SFGG D1 Men Gold defeated EPA Razorbacks 48 – 20
SFGG D1 Men Green lost to Olympic Club 8 – 51
SFGG WOMEN defeated San Jose Women 79 – 0
High School Varsity Gold defeated Lamorinda 32 - 19
High School Varsity Silver – no game – Lamorinda had insufficient numbers
High School JV lost to Lamorinda 30 – 34
SFGG GOLD REPORT by Austin Brewin
SFGG Gold traveled to the Rich May Field in East Palo Alto to take on the EPA Razorbacks. The field is an all-weather tucked behind the St Francis of Assisi Catholic Church and the Green Oaks Academy. There were a lot of the home team’s enthusiastic supporters in attendance under intermittent clouds and a cold, steady 10 mph wind. The wind had no effect on the outcome, nor did the dimensions – it is a short rugby field, and 10 yards narrow. BUT - No Rain! - No puddles! - No soft turf! - No mud!
NCRFU veteran referee Tim Lew (without official ARs) blew the whistle to start a very physical and scrappy game between teams who know each other well. Lew found himself being challenged by off side infractions, which led to the first score of the day – a short penalty kick at 5 minutes by COLBY STEVENS, who opened the game wearing the 14 jersey.
Several late changes in availability forced the coaches to make adjustments. With STEVENS on the wing, CONNOR RING took over at Scrum Half – supported at Fly Half by EAE OKUSI, replacing late scratch VOLNEY ROUSE. PAT LATU and JOE FUKAFUKA started in the front row with NEILL BARRETT, NICK GRASS and Captain BRENDAN DALY the second row, while ISAAC HELU joined OPETI OKUSI and DANNY LAPREVOTTE in the back row.
Wearing the 12 - TEVITA VEHIKITE with SONE PONE at 13, PILA HUIHUI on the wing and PILA IONGI at fullback.
The game surged back and forth over the next 15 minutes, with little sustained momentum by either side – primarily knock - ons or (wind assisted) errant passes.
Deep in the SFGG end, a failure to release penalty got the Razorbacks on the score board to tie the game at 3 – 3. The tie was broken with a break away try by PILA HUIHUI, who picked up a loose ball, crossed midfield and raced to score in the far corner to move the score to 8 – 5.
On the restart SFGG moved deep into Razorback territory. The defense was stout, with a lot of hard tackles followed by pick and drive forward movements. This in turn led to a series of SFGG scrums 5 meters out when the Razorbacks went offside repeatedly. Referee Lew awarded SFGG a penalty try, converted by STEVENS.
The half ended SFGG 15 - EPA 3.
SFGG opened the second half scoring with a converted try by FATAI VAILALA at 45 minutes, answered minutes later (49 minutes) by a Razorback try down the sideline. TEVITA VEHIIIKITE was the next to touch down which, with STEVEN’s conversion, moved the score to 27 – 8. Prop PAT LATU was the next to score, as he enjoyed his first 60+ minute stint since returning. With the conversion, that pushed the score to 34 -
The Razorbacks spent the next 10 minutes being thwarted by a solid defensive effort by all – they were unable to punch the ball over from inside the 5 meter line. At 60 minutes their Number 17 bulled over in the corner/ After the restart – EPA lost control of the ball and reserve LONGILONGI HAUPEAKUI made them pay with a try under the posts. EPA closed out their scoring with a converted try.
NIKO LOLOHELA closed out the day with the last try, converted by COLBY STEVENS who ended the day with his 5th conversion to go with the early penalty kick.
Final Score SFGG Gold 48 – EPA Razorbacks 20.
Coach NEIL FOOTE was happy to comment on the day:
“I am pleased with the response of the whole team to the uncertainties of the day. Playing on a short, narrow field, dealing with last minute changes to fill in skilled positions, and the now weekly challenges of playing in the D1 division after the pressures of California Cup games.”...“Today we had a good win and no injuries. We have now played 3 weeks without a Yellow card, and playing to our pattern throughout the team. Getting playing time for our reserves to build our depth. We have an enthusiastic group on the Green team which had 23 for training during the week – this bodes well for the rest of the season.”
