Following this weekend’s 35-17 win over crosstown rivals, the Denver Barbarians (Barbos), the Glendale Raptors now carry an unblemished 6-0 record after seven weeks of Pacific Rugby Premiership (PRP) play.
But regardless of another win, the team won’t be satisfied until it is hoisting its second PRP Championship in May. For Raptors’ head coach Andre Snyman, it’s been important to keep a critical eye, even when the wins are still piling up during the regular season.
“That’s what we spoke about,” Snyman said. “Normally, when you have a bad game, you lose the game. We had a bad game and we still won, so it takes a little bit of character.”
Glendale opened the match with a 12-0 halftime lead, but the Barbos stayed in the game throughout, closing the gap to 12-5 to start the second stanza.
Indicative of the rivalry between the two local clubs, the Barbos had come out to play, raising their play against the defending PRP champs.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game,” Snyman said. “It’s always a tough game against the Barbos in the local derby. For some reason, the players get really worked up about this game.“
Denver eventually broke through to take a narrow 17-15 lead in the second half before Glendale’s fly half Armandt Peens added a drop goal, retaking a narrow 18-17 lead.
“I was really frustrated with the way we played,” Snyman explained. “We worked so hard during the week on our play, game plan and structures. The play and the execution was not what we had spoken about.”
“I just thought we played as individuals and not as a team. We’re lacking in discipline. Our penalty count was really high. We need to do a little bit of self-searching.”
But after the early second half scare, Glendale was able to muster up some positive momentum in the latter stages and multiple tries from Justin Pauga were able to close out the match with a final score of 35-17.
“In the last 12 minutes of the game, we played in the way we’re used to playing and the way we should be playing. It shows that the guys could pull it together,” Snyman said. “We scored five tries, which is always a positive thing for a coach. Luke White and Zach Fenoglio had a really solid performance with great ball carries. Justin Pauga made some yardage and scored two tries.”
The Raptors next match against Olympic Club at Infinity Park is March 26 at 3pm. Tickets are available online at gelndaleraptors.com or at the gate. The match will be live streamed via Eversport TV at rugbytown.us/stream