Downtown Rhinos Defeat LA Rugby Club in a D1 League Opener

January 11, 2016

Downtown Rhinos Defeat LA Rugby Club in a D1 League Opener

Dtr v La win.jpg

Photo: Tom Carter

Doug Coil

Downtown Rhinos D1 Match Report v Los Angeles Rugby Club: Match Jan. 9, 2106, Adaptation from Tom Carter report

This was the first league game of the season as the Los Angeles Rugby Club traveled to Las Vegas, Nevada for the match.

The Downtown Rhinos opened the scoring with a penalty kick 11 minutes into the match to take a 3-0 lead. After that, the first half the match was one of seesaw possession. It wasn’t until the 34 minute mark that a try was scored by scrumhalf Joshua Sowa and converted by Hugh Todd that enabled LA to take the lead.

Downtown Rhinos promptly answered back as tighthead prop Brandon Rey barrelled in for a try. This was converted by inside center Haden Randall to retake the lead. (10-7, 35′) LA reclaimed the lead with no time as wing David Boyd was able to touch down for a try.

At halftime the score was Downtown Rhinos 10 and Los Angeles 12.

The Downtown Rhinos were able to seize the early momentum of the second half with two early penalty kicks by Elvis Seveali’i. (43 & 47′, 16-12)

The breakdowns had been highly contested during the match and eightman Tom Carter was sent to the bin (50′) Downtown was able to defend well while playing a man down. LA finally was able to capitalize on their attack when a second Joshua Sowa try reclaimed the lead for LA. The conversion by Hugh Todd was good. (16-19, 60′)

The Downtown Rhinos had to play short once again when outside center Quaadir Brown was sent to the bin. (65′) This could have been the time where LA could have taken control of the match, but this was not to occur as the Rhinos were able to add points from a Zakar Stepanian try. This was converted by Elvis Seveali’i and the Downtown Rhinos lead 23-19. (67′)

Five minutes later, LA were able to narrow the gap with a penalty kick by Hugh Todd. (23-22) The Downtown Rhinos quickly struck back from a try by wing David Benjamin. This was converted by Hayden Randall. (30-22, 73′)

With three minutes left in the match, a penalty kick by Elvis Seveali’i, secured a 33-22 win against the Los Angeles Rugby Club.

When examining the match, Tom Carter indicated that this required a team effort of turning pressure and continuity into points. Both teams were able to produce phases throughout the match. They battled for field position and tried to capitalize on attack to turn pressure into points. Both teams had their share of possession throughout the match.

The breakdowns were also a factor, as these were highly contested and generated a number of penalties. The Downtown Rhinos also played down a man three times during the match as yellow cards were issued to Tom Carter, Quaadir Brown and flanker Zakar Stepanian (78′). These infractions were for being offsides and tackling the opposition on quick tap penalties taken by LA. This required the team to concentrate on holding onto possession and trying to play attacking rugby in Los Angles’ territory.

Downtown Rhinos Man of the Match: Back & Forward

LA Rugby Club was asked to pick these players. Elvis Seveali’i  was nominated as the best back, while Erik Zentz, a lock, received forwards honors.

It is great to begin the season with a win, as the league is very competitive. When examining this match, mistakes will be worked on and the positives will be used to build momentum and to set team goals.

Next week the team travels to Belmont Shore, which is always a tough match and especially one on the road.Entering the match against LA, the team had several injuries and want to keep players healthy, while still preparing for Belmont Shore.

A primary team goal is to build a positive community in Las Vegas through the game of rugby. To strive in developing this atmosphere, the team has partnered with Rhino Training Academy on building a youth program. Elvis Seveali’i recently was appointed as Director of Rugby for this Academy.

Downtown Rugby Los Angeles Rugby
#1 – Cray, Trevor (FR)
#1 – Heiselt, Nathanael (FR)
#2 – Sanchez, Ronald (FR)
#2 – Savar, Amir (FR)
#3 – Rey, Brandon (FR)
#3 – Young, Ethan (FR)
#4 – Jackson, Charles
#4 – Parsons, Eric (FR)
#5 – Zentz, Erik
#5 – Gualotuna, Daniel
#6 – Alves de Moraes, Eduardo
#6 – McNeely, Michael (FR)
#7 – Florentino, John
#7 – Nascenzi, Michael
#8 – Carter, Thomas (FR)
#8 – Waziri, Abraham
#9 – Jones, Rance
#9 – Sowa, Joshua
#10 – Seveali, Elvis
#10 – Smith, Robert
#11 – David, Benjamin
#11 – Boyd, David
#12 – Randall, Hayden
#12 – Ojeda, Adriano
#13 – Brown, Quaadir
#13 – Mallaburn, Rory
#14 – Rouse, William
#14 – Millan, Brandon
#15 – Allen, Steven
#15 – Sweeny, Chris
#16 – DiazdeLeon, Edward
#16 – Rodriguez, justin (FR)
#17 – Mejia, David (FR)
#17 – Valadez, jose
#18 – Stepanian, Zakar
#18 – Campbell, Joshua
#19 – Williamson, Jason
#19 – Johnston, Norton
#20 – Kailahi, Leula (FR)
#20 – Todd, Hugh
#21 – Terry, Jeffrey
#21 – Guzman, manuel

Downtown Rhinos 


Coaches: Elvis Seveali’i  and Tom Carter

Web Page  and Rhino Training Academy

At the Rhino Training Academy, there is a boys and girls season that consist of twice a week sessions from November through February. There is also a Rhino Stomp Tournament on February 7th in Irvine, California. For information on the Academy and their high performance programs, email or call (949) 502-5927.








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