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SFGG Feel Pressure of Home Team

Monday Aug 10, 2009 in Sevens Club Competitions

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The National Club 7s Championships will be held at Treasure Island in San Francisco, the home fields of San Francisco Golden Gate, just as they were last year.

You’d think the home side might get some advantage here, but that wasn’t the case in 2008, when the host team lost two out of three pool games and ended up playing for (and winning) the Bowl. This year?

“There’s a lot of pressure,” said SFGG and USA standout Jone Naqica. “We were disappointed with how we played last year. We lost that first game and that hurt us, so we’re keeping that in mind. This year, we want to hit that first game good.”

To do that they have to be dialed in this week, and Naqica, who is the all-time leading scorer in USA 7s history, said the trainings have been fruitful.

“We get 14 to 15 guys at training so we’re able to have seven against seven good players,” Naqica said. “That really helps.”

It also really helps that they have a bunch of good players. Naqica, Mose Timoteo and recent USA 7s captain Thretton Palamo headline a side that could have Danny La Prevotte, Dan Barrett of Cal, USA 7s prospects Mile Pulu and Brendan O’Meara (St. Mary’s during the XVs season) to name a few.

“We have some good new guys,” said Naqica. “Thretton is a big addition. He’s developing well and he’s more of a leader. From one year to the next is a big difference..”

Naqica added we haven’t seen the best of SFGG yet. They underperformed at the Pacific Coast qualifiers thanks in part to a couple of players being under the weather.

“We’re 100 percent healthy now,” he said. “We’ve had good competition in training.”

But even though they’re hosting, or maybe because they are, the pressure is still on.

“All the teams are really good,” said Naqica, whose team faces NOVA, Chicago Lions and Glendale. “You never know how it’s going to turn out.”

- Alex Goff

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