The Glendale Raptors came back from a 9-3 halftime deficit to defeat the Olympic Club 27-17 in the Pacific Rugby Premiership opening game for both teams.
The game was held at Treasure Island in San Francisco as part of a double-header with the SFGG v Santa Monica game.
Glendale fell behind 9-3 as they got into early penalty trouble.
"We gave away some silly penalties," said Glendale Head Coach Andre Snyman. "Offside, hands in, diving over. We didn't need to give those up and they kicked well."
Olympic Club flyhalf Keegan Engelbrecht was on song with three penalties, to one from Mike Graham. But in the second half, the game turned.
"We didn't take care of the ball," said Olympic Club Head Coach Ray Lehner. "We turned it over too much and gave up a soft try up the middle. I told the guys that there are a lot of teams in this competition we haven't beaten, and to compete we have to play our best rugby. I was happy with how our back row played, but we need to play better."
Led by their veterans - Chad London, Zach Fenoglio, Casey Rock, Spencer Scott, Preston Bryant, and Graham – the Raptors pulled it together, with tries from London, Dustin Croy, Brett Willis, and one more player touching down in the second half.
"I am just proud of how the guys turned it around," said Snyman. "We told them at halftime that they didn't need to be so eager. They were so eager to play well they were rushing. They just needed to calm down and play rugby. They did that, and found another gear."
Tries: London, Croy, Willis
Convs: Graham 3
Pens: Graham 2
Olympic Club 17
Pens: Engelbrecht 4