Regarding specific aspects of the day’s play, he felt EAE OKUSI was the Player of the Match – which was also the Razorback’s assessment, nicknaming him “The Beast” for his penetrating forays and solid defense. His line kicks were long and accurate – a carryover from his high school football days.
The coach was also happy with the play of CONNOR RING and SONI PONE with his attacking and yet another solid defensive effort.
The coach commented on the persistence and hard play by the Razorbacks, who challenged everything and everybody on the field until the final whistle. Despite having a dominant scrum and the opportunity to win a lot of the lineouts, the SFGG forward pack did not get any loafing time, with every encounter demanding full effort.
NEXT UP – Santa Rosa. This is scheduled for their venue, but may not be available to them – stay tuned.
SFGG W @ COLUSA
SFGG VARSITY v Los Gatos Varsity
1 Green @ Life West
1 GOLD @ Santa Rosa ???
THERE ARE NO OTHER REPORTS AT THIS TIME FROM OTHER GAMES
Mike Roddy Roast! Benefiting the William C Cody Foundation, assisting students athletes with financial support, tutoring and mentoring. Many of the athletes play for SFGG High School.
Seats and tables of 10 available! Text Deb Wells for table reservation at 415-269-9367. Sure to be a fab evening!
Buy Tickets Here - https://www.eventbrite.com/e/william-c-cody-foundation-fundraiser-tickets-31567420003
MC: Jerry Woods
*Special Appearance from South of the Border
Italian Athletic Club North Beach
Tables of 10/ $2000
**Contact Deb Wells for full table purchase at 415-269-9367 (call/text)**
6:00 PM Hosted Beer, Wine and Specialty Cocktails
7:00 PM Dinner
7:30PM Roast & Raffle
If you cannot attend but would like to donate, please visit :
By Austin Brewin
After yet another week of rain, Saturday featured welcome sunshine and little wind.
The constant rain caused a number of fields to be closed – including Sheeran Field.
As a result, the SFGG Women’s game with Colusa was cancelled, and the Men’s Gold moved from Sheeran to Robla Park, the Sacramento Lion’s home field.
On the day, SFGG Gold defeated the host Sacramento Lions by 65 to 17.
The EPA Razorbacks out scored SFGG Green by 45 to 22.
The High School Varsity Gold tied the visiting Granite Bay (2016 Champions) 25 apiece.
The JVs lost to Granite Bay’s JV team 29 to 10.
SFGG’s Varsity Silver handed Piedmont’s PITS a 48 to 20 loss.
SFGG Gold hired a bus to transport most of the team to Robla Park near the Sacramento Airport. The field was playable, but soft and wet with areas featuring standing water and uncut grass. As noted, the weather was mild with a steady 5 mph wind which was not a factor in the outcome of the game, but did no favors for the kickers.
The first half was a helter skelter affair. The Lions play an aggressive game, marred by a relative lack of discipline. SFGG played a sandlot style for the first 20 minutes, with little of their hallmark coherence in evidence. NCRFU referee Matt Hetterman handled the challenge without neutral ARs to assist. For the second game in a row, SFGG did not get a Yellow or Red card, although the Lions did – primarily for repeated violations.
SFGG’s Man of the Match, PILA IONGI scored first, just 7 minutes into the game. In the soft under-footing, steady kicker VOLNEY ROUSE missed the conversion. That was to prove a problem all afternoon, failing to convert 6 tries. The good news? – he DID convert the other 4 tries in the shortened game.
Just 3 minutes later, Sacramento centers made a break to score at the other end for their 5 points in the corner below a cheering group of fans.
Continuing on the Wild West ride, SFGG got tries from TUPOMATA (19 minutes – converted) Scrum Half (YES – SCRUM HALF!) EAE OKUSI (26 minutes), an intercepted pass gave the Lions another try – converted (36minutes) and a final spectacular run and score by PILA, converted by ROUSE.
The half ended SFGG Gold 24 – Lions 17.
The second half was a very different rugby game. The coaches reminded the players of our patterns and style of rugby. The message was clearly received as evidenced just 2 minutes into the half with a converted try under the posts by Captain BRENDAN DALY. On the restart – the ball moved quickly up the field, with a try at the 44th minute by Flanker DANNY LAPREVOTTE.
