While Saturday’s game against Belmont Shore at LBSU was not the result that the visiting OMBAC side will take lightly, it provided the team with an abundance of learning experiences and a refined and reenergized mindset as we advance in the season.
From the outset, Belmont Shore tested the OMBAC defense repeatedly through diligent, straightforward phase play using their size and structure to their advantage. The tactical Belmont Rugby offense was met with a tenacious and quick defensive rush of OMBAC players that kept the home side out of the try zone in the early stages of the game. Belmont initially broke the deadlock try that gave them both the lead and the ball back. Not to be deterred and with the same excited energy that OMBAC possessed to start the game, the visitors obtained possession of the ball following the restart and put together numerous extended offensive phases led by good ball distribution and support of the rucks by all players. Despite the pressure placed on Belmont, the score remained unchanged until Belmont ran another try.
From that point on, the San Diego side continued to combat Belmont both offensively by engaging in long attacking possessions that saw the ball travel through the hands and down the field in a number of ways and defensively by maintaining fast line speed with aggressive ruck contention. Additionally, OMBAC consistently won both scrums and lineouts throughout the game, which would create space for the backs to establish an offensive flow.
Leadership and effort continued to shine through throughout the game as the OMBAC players, captained and encouraged by Lole Veimau, demonstrated unrelenting defense and energy that kept Belmont out of the try zone on numerous occasions. And while the score at the time of the final whistle indicated it was a lopsided affair, the OMBAC side showed an intent to continue to compete until the end against their rivals.
Ultimately, while the Belmont side overcame the efforts of OMBAC Rugby, emerging players (Maurice, Lamont, and Gabe at prop) had some noteworthy performances. The team has a sense of resilience, motivating the boys to work hard this week in preparation for this Saturday’s game against Pasadena.