By Austin Brewin:
Saturday, March 25th: SFGG Gold hosted the Olympic Club in a Northern California Round 2 Division 1 and won 34 to 17. DANNY LAPREVOTTE was named Man of the Match for his outstanding work in all phases of the game. Flyhalf VOLNEY ROUSE notched 9 points with 3 conversions and a penalty kick.
Next up are 2nd ranked Life West at Sheeran Field with a NOON kickoff next Saturday – April 1.
Sheeran Field welcomed players and guests on a warm, partly cloudy wonderful Spring day. The field is in great shape despite a wet winter and heavy use only because of the Hurculean efforts, time and $$$$ put into it by a small group of SFGG Club members lead by TONY and GRANT WELLS.
Visiting Southern California referee Kevin Holmquest officiated a game that began with an early penalty for a high tackle to put SFGG on the board. It was to be the first of 29 penalties in which each side seemed intent on punishing themselves. After the ensuing kickoff, SFGG kept the ball in the O Club half, having scoring opportunities thwarted by miscues. A sense of frustration resulted in an intercepted pass by the OC flanker, who streak untouched for a (converted) try between the posts to give the O Club a 7 – 3 lead.
The O Club challenged the SFGG defense in a series of pick and dive moves, but the defense held firm until the momentum swing and Lock NICK GRASS got the lead back for SFGG with a hard earned try. Minutes later, with SFGG on the attack, another ball was picked off and the O Club regained the lead with an unconverted try. Score: SFGG 8 – O Club 12.
As the half wound down, speedster FATAI VAILALA went untouched under the posts after a series of rucks. The half ended with SFGG in the lead 15 – 12. Coach NEIL FOOTE was pleased to hold the lead at the half, but was unhappy about problems in the set pieces. And the penalties. They had had a good practice on Tuesday, but something was lost in the execution. The Olympic club played well and made the most of the opportunities they were given.
The set piece problems were resolved during the break, but the second half saw even more penalties – 17 in all. SFGG kicked off to start the second half and regained control of the ball in the OC half. A coordinated series of attacks followed, with a lot of hard slogging by the forwards, with the ball moving in the attacking zone from side to side resulting in PILA HUIHUI’s slashing run from his fullback position to bull over the defender for a try just 3 minutes into the half. The next 20 minutes featured a lot of movement, penalties and good defense by both sides. At 78 minutes, OC Scrumhalf popped the ball over the forwards leading to a corner try. SFGG kicked off, recovered the ball and NEIL BARRETT led the team on a ramble down the middle of the field resulting in PEPE UAISELE touching down. ROUSE’s conversion made the final score – SFGG 34 Olympic Club 17.
Scores – time
3” Penalty VOLNEY ROUSE 3
14” OC #6 INTERCEPT 5 + 2
24” NICK GRASS 5
31” OC INTERCEPT 5
38” FATAI VAILALA 5 + 2
41” EAEKILIFI OKUSI 5
54” PILA HUIHUI 5
78” OC 5
80” PEPE UAISELE 5 + 2
Coach NEIL FOOTE commented: “We did a lot of the things in our game plan – basic structure, patterns and field situations, but made too many mistakes leading to lost opportunities for ourselves and golden opportunities for the opponents. We had good opportunities playing to our pattern, then an outbreak of individual play leading to loss of momentum and the ball. This phase of the season has the top 4 teams playing each other twice, with points for wins, ties and point differentials. We can’t afford this behavior against equivalent sides. Next week we host Life West – we need to pick up our game to achieve our goal of finishing first in the Pacific North division.”
SFGG Green had a BYE on 3/25 and play Santa Rosa on 4/1.
This was a dominant game by our women from the opening whistle. At the half, SFGG were ahead 51 – 0, with the route continuing into the second half.
Up next - SFGG Women host San Jose at SFGG 4/1 10AM.
Varsity Gold 12 - 62 Jesuit
Varsity Gold walked into a pumped up Jesuit side celebrating Senior Day at the Sacramento campus. Hindered by an injury to scrum half Jeffrey Breiz, the Gold were under assault throughout the game, playing defense against the talented Jesuit starters and their “impact” subs. SFGG got on the attack late in the first half to score an unconverted try. The second half was more of the same. Coach TONY WELLS commented: “We were hammered today, but take heart in having had good scrum work with 11 Juniors in the game, and a strong JV side coming in – the future looks bright. Jesuit are a good side, well coached and our boys learned a lot about what it takes to achieve success at this level.”