The structured game had reemerged and the score quickly moved out of reach of the game Lions. The ball was in the hands of every player on the field as the game proceeded. Next to touch down was hooker NEILL BARRETT at 46 minutes, then EAE OKUSI (59 minutes) who played the first half at Number 9, then stayed in the game at center when COLBY STEVENS came on at Scrum Half. PILA IONGI scored his third try moments later on a field long explosive run up the center of the field.
On the restart – DALY and OPETI OKUSI moved the ball to the Lions 20 meter line where a penalty gave SFGG a scrum. A series of back row transfers resulted in a try under the posts by a hard charging LANGILANGI HAUPEAKUI. ROUSE converted to bring the score to 60 – 17. EAU OKUSI ended the scoring and the game (called at 70 minutes by Referee Hetterman).
Coach FOOTE was pleased with the turn around at the half. A few words by the coaches brought the team back to the game plan, stopping the aimless running to the periphery, playing a 15 man game which soon totally demoralized the home team. This was aided in part by the efforts of the reserves, who came into the game firing on all cylinders.
The Coach named PILA IONGI Man of the Match for the “… impact of his injections into the line, the speed and athleticism on display as he moved all his team mates up a notch.” From your Reporter’s vantage point, it was a thing of beauty to see such a special athlete going about his business with such joy.
Several folks from the Bay area showed up. With the Women’s game cancelled, team members SHERIDAN GHO and ALEXIS JOHNSON and contributed to the management of the game.
NEXT UP - EPA. The Coach intends to move players into “Gold” and “Green” squads to build depth. It is a long season, and injuries will happen.
At the East Palo Alto all weather field, SFGG GREEN met the talented EPA RAZORBACKS. NCRFU assigned Nome Tiatia to referee the game.
This report was sent in by SFGG Green’s Captain and Hooker.
The Green got themselves into a hole early on with a poorly organized defense which the talented Razorbacks exploited. Part of the first half problems were related to poor tackling. By the start of the second half the men in Green started gelling, with a more robust defense, and get into the pattern we want to follow, and into a rhythm which resulted in 2 Tries by Captain MARTY CUNNIE, another from Tight Head JARED STALLING, and a 4th with Center CHANCE KALUAFU touching down. These were a result of taking on the very physical hosts and taking advantage of the openings that lead to.
A good outing, with the promise of improvements continuing in the early phase of the season.
NEXT UP – OLYMPIC CLUB!
SFGG Women: Rained out of the Colusa game this week –
NEXT UP - SAN JOSE at their place.
GO GATE! ONWARD THROUGH THE FOG!
SFGG Gold Roster:
1. Jacob Nelson, 2. Neil Barrett, 3. Joe Fukafuka, 4. Brendan Hardiman, 5. Brendan Daly, 6.Opeti Okusi, 7. Danny LaPrevotte, 8. Langilangi Haupeakui, 9.Eaekalifi Okusi, 10. Volney Rouse, 11. Tevita Vehikite, 12. Lemoto Filikitonga, 13. Tevita Okusi, 14. Sia Tupouata, 15. Pila Iongi, 16. Julia Adeamo, 17. Niko Lolohea, 18. Saimone Laulaupealu, 20. Isaac Helu, 21. Fatai Vailala, 22. Sone Pone
SFGG Green Roster:
1. Charlie Rainsford, 2. Marty Cunnie, 3. Jared Stalling, 4. Zean Tsoi, 5. John ?, 6. Jon Spear, 7. Spencer Sarver, 8. Jack Bacigalupi, 9. Adam Zelazney, 10. Ian Buncle, 11. Federico Gobbi, 12. Jesse Fuller, 13. Chance Kaluafu, 14. Shawn Wang, 15. Nick Ryan
Austin Brewin - Game Reports for Saturday February 4, 2017
On a Sheeran Field challenged by a week of rain, our NorCal DI entry - now known as SFGG Gold (see below) - defeated the Life West A Gladiators by a score of 35 to 19. In other games, our second DI entry – SFGG Green defeated Life West Bs, while our Women ran into the juggernaught that is the Life West Womens team to lose 61 to 0. Early in the day, SFGG HS JV hosted Sierra Foothills in a preseason game won 42-17 by SFGG.
