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Pacific Cup Day One

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Pacific Cup Day One

Danville went 2-0. Dan Bandoni photo.

It's been a thrilling day at the Pacific Cup in Hawaii, with the USA-based teams showing very well in a tight, competitive tournamnt.

Two-time defending champs Danville out of Northern California ended the day 2-0, as did the Coastal Dragons of Southern California, and Hawai'i-based St. Francis. They were the only three teams undefeated.

All 12 teams played two 40-minute games on the day. They will play one more 40-minute pool game and a semifinal on Friday. On Saturday all teams will play one 70-minute placement game.

The San Diego Mustangs started the day beating United out of Utah 10-5. Prop Mike Perone scored a crucial try and freshman Oren Cargill slotted a conversion and a penalty to cap the victory. San Diego Head Coach matt Sandoval said his team had some other scoring chances, but overall he was pleased to see how his team matched up with United.

In the second game of the day, Justin Petersen and Nico Gilli did superbly in controlling the field position as the Coastal Dragons defeated hosts Kahuku 10-8. Danville dominated Red Mountain, and St. Francis won comfortable over the Hawai'i Barbarians. Then came a dramatic game between Cook Islands school Tereora College and Utah's Snow Canyon. Snow Canyon played very smart rugby, and took points when they were on offer. Andrew Day slotted three penalties for a 9-0 lead. Then, with Tereora pressuring, a Snow Canyon player intercepted a pass and hoofed it 65 meters to paydirt in the corner. Day slotted the conversion from the sideline, and Snow Canyon had an excellent 16-0 victory.

New Zealand-based Western Heights shut out Kamehameha. St. Francis powered past the SD Mustangs, showcasing a much bigger lineup than the Mustangs, and using it effectively despite the humidity and heat. Kahuku looked very sharp in defeating a tired Tereora 32-3. United battled back for a hard-won 5-0 victory over the Hawai'i Barbarians. 

In the most exciting and perhaps best-played game of the day, the Coastal Dragons held off Snow Canyon 14-10 in a game worthy of a national tournament. And finally, Red Mountain ran out to a 14-0 lead, only to see Kamehameha come back to make it 14-7. But Red Mountain closed it out 19-7.

So there is one more pool game for everyone on Friday. Danville and Coastal Dragons should be good to finish 3-0. So should St. Francis, although their meeting is with United, a team you should never count out. The chase, really, is for the best 2nd-place team, because that team will make the semis. United, San Diego, Kahuku, Snow Canyon, and Western Heights are all in with a shot. Most likely, Western Heights will play Red Mountain on the final pool play game of the morning. Kahuku and Snow Canyon meet up in the morning, and the winner will be 2nd in Pool II. The Mustangs kick off at 8am against the Hawai'i Barbarians, and that will be crucial for them. 

For all the scores and the standings, see the official E-Program below (if you don't see it, go here or refresh the page)