Round two of the High School Club National Invitational Tournament (NIT) saw the scorelines open up a bit – a contrast to the wild opening round. And since the NIT will determine the placing matches on pool standings, there’s incentive to run max the point differential.
The closest game occurred between South Bay, which had defeated United 14-10 in round one, and Wasatch, which had defeated Pleasanton 17-10 earlier in the day. The first half nearly evolved without a score but then Shy Tonumaipea dove over for the centered try, which Mercie Vivao converted. South Bay added another try in the second half for the 12-0 win. The Spartans will advance to the championship match unless they lose its final pool play game to Pleasanton.
But the Cavaliers have had a tough go at it so far. In the second round, the NorCal team lost 38-0 to United (1-1) and sit at 0-2 in Pool A. United will wrap up pool play against Wasatch, a rematch of the Utah state final. The only way United gets to the final is if Pleasanton beats South Bay.
In Pool B, the Fallbrook vs. Sacramento match was 7-7 at the half. A linebreak out wide and good support saw fullback Tiahna Padilla score, and Shelby Tippin converted. Then right before the break, hard-charging flanker Alycia Namosimalua dotted down a try for Longosai Tausinga to convert. The Warriors pulled away in the second half, sending newcomer Neveah Rivera, No. 8-turned-scrumhalf Morgan Bitner and freshman flanker Julia Tippin in for tries – 28-7 for the win.
On the other side of the bracket, Kahuku led Lamorinda 10-5 at the half but extended its lead in the second half, 25-5 victory. This pool is very concerned with point differential, considering Fallbrook and Kahuku tied in their opening-round game against each other. At present, Fallbrook and Kahuku are tied in standings points and the Warriors have a one-point lead in point differential. So the championship berth will come down to round three. Fallbrook will play Lamorinda, and Kahuku will play Sacramento and potentially point differential.
Check out the schedule, results and standings at the event home page on Utah Youth Rugby: https://www.utahyouthrugby.org/2019nhsgcrc.