The greatest players strive for pressure moments. It’s not really anything you can explain or teach to someone, it’s just something that makes the blood boil in player’s veins. However, when there is no pressure to perform it makes things one hundred percent better. In the Pacific Coast 7s championships semifinals, the Utah Warriors handled East Palo Alto (EPA) 42-0 in a match that never looked close.
The Warriors took less than a minute to get on the scoreboard by taking advantage of an overlapped EPA defense to go up 7-0. On the next kickoff, EPA took the ball into contact for a quick ruck to get the ball out wide. Utah had other ideas by stealing the ball out of the ruck and before any EPA defender could recover, the Warriors were up 14-0 and just getting started.
Before the half, Utah managed to stutter-step and break through the EPA defense at will to take a commanding 28-0 lead and looking for more. At the half, one team looked as though they didn’t know what was going on, while the other looked like it was just getting started.
Before the whistle sounded for the next seven minutes, the Utah players were already out on the pitch and ready for a repeat of the first half. It went just the way the Warriors had planned for it to go. Within what seemed like seconds, Utah had taken over possession and broken the EPA defense once again up the middle, passed it three times to evade their EPA counterparts and pulled away for a 35-0 lead.
And just when anyone thought it couldn’t get worse for EPA, it did. Deep in their own territory, EPA was doing everything in their power to get the ball out wide to try to get some momentum. A clean ruck made things look promising; however, Utah made a perfectly timed jump on the ball and raced untouched for score and trip to the final match.
“We went out there and played with no pressure, just let everything come into place,” Utah coach Jason Pye said. “We know EPA is a better team than that and it’s too bad they had to go out like this, but now we need to flush this game out and get ready for the next.”