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!!