NCRFU referee Jordan Bruno blew the start of an NCRFU Division I game between visiting Santa Rosa, and SFGG Gold at Sheeran Field. The field had standing water as recently as Tuesday, but had dried nicely under clear skies, and was soft with firm footing.
Both sides got straight into it, with SFGG moving the ball through the forwards into the Santa Rosa half. At the 4 minute mark, Prop PAT LATU slipped the ball to charging Hooker NEILL BARRETT who drove over the two defending half backs for the try. Flyhalf EAE OKUSI converted to put the home team up 7 – 0.
Coach NEIL FOOTE said: “I was really pleased with the opening 5 minutes – they played together, moved up field and pinned down the Santa Rosa defense which opened the door for NEILL. The next 20 minutes was something else. I don’t know if they thought when that initial work payed off, they could take a break – they got out of our pattern and started trying to do too much individually - soon found Santa Rosa were up to that challenge. They are a physical team with a lot if heart.”
There followed a period of relatively non-structured play, with both sides attempting heroic efforts instead of securing possession – lot of knock-ons and errant passes. It wasn’t until the 28th minute that PILA HUIHUI struck with a scooped ball from a ruck, down the far sideline and in for a converted try. That effort seemed to get the team refocused, and, playing to the basic pattern saw PILA IONGI touch down (converted) at the 30 minute mark.
The team got on track, creating an opening for BARRETT’s second try in the corner (not converted) at the 33 minute. On the restart again the ball moved into Santa Rosa territory, then IONGI again breaking through for the try. At the half SFGG 31- Santa Rosa 0.
PILA HUIHUI got SFGG on the board at 44 minutes with a try in the corner to seemingly put the game away. Santa Rosa did not lay down, but probed with punishing runs – stopped short by equally punishing tackles by the well organized defense. LINGILINGI HAUPEAKUI (AKA Tongan Hosii) was a force – stopping men in their tracks. Here, he combines with Lock for the Day DANNY LAPREVOTTE to close down an attack.
The scrums and line-outs were well played, the ground providing good footing for the first time in weeks. NICK GRASS and LAPREVOTTE generally got clean, attacking ball in the line outs.
NIKO LOLOHEA and PAT LATU got in a lot of playing time. Coach FOOTE was intent on getting more playing time for everybody, and this week proved to be a good place to do that. Captain BRENDAN DALY and VOLNEY ROUSE were unavailable, and Scrum Half CONNOR RING played the first half.
With 15 minutes in the game HUIHUI tore a hamstring and had to come out of the game – will miss the next 4 – 6 weeks. SFGG played the final 15 minutes with 14 men, having no reserves available. Starting Flanker ISAAC HELU had come out after a head injury (not serious) in the first half.
PEPE UAISELE, who replaced HELU, was the next try scorer at 55 minutes, followed 4 minutes later by FATAI VALALA scoring the first of his two on the day. This was converted by NEILL BARRETT, who also converted the next score after he made a break down the sideline to score himself. In between, Santa Rosa got on the board with a converted try at 71 minutes. VALALA ended the day scoring under the posts at 79 minutes, with Captain OPETI OKUSI adding the 2 point conversion.
FINAL SCORE: SFGG GOLD 65 - Santa Rosa 7
The Coach is looking forward to the week off. The plan as the year goes on is to work on the basic patterns of play, and the introduction of fresh players to fill in for inevitable problems making some players unavailable on a given day.
We need to go on the field with STRUCTURE, HIGH STANDARDS and DISCIPLINE.
We have the elements to enjoy a very successful season.
SFGG Men D1 Gold A 65-7 Santa Rosa
SFGG Men D1 Green B 24-51 Life West
SFGG Women 109-0 Colusa
SFGG Varsity Gold 34 - 10 Los Gatos
SFGG Varsity Silver 29 - 10 Los Gatos
SFGG JV 37 - 22 Los Gatos
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 :