Life West Is Closing in Towards National Play Off with Men’s and Women’s Teams

Life West Is Closing in Towards National Play Off with Men’s and Women’s Teams

  Life West Rugby took another step towards the National Play Offs with both their Men and Women’s programs. Commonly known as the Gladiators and Gladiatrix respectively, both sides stormed to victory in the Northern California league semi-finals on Saturday, April 16th at St Mary’s College in Moraga, California. Kicking off the first game of the day in perfect Northern California sunshine, the Gladiators played a formidable Sacramento Lions side, a team with a vast play off experience. In their earlier season clash, the Gladiators got home by a small margin victory of 14-10, so going into Saturday’s game expectations were already set for it to be intense. Life West scored in the opening stanza of the game by a well-worked try to left wing Leki Latu. After receiving the opening kick off, abrasive hooker, Tino Mafi, ran the ball to the line and his exceptional foot work allowed him to penetrate through the defense and passed the ball to live wire full back Anthony Munoz. Speedster Munoz, changed his line of attack to evade the Sacramento defense then passed off to try scorer Latu. who ran unopposed and scored the try under the posts. The try was converted by 2nd quarter student Tyler Harrison. The rest of the half was a competitive affair with the Lions dotting down twice before another Life West try was awarded in the corner. The conversion was missed but the Gladiators went ahead 15-14 with a short-range penalty kick to Harrison. Turning with the wind at their backs, the Life West Gladiators upped their work rate and intensity and finished the game strong...
All Blacks centurion Mils Muliaina to join Life West after Pro League

All Blacks centurion Mils Muliaina to join Life West after Pro League

All Blacks centurion Mils Muliaina to play inaugural season of PRO Rugby in America Former All Black fullback Mils Muliaina has signed to play in the first US domestic professional rugby union competition, which is set to kick off in April. Muliaina, who retired from international rugby with 100 caps to his name after the 2011 World Cup, has signed a one-season deal with San Francisco and will debut for the new team in their opening match in two weeks. The 35-year-old had been planning to study in San Francisco so he was pleased to have the chance to continue a 17-season professional career following stints in Japan, Ireland and Italy. “I am delighted and looking forward to being part of rugby history in the States,” Muliaina said. “From initially just going to study at Life West Chiropractic College in San Francisco to now being able to continue to play rugby, I am grateful that Pro Rugby and Life West Chiropractic have provided me the opportunity to do both.” The five-team Pro Rugby championship begins on April 17 when San Francisco play Sacramento and Ohio play Denver. San Diego have a first-round bye. Former All Blacks, Highlanders and Chiefs prop Jamie Mackintosh this week joined the Ohio team while former New Zealand sevens player Orene Ai’i is aligned with San Francisco. PRO Rugby has also signed Canadian and US internationals. The bulk of the playing base is drawn from the American club game. A US squad mostly drawn from such club teams recently finished second in the first Americas Rugby Championship, beating Canada and Chile, drawing with an Argentina XV...
USA Rugby Women’s DII Club Rankings put Life West Gladiatrix on top

USA Rugby Women’s DII Club Rankings put Life West Gladiatrix on top

By Jackie Finlan | March 23, 2016 So much has changed since last year – teams moved to and from DI, clubs bulked up schedules for a nationals run, and others fell completely off of the radar. This first ranking of the year relies on current results and blends them with the relative strength of regions as demonstrated at last year’s nationals, while also accounting for teams that have left the division. It also serves as a general update on what’s happening around the country. First, here’s a look at the teams that look particularly strong this year: Life West is a new team and should be playing in DI, if there was such a competition in the region. The Gladiatrix dominate NorCal and are propelled by Eagles like Jenn Sever and Catie Benson, and age-grade fixtures like Megan Pinson and Megan Foster – among many other talented players. The only drawback – other than meaningful competition – is the post-season barrier they provide to other good DII teams. With 2015 national runner-up Sacramento rebuilding, San Francisco Golden Gate could have made a decent addition to nationals, although it is missing the influence of difference-makers like Tiana Stroughter and Angelina Lomu. And if the DII Round of 16 is structured similarly to last year, with the NorCal champ playing the Pacific Northwest champ, then Life West will likely play Emerald City for the quarterfinal berth. The Mudhens are having a knockout year and are a top-five team, and if their season ends in the Round of 16, that would be unfortunate. Defending DII champion Wisconsin is looking good again at 7-0 and would...
Life West win in NorCal and remain unbeaten

Life West win in NorCal and remain unbeaten

By Evan Lappen | 03.23.16 With two weeks left in the spring season before the Northern California DI Men’s Club Playoffs start on April 16th in Vallejo, Calif., the top two seeds in the South have all been sewn up with the North yet to be decided. Life West and the EPA Razorbacks lead the South division and Santa Rosa is at the top of the North. The remaining spot in the North will be decided between San Francisco-Golden Gate and the Sacramento Lions, who share the same record. The Lions have one more standing point than SFGG, so the last two weeks will be critical for each team’s playoff future. Life West at Santa Rosa In a battle of the division leaders, Santa Rosa hosted Life West at For Pete’s Sake Field in Santa Rosa, Calif. After being held to 14 points last week, Life West returned to its high-scoring ways by scoring nine tries in route to a 64-27 Gladiator victory. “For the first quarter of the game, both teams were going at it,” Life West head coach Adriaan Ferris said. “[Santa Rosa] is a formidable side, so there wasn’t much scoring in the first 20 minutes. We were laying the foundation for what would become a high-scoring game. From there, certainly our forward pack answered the challenge the coaching staff laid on them this week. We felt that we underperformed last week. We were looking to put a performance out that we could be proud of and we’re pretty happy today.” The Gladiators received a hat trick from Junior Helu and two tries each from Setefano...
Life West, EPA & Santa Rosa remain unbeaten in NorCal

Life West, EPA & Santa Rosa remain unbeaten in NorCal

Photo credit: Aubrey Huey (City View Photography) By Evan Lappen (Rugby Today) | 02.16.16 With week six in the books, three undefeated teams remain with Life West and the EPA Razorbacks atop the south division and Santa Rosa alone in the north. The EPA Razorbacks’ speed and quickness took care of the previously unbeaten Sacramento Lions, 26-13, and Life West continued to rack up the points and bodies as they laid waste to the Sacramento Blackhawks, 50-7. Santa Rosa dispatched the San Jose Seahawks and San Francisco – Golden Gate finally earned its first win of the season over Fresno 38-17. One the most highly anticipated matches of the season is next week when Life West travels to the EPA Razorbacks for a battle of unbeaten. The defending division champs will hope to contain the high-scoring upstarts in a closely watched match. Sacramento Blackhawks at the Life West Gladiators Coming into the game against the Sacramento Blackhawks, Life West led most the standing categories including points scored, points differential, and overall standing points. The Gladiators once again lived up to their hype downing the Blackhawks 50-7. In the victory, Life West rested a good number of their starters giving some of the less experienced players valuable playing time. Playing at newly sodded Sunset Field at the Hayward Adult School in Hayward, Calif., Life West struck early and often. Tyler Harrison (2), Taniela Vakauta, Niko Lolohea, Junior Helu, Tyler Hutcherson, and Tookey Stevenson each scored for the Gladiators. Flyhalf Orene Ai’i was five for seven on conversions. Scrumhalf Josh Toy scored Sacramento’s lone try with Rich Knight kicking the conversion....