The Sacramento Lions hosted a day of rugby, as they, along with San Mateo and the Bay Barbarians played a round-robin preseason series.
Each team played head to head and for the final game San Mateo and Bay Barbarians selected a squad to face the Sacramento Lions.
On a windy day, where the conditions made kicks and long passes more difficult for everyone, San Mateo and the Lions opened the play.
Sacramento scored three tries in the first half with Edward Matakibau and Mika Dreu among those touching down. Kivalu Toofohe punched in a score in the second half and Viliami Saafi added another to make the final score Sacramento Lions 34, San Mateo 0.
In the second game the Lions played the Bay Barbarians. This game showed to be much tighter as the Lions were playing their second match of the day. The teams entered the break tied 0-0, but right after halftime Dennis Saafi broke through to score, and with Seremaia Tavai's conversion Sacramento won 7-0.
The Bay Barbarians played San Mateo in the next game. San Mateo came out strong, scoring 12 points in the first half. The Barbarians had several long breaks but couldn't turn them into tries and entered halftime down 12-0. In the second half San Mateo picked up two more tries to win the game 22-0.
In the final game of the day the Barbarians and San Mateo pooled a team to face the Sacramento Lions. This game proved to be the highlight of the day. The combined squad put five points up in the first half with the Lions unable to bring the same offense as seen in previous games.
The wind made conversions difficult and required strategic kicking to gain any advantage. As the second half started the Lions looked a little bit more renewed and their forwards began to turn the game's momentum. With a series of runs up the gut in tight, the Lions pack got their team moving and new additions Garrett Hawley, Joe Schmitt, and Josh Vavao all showed well as the Lions came back to win 14-10.
It was an excellent start for all teams as they prepare for a difficult NorCal DI club season. With their performances, the Lions now look to be the main challengers to the Olympic Club in the DI league.
The NCRFU Division 1 competitive season will start on February 25.