JV 26 - 26 Jesuit
JV ran out to a fast 12-0 start, then lost composure and momentum after some decisions went in favor of the home team who came back to lead 12-26. In the last 15 mins a strong defensive effort underpinned a comeback to tie the game 26-26. The game ended with SFGG camped near the Jesuit line looking for the winning score.
A special shout out goes to the families who drove up to Sacramento to support the team. Throughout the game the players were treated to Polynesian singing and enthusiastic cheers of support from SFGG supporters - the special atmosphere played a big part in the comeback!
Coach Jone Naqica praised IAN TUPULUA (#8) who crashed over for a try from a line out in the 2nd half. He was fearsome and tireless on defense and offense . PIO TOFI #15 and JERICHO NIKO #14 had big tackles that motivated their teammates. JERICHO once again scored multiple tries and impressed on attack and defense. Coach Jone also complimented captain MARK KEARNEY #9 on coordinating and leading offensive and defensive efforts and on CORMAC SLATTERY's (#10) kicking for conversions (3/4) and strategic kicking.
Next up - Marin Highlanders in the final league games of the season.
JV had a great time hosting Shawnigan Lake School (Victoria, British Columbia) yesterday...the game and dinner afterwards was a great success.
Thank you to the players, coaches, parents and volunteers from both teams, and the SFGG billeting families who all made this a memorable event. #MemoriesAreMadeHere #GoGate
By Austin Brewin:
We enjoyed another weekend without rain, and took advantage of the schedule to get Team Photos of the men.
The reports here were contributed by SEAN HARRINGTON (see separate Señors report), ANDY KEARNEY, JILL SHEARER, BETH McKEE, TONY WELLS and the Goff Report plus some eye witness contributions from various folks
SFGG JV 91 defeated CK McClatchy 0
The day started with a nice win at Garcia Bend Soccer Fields in South Sacramento in a Top 5 league game for the JVs over CK McClatchy 91-0 at Garcia Bend Soccer Fields in South Sacramento in a Top 5 league game. The game was a good opportunity for the entire squad to get good minutes and several players were able to test out new positions. NIKITA MOYSOV moved from the wing to #7 and had a very good day with a number of tries to his name. Wing JERICHO NIKO impressed once again with several strong runs and subsequent scores. SIONE TEA (Center) was strong in support and was rewarded with scores as was XAVIER HARO (Center). Fly Half CORMAC SLATTERY, PELESEUMA BREIZ (Fly Half) and MARK KEARNEY (Scrum Half) all had effective strategic kicks ensuring the game was played at the right end of field. DANIEL FUKOFUKA put in a solid game with a high work rate, He had several strong runs and was solid in defense, while his prop counterpart ROMEO ALAPATI stole the show with a storming run scoring from half way battling through several attempted tackles.
SFGG VARSITY GOLD – CJ McClatchey – result under review
The HS Varsity Gold match results are under review given the mix-ups in the ref situation where the game referee was a High School sophomore originally assigned for the B sides. The situation became chaotic and SFGG was removed from the field.
Review not complete at this time
SFGG VARSITY SILVER 19 lost to CK McLatchy 36
No further details at this time.
N.B. The JV hosts Shawnigan Lake School (British Columbia's 2016 Junior Champion), on Thursday March 23rd at 5:00PM at Ray Sheeran Field. Come out and give our boys a boost!
SFGG Women 0 lost to Life West Gladiatrix 124
It turned out to be another long day at the office for our women against our Hayward neighbors. Played at their home field, the hosts never took their foot off the pedal as the breezed to another complete win. They are a formidable side, capable of winning the USA championship. Talented, well coached and fit, their only weakness is good depth. As the man on TV says – “They could go all the way!” Our team has lost only 2 games this season – both to the Lifers.
Men's D1 Notes
Coach NEIL FOOTE was glad to have a weekend to mend and get some team chores out of the way. We now have the Team Photos in the can. TOM ROOKE, PILA IONGI and RICKY REYNOLDS are healing and should be back when we get to crunch time.
