In an intense friendly match that featured the first-ever (as far as anyone can remember) 15s match between an American club and a major national team, the Tongan National Team defeated San Francisco Golden Gate 55-10 Saturday on Treasure Island.
Tonga wanted the game in order to prepare for Pacific Nations Cup games against Canada and the USA. Meanwhile, SFGG was hoping to cap off their Elite Cup-championship season with a historic game.
Both teams tested some players in this clash, with SFGG slotting in recent college grads Brendan Daly (Cal) and Tim Maupin (St. Mary's), as well as East Palo Alto Razorback David Tamalou.
The opening period was a showcase for the Tongans, to the delight of many in the crowd,.
After a very physical series of exchanges, Tonga broke through with a run up the middle, and after that try, scored another with a series of pick-and-goes.
Tonga made it 17-0 with a maul, and then on a counter after SFGG looked like they might score.
SFGG came close several times, but the Tongan defense held them out. Then the Sea Eagles got a penalty, kicked for touch, and mauled another in to make it 24-0.
The hosts finally did score. Mile Pulu broke through and linked with his support. Opeti Okusi finished it off to make the score 24-5.
SFGG then scored another, with Tamalou celebrating his SFGG debut by going in at the corner. Tonga would reply with three more tries.
"I am really proud of the guys," said SFGG Head Coach Grant Wells. "Scoring two tries was a great achievement and players got to experience the speed and power of international rugby."
Over 3,000 fans, many supporting Tonga, attended the match at SFGG's Sheeran Field.