The San Francisco Golden Gate club’s youth program is touring the South of France and upset Biarritz-based L’Anglet 14-12 Thursday evening.
SFGG ran out a U16 team earlier in the day, and then their first side, a U18 squad augmented with two players from the San Mateo HS program, and one from Hayward. Of those, Hayward No. 8, Mailau Puamau was a revelation.
“He’s a great kid,” enthused SFGG Coach Tony Wells. “He’s become a leader. I think we surprised the French team. They didn’t expect us to be so physical, and we really took it to them.”
Also playing well for SFGG were Danny Lelor and Nick Grass.
The trip has been more of a training camp than a pure tour, said Wells. They will play a little more but will spend most of their time training under French coaches.
Wells was very impressed with the French coach-the-coach programs.
“They have a very good system, and we’ve learned a lot, especially about running lines,” said Wells, who took 45 players on tour. “So far it’s been a great experience.”