For Immediate Release
April 25, 2011
Rugby Super League: Week 7 Results
BOULDER, Colo. – Old Puget Sound Beach (OPSB) staked their claim in the Rugby Super League (RSL) playoffs Saturday as they defeated the Denver Barbarians 41-33. A hat trick from OPSB’s Filimoni Botitu gave Beach the victory and a secured a semifinal berth. OPSB will travel to San Francisco Golden Gate for the Red Conference semifinal on May 14.
The two teams in the Blue Conference semifinal are Boston and Life University who will face each other in two consecutive games as they face off this weekend in regular season play and in the conference semifinal on May 14.
Week 8 – April 30, 2011
Dallas Harlequins ( 0-5) @ San Francisco Golden Gate (5-0), 3:00 p.m.
Utah Warriors (2-3) @ Old Puget Sound Beach (3-1), 3:00 p.m.
Chicago Griffins (1-4) @ Chicago Lions (3-2), 1:30 p.m.
Life University (5-0) @ Boston Rugby (4-1), 7:00 p.m.
New York Athletic Club (2-3) @ Old Blue (0-5), 1:30 p.m.
OLD PUGET SOUND BEACH @ DENVER BARBARIANS
A dozen tries were scored in the entertaining game, with Denver opening their account with a converted try to take an early lead. OPSB responded with a converted try of their own through Robert Fitzpatrick. The zippy and elusive OPSB winger, Filimoni Botitu, crossed for the first of his three tries on the day shortly after. Denver immediately replied with two more five-pointers. OPSB responded with two of their own to take a 24-21 halftime lead.
The second half continued at the furious pace, with OPSB stretching their lead to 34-21 before the hosts cut the lead. Denver closed to within a point and was just a missed conversion away from taking the lead, trailing 33-34.
Denver had another penalty opportunity as time was about to expire, but elected to go for a lineout which was spoiled by OPSB. Beach claimed another converted try from Ryan Bishop in injury time to make the final score 41-33.
OPSB’s player-coach, Evan Haigh, enjoyed the back and forth struggle with Denver.
“[Dick’s Sporting Goods Park]…was a very fast venue where we were able to get our outside backs into some space and use our speed.
We wanted to win it today and go through to the semifinal and not have to do it at home next week,” said Haigh.
“All the tries were scored by the backs today for OPSB, including Botitu’s hat trick,” said Denver’s manager, Rob O’Connor, acknowledging the impact Botitu had on the game.
“He [Botitu] gave us fits all day long, reeling off several long runs,” said O’Connor.
Denver’s try scorers included prop Josh Masek, number 8 Tommy Pasque and center Christian Sarmento.
Although OPSB is in the semifinal against San Francisco Golden Gate on May 14, Haigh knows they have a more immediate task at hand when they host the Utah Warriors next weekend in the final round of the regular season.
Haigh likens Utah’s playing style to that of SFGG, which will help in his preparation for the semifinal. Haigh is very aware that Utah will relish another crack at OPSB, given that there was only a one-point difference in their last encounter, with OPSB emerging the victors.
About Rugby Super League
The Rugby Super League is sanctioned by USA Rugby as the premier level of Men's Club competition in the USA. The Rugby Super League is managed and administrated by the League within the guidelines of USA Rugby and is subject to the international laws of the game. The 2011 season will showcase 11 teams competing in two conferences with scheduled season play and two rounds of playoff games - culminating in the Rugby Super League Championship match on May 21, 2011. The competition runs from Mid-March to May each year.