SFGG Gold Report:
Under the conditions of a few rain showers and a soft field, Man of the Match VOLNEY ROUSE controlled the flow of the game with his tactical kicking. He kept the ball in Life’s half of the field, using the running game when the opportunities presented themselves.
Life opened the scoring at the 6 minute mark with an uncoverted try in the corner by scrum half Devereaux Ferris following a penalty – kick to touch – lineout - scrum by Life.
The next 30 minutes featured constant pressure on the Life defense, culminating in a penalty from 20 meters, kicked by ROUSE to put SFGG on the board. SFGG kept the pressure on, with forays deep into Life’s end by all the forwards working closely, and with a deep break by winger FATAI VELALA ending in a Life scrum in front of the posts. Unable to clear the ball, the SFGG attack was renewed – hooker NEIL BARRET made a break and fed Number 8 LANGILANGI HAUPEAKUI who went untouched into the corner for the try. The conversion was wide, and the half ended with SFGG Gold holding the lead 8 – 5.
The intense pressure on Life’s defense in the first half paid dividends in the second. SFGG dominated the scrums for the first time this year – also a first in making it through our first game (Including the California Cup Season with neither a Yellow or Red Card.
Tactical kicking, not generally a feature of SFGG, and fresh legs from the reserves created more scoring opportunities. Fullback PILA LONGI scored on a break down the left side to touch down under the posts. ROUSE converted, then added 2 more penalty kicks before Life’s full back scored a converted try with 10 minutes left.
NEIL BARRETT took a feed from charging NIKO LOLOHEA and scored the final SFGG try, converted by ROUSE to finish SFGG’s scoring. Life ended the game with a long break and try by their wing - converted - in injury time.
Final Score: SFGG Gold 35 – Life West Gladiators 19.
Coach NEIL FOOTE had praise for just about everybody involved. Life West, fresh from their loss in the finals of the California Cup 2 weeks ago, had a new line-up, but filled with skilled, determined talent. He named VOLNEY ROUSE the Man of the Match, saying “VOLNEY played the best game I have seen from him – his control of the game with tactical kicking and opportunistic attacks was outstanding”.
FOOTIE was impressed with the skills of the visiting referee – whose name neither of us remember right now. In turn, the Canadian was impressed with the quality of play. Despite the intensity of the game and hard physical play, there were no serious injuries.
FOOTIE also thought SHEERAN FIELD was another star for the day – soft, but holding up well to all the rain and play as a result of the care it has received over the past several months by the WELLS mob and groundskeeper KEVIN REAVEY.
NEXT UP - Sacramento Lions at home (stay tuned for location given rain) next week. The coaches will be working to get everybody more comfortable with our style and discipline.
Brief SFGG Green Report:
The SFGG Green is, as of last Monday, a Division I team. And we will see the Green vs the Gold before the season is out. The players will need to come up to the standards of a Divison I side. The athletes are there, but structure and the discipline to win in this league will require more work.
The SFGG Green team beat their Life West counterparts in a scrappy, rather unstructured game featuring a lot of movement and hard hitting. SFGG scored at least 5 tries on the wa to the win. Inside center JESSE FULLER, prop JARED STALLING and Gold Reserve NICK GRASS had good games. Life joined in the spirit of the game and kept it close. Andrew Stockton is a young referee who kept good control in a game which could easily have gone rogue.
Up Next – @ EPA RAZORBACKS at 1PM.
Brief SFGG Women Report.
Life West Gladiatrix has been in existence for 3 years, but have put together a formidable rugby team. They can realistically look to reaching the National level with the squad we saw Saturday. The main difference between our Women and the Gladiatrix players was their quickness to collect loose balls, and keep control of theirs. Out matched in size and speed, the SFGG women played intense rugby through to the final whistle. The score at half time was 31 – 0, 62 – 0 at the end.
Up next - Colusa (TBD time & location)
GO GATE – ONWARD THROUGH THE FOG!!