The way the league is set up, we have a top division (4 teams) and the bottom 3 teams.
The SFGG Gold play the O Club on Saturday 3/25 at 1PM to complete the initial round play. Green have a bye.
The team will be without Captain BRENDAN DALY for the next several weeks, and the availability of the injured TBD, so all hands will be on deck as the intensity escalates. In the format designed in an interesting and unique way, have the First play the Third, and the Second play the Fourth on the weekend of April 1st.
SFGG Gold play O Club, Life West play EPA. Winners play winners, losers play losers on April 8. The winner somehow or other should go to the National D1 playoffs. At the moment, your Reporter is a bit unclear on this. Stay tuned.
Today the mighty SFGG SEÑORS took the pitch versus their long time San Francisco rugby rivals the Olympic Club, in a spirited clash at SFGG Ray Sheeran Field. Captained by the venerable Michael Comstock and SFGG veteran Hector E Quiles, the lads showed up in good numbers for our first match in this the club's 50th anniversary year. The SEÑORS fell short in this effort but played hard tothe end. Following the match there was a great social with plenty of beer and even a song or two. The stands were full of supporters who were treated to a great day of rugby and to a good day at the club. Thank you to Sean Roy and the Olympic Club for coming out and playing and to all the SEÑORS for keeping the club's old boys side alive and well!
There were 5 games at Sheeran Field including 3 high school, the men’s Gold and the Women on a glorious day in the Bay. After all the rain, the field was in great shape, the stands had a good and enthusiastic crowd. We won some, we lost some – read on.
SFGG Gold defeated the Olympic Club 29 – 5.
Coach NEIL FOOTE said: “Pleased with overall game – everybody playing to our patterns based on field position and situation. In first half we went sideline to sideline with crisp passing and solid support. O Club were a bit undermanned, but did a good job defending. We managed to get good numbers in support to creat scoring opportunities. We had quick, clean ball from the both lineouts and scrums, as well as from breakdowns.
In the second half we didn’t score as much as anticipated, but the O Club did not lay down and we had some handling issues closing out moves.
The defense was the overall highlight of the day. We had numbers where we needed them – every one on the field did their part – I am very pleased with the team effort. The O Club avoided a shutout with an unconverted try at 80 minutes. MONE LAUAUPEALU had his first game at hooker in a while, and played very well.
We had two yellow cards which did not affect the outcome. One is related to an adjustment in the Laws we need to work on – dealing with balls off the ground in rucks (IZZIE HELU), but I was happy we had gone 3 weeks without one. PILA HUIHUI earned an unnecessary Yellow by repeatedly criticisms of Referee Phil Akroyd.”
LEMOTO FILIKITONGA was named Man of the Match for his solid defensive effort and his role in the offensive movements. PILA HUIHUI had a good game at Fullback – his pace coming into the attack created a lot of opportunities for us.
Injuries: NICK GRASS came out of the game after catching a Bubba Jones punch which closed his eye – no permanent damage.
The next opponent for both Gold and Green is – Green and Gold. Whatever the outcome, Gold have clinched top seed for the playoffs More on this next week.
Scores – time
7” VOLNEY ROUSE Penalty 3
16” COLBY STEVENS 5 VOLNEY ROUSE 2
28” EAE OKUSI 5 VOLNEY ROUSE 2 HALF 17 - 0
50” EAE OKUSI 5
71” PEPE UAISE 5 VOLNEY ROUSE 2 FULL 29 - 5
Roster: 1 Nelson (Niko Lolohela 40”), 2 Mone Lauaupealu, 3 Pat Latu, 4 Nick Grass (Brendan Daly 22”), 5 Brendan Hardiman (J Stalling 70”), 6 Opeti Okusi ( Langilangi Haupuaka 40”), 7 Danny LaPrevotte, 8 Isaac Helu (Pepe Uaise 50”), 9 Colby Stevens, 10 Volney Rouse, 11 Tevita Vehikite, 12 Lemoto Filikitonga, 13 Sam Pone, 14 Sione Tupouata (Fatai Velala), 15 Pila Huihui.