimate any team we play. San Diego definitely exposed some week areas we will have to fix and strengthen. Hats off to Head Coach Ramone [Samaniego]. The Mustangs are top contenders."

 On a windy day in Long Beach, the Mustangs punished early Belmont Shore penalties, taking the lineout each time, setting up a maul each time, and scoring a try each time. The Mustangs led 12-0.

 Belmont answered with a try out wide and then took the lead as they powered up the middle, scored, and converted to lead 14-12.

In the second half Belmont Shore scored on their first possession after receiving the kickoff. They torched the Mustang defense out wide and led 19-12. The Mustangs worked to come back but were penalized for not releasing. Belmont Shore tapped quickly and scored under the posts to lead 26-12.

The Mustangs kick-chase got them inside the Belmont Shore 22, and after a couple of penalties, the forwards bashed it over.

But that was as close as they'd come. The Mustangs tried again to pressure Shore with their kicking, but Belmont Shore dropped players back to field the kicks and countered well. After two successive penalties, the Mustangs had one last chance from in the Belmont Shore 22, but Shore stole the lineout, kicked to touch, and finished the game.

"We prepared all week for their heavy inside runners, and quick taps after penalties" said Mustangs head coach Ramon Samaniego. "What we weren't prepared for was how skilled they are at moving the ball out wide. That's where they beat us."

"The Mustangs were our toughest game so far, which also allowed Belmont to challenge each other and to elevate our game," said Pua. "We finally broke the Mustangs' flow with our relentless defense and continuity on attack."

Belmont Shore No. 8 Ike Mikaele’s work rate was consistent and he also broke the line repeatedly. And tighthead prop Max Amasio made a huge impact off the bench, causing problems in the breakdowns and making line breaks.