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Top Three About to Collide in NorCal

irish rugby tours

Top Three About to Collide in NorCal

SFGG on tour in Ireland with Irish Rugby Tours, in their No. 1s at Cork Constitution.

Marin, De La Salle, and SFGG lead the way in Northern California’s Premier Varsity league after the weekend, with Marin at 5-0, and the other two teams at 4-1.

DLS defeated Danville 43-31 to move to 4-1. Danville and their effective forward pack challenged DLS at the breakdown well and forced a number of their penalties—three of their tries came from repeated penalties by the Spartans. So it was a challenge for De la Salle but they held on well.

"We need to be healthy this weekend versus Marin," said DLS Head Coach Derek Holmberg. "This is the best team they've had since we've been competing against them and winner will be the #1 seed in Premier Playoffs."

Four starters, two in the backs and two in the forwards, will be back for DLS in that game.

Meanwhile Marin has just returned from a tour in New Zealand and will be jumping back into league play with a game against DLS next week.

Their last league game was a 25-15 victory over Danville, and doing so despite, thanks to a bunch of yellow cards, being down to 12 players for about nine minutes. Marin showed a ton of tenacity in that game, learned a lot on their tour, and now are potentially poised to win the league.

SFGG shut out Mother Lode 40-0 and are now 4-1. Their one loss is to Marin, 28-14 on March 14. 

They, too, were on tour, going to Ireland with Irish Rugby Tours.

"It was a really good tour," said Head Coach Tony Wells. "We had a lot of activity but also enough down time so it wasn't one thing after another. They do such a good job organizing the tour and getting the games. They were really good, competitive games."

They played Bective Rangers, winning that game by a try, and they also played Cork Constitution and beat them on the final play of the game. It wasn't so much the winning, although that was nice, but the fact the games were very close and therefore the right level of competition for them. With a series of coaching sessions with top professional coaches (Connacht, Limerick, Tony Smeeth with Trinity) the tour set SFGG up nicely for the rest of the season. 

"We're back to the numbers we had a few years ago," said Wells. "The rise of St. Ignatius [San Francisco] has helped us and with Kevin O'Connor jumping on board to coach with us we're building."

Senior captains Daniel Sweeney at scrumhalf and Benny Hatch at No. 8 have led the way for SFGG and fullback Con Mckewon has also been playing very well. Three promising sophomores who have impressed are prop Brody Hatch, flyhalf Martine McCluster, and versatile hooker/ flanker Gavin Maguire. Eion Burke is a hard nosed flanker while Jimmy Reedy is effective at flanker or lock. In the backs center Christian Calero and wing Lucas Kirk have been hugely important.