(San Francisco) Wing Pila Huihui racked up an astonishing seven tries as San Francisco Golden Gate pasted crosstown rival The Olympic Club 59-10 in Saturday's Pacific Rugby Premiership opener.
After a somewhat competitive half hour, O Club pulled within 19-10 when Colin Hawley nabbed a 7s-style, weakside kickoff in the air and raced into the right-hand corner of the end zone.
But Huihui's third 5-pointer, just before the intermission, foreshadowed a thunderous opening 10 minutes of second spell. Sparked by an opportunistic scoring run from replacement Don Pati, SFGG then put Huihui over twice in three minutes, the first a knifing cutback run and the second fielding a crossfield kick.
Asked about the game's breaking open, first-year SFGG coach Mark Giachieri observed 'We were patient with the ball in hand, and we were able to build pressure'.
O Club also sought to run from its end but often frequently turned the ball over after modest territorial gains. Further, though they enjoyed a significant penalty-count edge, the visitors were ineffective at the touchline.
In conceding a first-minute try and then wasting several early scoring opportunities, O Club trailed the entire match. As such SFGG faced limited pressure, making it difficult to compare this year's edition with last season's PRP championship team.
However, notwithstanding the recent arrival of internationals Tai Enosa, Jack Halilio, and Seamus Kelly as well as former USA under-20 halfback Pati, the rise and rise of the Treasure Islanders' infrastructure -- from burgeoning development teams to facilities and general management -- continues to impress.
Elsewhere, OMBAC upended visiting Glendale 24-13 while Belmont Shore rallied past Santa Monica 29-28.
San Francisco Golden Gate 59 The Olympic Club 10 (halftime: SFGG 26-10)
San Francisco Golden Gate
Tries: Pila Huihui (7), Rickey Reynolds, Don Pati, Tom Rooke
Conversions: Volney Rouse (7)
The Olympic Club
Try: Colin Hawley
Conversion: Keegan Engelbrecht
Penalty goal: Keegan Engelbrecht
Referee: George O'Neill (Northern California)
Attendance: 275 (estimate)