Clash of Titans in Pacific Cup
The two teams face off pre-game. Denise Cavanagh photo.
The Pacific Cup capped off Saturday with a massive clash between Danville and Kahuku, as expected.
Here’s a rundown.
One Day 1 (Thursday)
Back Bay, one of the top teams in Southern California, was unable to secure the availability of some of their top players because those players had already missed quite a bit of school. So they fielded a less than full strength team against Hawaiian champion Kahuku HS, and Kahuku won going away 53-0.
Danville defeated Fallbrook 41-7 in a game where Fallbrook was also missing a few starters. The San Diego Mustangs came back to beat the Bay Barbarians, a team made up of Peninsula Green players and others from the Bay Area, while Santa Monica upset Red Mountain 34-19.
So that set up the second day of competition on Friday. Unfortunately, heavy rain in the San Diego area made the Little Q fields unplayable. A quick shift to the University of San Diego worked out, except there was only room for three games. After some negotiations and discussions, the San Diego Mustangs forfeited to Kahuku. Red Mountain defeated Fallbrook, while Danville beat Santa Monica, and the Bay Barbarians lost to a replenished Back Bay.
On Day 3, with rain necessitating moving to a third venue - organizers set up fields for three separate venues in three days. For Saturday we had this lineup of games:
Bay Barbarians v Fallbrook for 7th
Back Bay v Red Mountain for 5th
San Diego Mustangs v Santa Monica for 3rd
Danville v Kahuku for 1st.
The Bay Barbarians got it all together against a Fallbrook team that was thin to begin with, and just had a hard time finishing on a three-day tournament. The Barbarians won on the final play of the game 29-24.
Back Bay, with their top players available, won an entertaining match against Red Mountain 22-10.
The Mustangs, paced by a big game from Ryan Cavanagh and with Geornimo Ramirez also playing well, surprised Santa Monica 21-10 to finish 3rd.
And then, in the final, Danville went up early with a penalty, and in a grand physical clash where neither side was able to really show what they can do out wide, Danville held on 8-5. Kahuku got into repeated penalty trouble, and Danville played a brilliant control game, not letting Kahuku get more than a few sniffs at the ball.
“All credit to Danville, they are a tough, tough side,” said Kahuku Head Coach Seamus Fitzerald. “They came to us and told us this was the toughest game they’d played in a long time, and I have to give it to my guys - they played hard, they played their hearts out. Pound for pound we found our matchup, and like a super heavyweight fight it just went back and forth.”
Flanker Sione Uasi scored a try for Kahuku on a quick tap, and their flyhalf, Williams Fonokalafi, was by acclaim the best player of the tournament.
But Danville, in an unflinching team effort, won out 8-5.