After a perfect 10-0 regular season run, the Life West Gladiators are heading to the Northern California Championship Final where they will face the Sacramento Capitals, a team that gave the Gladiators a decent challenge the last time they met at Pioneer Stadium in Round 7 on March 14, 2015. Despite the final result being 56-15 to the home team, the Capitals showed they had the ability to apply pressure when needed. The Gladiators will need to be on their toes and will need to watch out for enterprising young playmaker, Tyler Harrison, a former UC Davis graduate who has been inspirational for the experienced Capitals side all season. Along with fellow NorCal All Star player, David Sallee Jnr, the Life West defense will surely be tested.
When asked about his teams chances on how they will fare in the final, Gladiators Head Coach Adriaan Ferris, was adamant that his charges would need to be on top of their game to ensure they came away with the spoils. “The Capitals are a good side, with sound structure and thoroughly deserve to be in the final. We will need to be up for the game and ensure we are accurate in all facets of play” said Coach Ferris, giving little away.
There is no doubt that Life West Rugby is on the rise with two unbeaten regular seasons in a row, something special is happening. Adding to the success of last season will be another feather in the cap of this fledgling rugby program. According to the President of the Rugby Program and Team Doctor, Dr. Bruce Chester, Saturdays final is a culmination of a lot of hard work from the players and coaching staff, in particular Coach Ferris. “You know, he’s impressive, the players show discipline in his presence. How he can get a room full of Polynesian players to focus and listen… you could have heard a pin drop. When he speaks, they listen. There is a real synergy there and he’s brought these young men together. Its powerful” said Dr. Chester of the Head Coach.
With Coach Ferris hailing from New Zealand, there is a distinct “New Zealandesque” style to the Gladiators play this year. The continuous use of the ball and an ability to attack with the ball in hand are clear indicators of the style of play Life West Rugby have incorporated into their game. The results so far have been impressive racking up 676 points in the regular season at an average of 67.6 points per game. Combined with giving up only 13.8 points on average every game in defense, the Gladiators have proven they have the ability to do the business on Saturday. Although as NorCal All Star player and 6th quarter chiropractic student-athlete, John Austin Colvill reveals “the regular season counts for nothing now. We have to be realistic… it’s a one off game and we know the Capitals will throw everything at us. We have to be prepared to go out and win the championship, we have to go out and earn it”.
As the Life West Gladiators run out of the pitch on Saturday afternoon, they will be proud ambassadors for the chiropractic way of life and the Life Chiropractic College West family. They have risen to the occasion throughout the season and there is no reason they cannot do it again this weekend. We wish them well.
The game is being played at Danny Nunn Park in Sacramento. Located at 6920 Power Inn Rd, Sacramento, CA 95828. Kick off is scheduled for 5:00pm. $5 entry fee – all proceeds go to Northern California Rugby Football Union.