After throttling the East Palo Alto Razorbacks 84-7 on Saturday the San Francisco Golden Gate club looks ahead to a much tougher proposition in the EPA Bulldogs.
Head Coach Grant Wells said he was happy with the game, but not because it turned into a blowout. He was happy because the blowout was the result of consistently good and disciplined play. And in addition, the result was achieved despite Wells resting some high-profile players and testing one or two others out of position.
“You try to play to a certain pattern and stick to it for 80 minutes,” said Wells. “For us, it’s a matter of keeping to the tactics and keeping to the structure, and as we do that we try to make guys accountable. We have a bit of depth in our squad, so we tested out some guys. What I was pleased to see what that we stuck to our structure for 80 minutes. We have some tough games coming up, so being able to stick to our structure is a good thing.”
Captain and scrumhalf Mose Timoteo concurred.
“EPA is a good team, a very physical team, but we got into our structure and kept it up,” he said.
Wells moved a couple of players around. Hooker Chris Biller sat, giving Neil Barrett a shot at the #2 jersey. Danny LaPrevotte, often a flanker or lock, played No. 8. Tom Rooke, who has been a flanker for almost his entire rugby-playing career, played lock and did well.
“Tom adds some beef to the front row, and with the guys we have in the back row and Bruce Thomas coming back soon, having him there gives us a chance to be more flexible,” said Wells.
The big word coming out of Wells’s mouth is “accountable.” He is pushing his players with the carrot of playing, and the stick of sitting. It’s a long season, with DI and Elite Cup games on the horizon, and everyone will be needed.
Timoteo said the players know that and have changed their attitude.
“This year is totally different from last year,” he said. “I think we have a different attitude. We have to be more physical early in the season, and everyone’s been working on their fitness early. We know we’re going to have to get through a long season, and have everyone fit and ready. I think everyone on the bench is good enough to be a starter, and that’s because they’ve been doing the work.”
“We’re going to give guys some playing time now,” added Wells. “And they can then earn selection in upcoming games.