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.