When you put more than on squad in the same tournament; an intra-squad match is bound to happen on at least one occasion. Old Puget Sound Beach (OPSB) sent not one, not two, but three squads to the Can-Am Summer Sevens tournament in Bellingham, Wash. this weekend.
And when it came as time for the semi-finals, it was both their first and second squads squaring off with first getting a convincing 39-0 win.
This isn’t the first time this has happened to this team. At the Freedom Fest Sevens in Fort Lewis both squads met each other in the final, with the teams deciding not to play. On Saturday, the two teams didn’t have a choice and players and coaches went about it like a regular game.
“We just wanted to work on the systems we’ve implemented and fine tuning what we need to,” OPSB head coach Evan Haigh. “We have some big games coming up and need to get things worked out and this game was perfect for just that.
From start to finish, OPSB I showed their determination to want to get back to the title game. Filimoni Botitu started and ended the scoring, and got one in the middle for a total of three in the game. Botitu showcased a combination of quickness and breakaway speed that no one could seem to match. Speedy back Tim Stanfill made his presence known as well with a quick step off a maul and racing past defenders for a score.
By halftime, the scoreboard read 22-0 in favor of the first squad with Botitu having scored two of the team’s four total. In second half, Botitu’s brother, Isimeli Daveta, started the scoring with a pass from Alipate Tuilevuka to the outside edge and outrunning all defenders for his second try of the day. Mike Nelson would follow with run on the outside and barely getting in while dragging two OPSB second side players.
From there, it was obvious that OPSB I was on schedule for a rematch against their border rivals. “We are excited for a chance to get another shot at this team,” Haigh said. “We need to get our defense in order and have great execution in this next game because we know what this team can do if they get space.”
In their first four games of the tournament, OPSB had scored 195 points and given up only 14.