PRO Rugby Ohio vs San Francisco: Preview Week 3

April 29, 2016

PRO Rugby Ohio vs San Francisco: Preview Week 3


Doug Coil

Pro Rugby enters its third week with Ohio playing their home opener against San Francisco at 3pm May 1st. Both teams are looking for their first win, but Ohio miscues against Denver two weeks ago led to a comeback Denver 16-13 win in extra time. San Francisco who also played Denver last week, lost 35-18.

Ohio has made two changes in the starters from the first match Mason Baum starts on wing and Zac Mizell at fullback. Ahmad Harajly moves from fullback to ourside center with Roland Suniula to inside center. Angus MacLelland and Jamie Mackintosh switch sides at prop. There are also three reserve changes as Chris Kunkel, Alan Hanson and Zack Stryffeler are available when needed.

San Francisco has made five starter changes from last week. Niko Lolohea will start at losehead prop, while Tom Coolican returns at Hooker. Richard Knight will enter at Lock. Siupeli Sakalia also moves from Lock to Flanker. In the backs, Michael Reid returns as scrumahlf and Pila Longi will be at wing. Naibuka Tawake will be a reserve.

There is excitement in Ohio for the home opener. There was a field to build and they hope the fans will come. There is also good news that the Ohio matches will be streamed on AOL and broadcast on One World Sports.

Ohio is very quick in coverage defense and the breakdowns become a platform for creating attacks. Expect a solid Ohio scrum and some huge hits during the match. Roland Suniula’s hit on Denver’s Mike Garrity set the tone and Ohio backs were able to find gaps when attacking Denver’s backs. Although that changed later, Ohio can be an offensive threat.

Kyle Baillie has also arrived from Canada and joins Pirece Dargan at Lock. Sandwiched between Eagle Prop Angus MacLellan and former All Black prop Jamie Mackintosh is Peter Malcolm. The backrow includes Flankers Filippo Ferrarini and Matt Hughston and eightman Sebastián Kalm.

Shaun Davies had an excellent first half in Denver at scrumhalf beofre moving to fullback the second half. He teams again with JP Eloff at flyhalf.The Centers have Roland Suniula who is both a force on attack and defense with Ahmad Harajly adding speed outside. Spike Davis is still adjusting to the wing, but he demonstrated in Denver that he could break tackles and motor for long runs. The other wing will be Mason Baum and Zac Mizell will be the fullback.

San Francisco’s Tom Cooligan has played excellent rugby over the first two matches. Sam Finau had a try last week against San Diego. In the backs, Michael Reid hopes to provide quick ball to Orene Ai’i to distribute it in attacks. To facilitate this, Volney Rouse moves from wing to center and should see more ball. Jack O’Hara, has also had some long runs and be prepared for Jake Anderson to enter the line from fullback.

San Francisco is searching for the best combination of players in the forwards to provide stability in set pieces. David Tameilau and Sam Finau are backrow forces. Expect a test of the forwards early from Ohio.The backs have some firepower and have been able to score points.

Ohio Squad: 1 Angus MacLellan 2 Peter Malcolm 3 Jamie Mackintosh 4 Pierce Dargan 5 Kyle Baillie 6 Filippo Ferrarini 7 Matt Hughston 8 Sebastián Kalm 9 Shaun Davies 10 JP Eloff 11 Mason Baum 12 Roland Suniula 13 Ahmad Harajly 14 Aaron “Spike” Davis 15 Zac Mizell 16 Demecus Beach 17 Cameron Falcon 18 Anthony Parry 19 Robbie Shaw 20 Chris Kinkel 21 Alan Hanson 22 Dominic Pezzutti 23 Zack Stryffeler Coaches: Head Coach-Paule Barford Assistant Coaches: Paul Holmes, Eamonn Hogan Manager: Tom Rooney

San Francisco Squad: 1. Niko Lolohea 2 Tom Coolican 3 Patrick Latu (captain) 4 Siaosi Mahoni 5 Richard Knight 6 Siupeli Sakalia 7  Sam Finau 8 David Tameilau 9 Michael Reid 10 Orene Ai’i 11 Jack O’Hara 12 Martini Talapusi 13 Volney Rouse 14 Pila Longi15 Jake Anderson 16 Jay Finau 17 Fancy Namulau’ulu 18 Maka Tameilau 19 Codi Jones 20 Charles Mateo 21 Naibuka Tawake 22 Junior Helu 23 Issac Helu Coaches: Head Coach – Paul Keeler Assistant Coaches: Adriaan Ferris, Simon Fathers

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