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By Rich Tuiono
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Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2011  
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Coming in to Saturday's game against an unranked Sacramento Capitals squad, the #24 nationally ranked Bulldogs were favored to win and rightfully so.


Click image to enlarge

Photo Bulldogs and Capitals Rugby teamsapitals
        Photo courtesy of Kasalaine Vimahi-Finau
This photo shows the East Palo Alto Bulldogs and the Sacramento Capitals in their game on Saturday, March 12 in Palo Alto as the two teams get ready to engage in a scrum. Sitaleki Mafile’o stands to the far left behind Litani Moimoi with the black scrum hat and the long hair.

The East Palo Alto Bulldogs looked very sharp in their pre-game warm ups, particularly the backs! The passing was timely and precise, while the ball was moving from player to player very smoothly. The team even showed a little more enthusiasm than they did before last week's win over the Warriors.

Overall, the Bulldogs looked focused.

But during the game, focused would be the last word you'd use to describe their play.

The Sacramento Capitals drew first blood with a penalty kick in the 26th minute.

Ten minutes later, the Bulldogs responded with a try. They added a penalty kick just before the end of the half to go up 10-3.

With all the dropped passes, missed kicks and the lack of teamwork from East Palo Alto, there had to be some disappointment with all the potential points left out on the field.

When the play resumed, the inconsistency by the Bulldogs in the first half had continued and it even rubbed off on the Capitals, as both teams struggled to take control of the game.

Sacramento tried in the 24th minute of the second half, cutting down the lead 10-8.

The Capitals had not played great, but they played good enough. And good enough can sometimes win you a game, especially against a team that constantly shoots itself in the foot! Or, in the Bulldogs' case, in the hands!

There was plenty of blame to go around for dropped balls and the frustration was building up, and it showed as players were getting a little feisty out on the field! 

But that last Sacramento try must have brought the Bulldogs to a sense of urgency!

That urgency was well displayed on the next two possessions for EPA. It seemed everybody on the team touched the ball on both drives, with a couple of mishandled passes being saved in mid-air. That led to two tries! The last try, with an exclamation mark ending, left two Capitals defenders flat on their backs!

Similar to last week's contest, the Bulldogs started off slow, but ended the game with the same results... a "W"!

The biggest difference between last week and this game is that the Bulldogs had defeated something more challenging than the team across the field. They overcame themselves! 

Bulldogs 20  Sacramento 15.



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