Pac West This Weekend
Pac West This Weekend
Pacific West Rugby Conference leads Nevada get the weekend off and that leaves a little of the drama out of the slate of games.
But still there’s much to do for the teams that are playing. Sacramento State shook off their opening-week loss to San Jose State and won a will one, 46-43 over UC Santa Cruz. With two bonus points from their first game, Sac State has almost as many points as they would had they won both weeks.
“Our offensive ball movement is progressing nicely,” said Sac State Coach Adam Macrae. “But we made some big mistakes with the ball, and UCSC made us pay for it. They took advantage of our lack of size running their larger forwards off the sides of rucks, and they made some really big plays with their defense.”
In other words, the Hornets would do well to take better care of the ball and shore up their defense in transition. They are 3rd in the conference, but have given up 74 points in two games.
Still, offensively they are impressive. No. 8 Travis Haugen scored five tries last weekend, while teammates would do well to emulate Zack Scheeder on defense (or maybe not. He was all over the field on Saturday, but perhaps it would be better if he wasn’t needed to do that).
Sac State also doesn’t lack belief. Down with two minutes to go they won the game when Nick Weeder tapped quickly on a penalty and headed for the corner.
“The game could have gone either way,” wanted Macrae.
The Hornets play 0-2 Fresno State, where they have an excellent opportunity to test their ability to defense. A win will see them jump past Nevada (for the moment). But the same could be said for Stanford, which pulled off an impressive double last weekend, beating San Francisco State 50-6, and then beating University of Colorado in a non-conference game a day later.
Stanford spun the ball well against SFSU and wing Jimmy Callinan was a big beneficiary, scoring three tries. Fullback Sam Falkenberg scored 15 points. It was a solid performance, repeated with a somewhat changed lineup the next day.
Head Coach Matt Sherman called the 42-26 defeat of Colorado his team’s most complete performance of the year. This weekend the Cardinal host UC Davis, a tough contender in the Pac West, in a game that has the potential to go either way. Falkenberg has been solid with his kicking, which will mean Davis will need to avoid penalties. But it’s the happy aggression Stanford shows on offense that could see them through. And if the Cardinal do win, they will be in 1st place.
UCSD hosts Chico State in a clash of two teams that have lost tight games they feel they could have won. San Jose State is at SFSU.
|Pacific West (DIAA) Standings|