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