The Cal Cup continued on in the New Year with an exciting weekend of rugby, with the Life West Gladiators looking to defend their unbeaten 3-0 record and top-of-the-table position as they visited OMBAC in San Diego. Life West was first on the board in the seventh minute as a sleek set piece play from a lineout saw scrumhalf Devereaux Ferris dot down. OMBAC responded with back-to-back tries in the 19th and 24th minutes, and added another penalty in the 30th for a 15-7 lead. The Gladiators countered through a converted Anthony Muñoz try in the 35th minute, narrowing the deficit to one point. However, just before the half, OMBAC answered back with a try going ahead 25-14 at the half.
Life West came out charging scoring first in the second half through first quarter student and UCLA All-American flanker Zach Bonte, closing the gap for the Gladiators to four points at 25-21. The teams continued to trade blows through the middle of the second half, with OMBAC crossing the whitewash in the 50th minute and Life responding through a quick tap try through vice captain Ferris, cutting the OMBAC lead to seven. However, OMBAC continued to press with two penalties in the last ten minutes of the match and USA Eagle Todd Clever crossing in the 76th minute with a try to give OMBAC the 46-28 victory.
Life drops to 3-1 but remains at the top of the Cal Cup table with 16 points. OMBAC and SFGG, also 3-1, sit right behind with 15 points. The last match against SFGG is effectively a semifinal, the decider for the championship. Says Head of Athletics Adriaan Ferris ‘SFGG is a very good side who have proven year after year that they one of the best teams in the US. We will need to be more disciplined and accurate if we want to win.’