By Austin Brewin
On a rain-drenched Sheeran Field the short, intense competition between top teams supplemented with guest players, ended with OMBAC holding off Life West 26 – 22 to win the Trophy. SFGG edged past Belmont Shore 20 – 18 to secure 3rd place. The day opened with the Olympic Club running away from the Old Aztecs to take it with a 50 – 14 win – their first of the competition.
SFGG took the kickoff at 1:00 from Belmont Shore and moved the ball across and up into Belmont territory on a long break by center LIMOTO FILIKATONGA, only to lose possession and found themselves defending the goal from a fired up Belmont. The pattern was set. The field, which was under water as late in the week as Friday, was in good shape top side, but treacherous underneath. This allowed attacking moves to begin, but hard cuts and set scrums were a challenge.
Man of the Match COLBY STEVENS kept the game in control – keeping Belmont on their heels.
With the wet field conditions, both teams kept their wide open game under wraps, and we saw a great deal more ball control and the kicking game than we are used to.
On regaining possession the OPETI brothers were instrumental on the counterattack, with “E” taking the ball into a tackle at midfield with close support from the entire forward pack. “O” spotted an opening down the middle of the field, sprinted 20 meters for his try under the posts at the 5:30 mark. VOLNEY ROUSE converted.
Belmont scored an uncoverted try at 16 minutes as the heavy hitting on a heavy field continued. ROUSE added a penalty kick at 20 minutes to bring the score to 10 – 7 for SFGG. Five minutes later, the first Green Card your writer has ever seen was issued to FATAI VAILALA for a high tackle. Belmont scored from the penalty, converted and took the lead into the half by 10 – 12.
As the half resumed, IZZIE DONALDSON made a long break, linked up back to the middle of the field and center FILIKATONGA scored in the corner. ROUSE’s plant foot skidded and the ball went left. SFGG regained the lead 15 – 12.
The heavy slogging and hitting resumed. In one series, every forward had a turn running the ball. At 55 minutes, TOM ROOKE broke a tackle 20 meters out and headed for the line, breaking another but stretching out for the try. VOLNEY ROUSE then added 2 and SFGG took the lead 20 – 12 with less than 18 minutes left. Belmont closed it to 20 – 18 with a penalty kick and that’s where it ended.
Coach NEIL FOOTE was pleased with the effort put out by all the players under the pressure of a very good opponent, the weather and the field conditions.
Like others, our players are still adjusting to the new tackle laws, where a tackler who makes contact with a ball carrier’s head – even if he ducks – is a penalty.
NEIL commented that the competition was terrific – most of the games between the top 4 were decided by one score or less. The problem is the short season, and the lack of a stable national structure.
SFGG opens the Nor Cal Division I season on Feb 8 at Sheeran field. We are still trying to get a competition for the B side players – not enough of the teams field 2 sides. Stay tuned.
NEIL was especially pleased at the turn out for the games and party. He was so pleased that he burst into song when he got his hands on the mic and a willing band...
California Cup Grand Final Day At SFGG on Treasure Island - Jan 21; Rugby starts At 9AM ends AT 5PM, When the Band Picks Up
After 5 rounds of hard fought games demonstrating the first class standard of rugby in the Golden State, all the teams in the competition compete for their final position at Treasure Island.
If you love rugby, you will love this spectacle. Bring friends and introduce them to the game played in heaven while enjoying a beer.
Ray Sheeran Field:
5v6: San Diego Old Aztecs RFC v OC Rugby 11AM
3v4: SFGG v Belmont Shore RFC 1PM
1v2: Life West Rugby v OMBAC Rugby 3PM
$10 Adults General Admission, U18 Free
Green Lantern Catering serving quality food including burgers, fish & chips etc.
Bar will be Open inside and at the shack by field.
Cal Berkelely Women v Humboldt 9AM
SFGG Women v Berkelely All Blues 11AM
Women & HS girls clinic led by World Cup winning coach Gary Street and Tony Diprose from Harlequins UK - 1PM
RSVP - https://www.facebook.com/events/1629621314011130/
Dogs on leash outside ok - please pick up after your pet.
Band - "Live Rhythm" starts playing at 5PM!
Help us keep the club clean by putting litter in appropriate bins provided.