By Evan Lappen | 02.23.16
Life West Gladiators at the EPA Razorbacks
The most anticipated match of the weekend was in East Palo Alto, Calif. as the NorCal DI and DII champions from last season clashed. The new kids on the block, Life West, showed why it was a National Champion last season by beating EPA, 47-21. The Gladiators capitalized on the Razorbacks’ mistakes, including an early first half red card.
Life West scored seven tries from Jay Finau (2), Devereaux Ferris, Tevita Tonga, Charlie Brennan, Junior Helu, and Tino Mafi. Ferris and Orene Ai’I combined for five conversions and Ferris tacked on a penalty kick. Pau Maile, Samuela Vailala, and Josefa Vuatalevu each scored tries for the Razorbacks and Petu Mateo made all three of his conversions.
“We applied pressure across the board territorially and at the set piece,” Life West head coach Adriaan Ferris said. “The pressure turned into points in the first half. At halftime, it was 29-7, and certainly it was a big mountain to climb in the second half. I thought we scrummed well and our set piece was effective. They lost a player in the first half, which certainly had an impact on their structure. It was the best start we have had all season and they knew they were in for a challenge.”
EPA captain Suipeli Sakalia reacted to the loss by saying, “We had a lot of mistakes. [Life West] is a good team and they made us pay for our mistakes and they countered back. Too many mistakes, they capitalized and it didn’t help that we had a red card and yellow card… They were more organized with their structure and pattern. They run a great game structure and like to play out wide.”