May 1, 2016
PRO Rugby Ohio Wins Home Opener Against San Francisco
Photo: Bryan Ray
PRO Rugby Ohio played their home opener at Obetz, Ohio against San Francisco today, thrilling the crowd with a show of offensive force in earning a 51-17 win. This levels Ohio’s record at 1-1 and leaves San Francisco at 0-3.
Ohio traveled to Denver for the inaugural PRO Rugby match at Infinity Park in Glendale, Colorado two weeks ago. Infinity Park did an outstanding time clearing the snow from the pitch ,so that the match could be enjoyed by the 2312 fans that were there. Unfortunately for Ohio, Denver came back to win 16-13 in extra time in a match that Ohio squandered with scoring miscues.
San Francisco has started their season with a 37-25 loss to Sacramento and then a home loss to Denver 35-18. They are a powerful team and are still looking to gel.
Ohio v San Francisco Recap
It only took a short while before Ohio drew first blood, as Spike Davis touched down in the corner and Shaun Davies converted for a 7-0 lead. Several minutes later, Ohio increased their lead to 14-0 off quick hands from the forwards which resulted in a Pierce Dargan try. Davies converted again.
San Francisco had a second opportunity to go for the posts after a Ohio was called for not releasing. That turned out to be a mistake as San Francisco as Ohio had them moving on their back foot in the scrum before getting the ball to their backs. Ohio recovered a dropped ball and Harajly broke deep before offloading to Zac Mizell to Sebastián Kalm for a try. The conversion was missed, but Ohio had a 19-0 lead.
San Francisco reconsidered their strategy of running the ball from penalties. After a penalty, Volney Rouse slotted a 25 meter kick to narrow the lead to 19-3. Ohio quickly reclaimed the 19 point spread, after a no wrap tackle of Harajly resulted in a Shaun Davies kick.
Ohio scored another try with five minutes remaining in the half as an Ohio scrum collapsed and Kalm took a quick tap off the penalty for a try. Davies hit the uprights and Ohio had a 27-3 lead.
On the restart, Ohio attacked again with Robbie Shaw breaking to the 22 meter line of San Francisco. JP Eloff offloaded to Filippo Ferrarini. An Ahmad Harajly grub kick could not be controlled near the try line.
San Francisco reclaimed the ball. Ohio’s Robbie Shaw received a yellow card for slowing down play and San Francisco’s Pila Longi raced past midfield before Orene Ai’i offloaded to Jay Finau for a try under the posts. Volney Rouse converted and it was 27-10 at halftime.
The second half had Ohio kicking the restart, but it did not go 10 meters, so San Francisco was in excellent field position for a scum at midfield.They were not able to take advantage and were then issued a yellow card for slowing down play. Both teams were down a man.
Ohio was able to attack deep as Shaun Davies chipped ahead and he was not able to control the ball prior to Dargan touching down. This resulted in a 5 meter San Francisco scrum that they won, but were pushed back by the Ohio forwards resulting in a Filippo Ferrarini try. Davies missed the conversion and Ohio had a 32-10 lead.
San Francisco took the restart to just outside the Ohio 22 meter line, but Ohio reclaimed the ball and Davies cleared with a box kick. Pila Longi broke long, but once again the San Francisco attack was lost. Ohio countered with a Spike Davis run and then Eloff found a gap before a forward pass ended their attack. Robbie Shaw was back from the bin and Ohio held a brief man advantage.
San Francisco attacked again reaching within 2 meters of scoring. A breakdown offense had Ohio receiving a second yellow, this time to Kyle Baillie. Still, San Francisco was not able to capitalize.
With less than 20 minutes remaining, Demecus Beach came on for Jamie Mackintosh and soon after Shaun Davies was replaced by Alan Hanson. Sebastián Kalm would take the ball and offload to Hanson to Spike Davis for his second try in the corner. JP Eloff missed a difficult conversion from touch and Ohio now had a 37-10 lead.
Ohio was able to attack again off the restart and was able to reach within 8 meters of in goal before a scrum to San Francisco resulted. After taking the ball, it was swung wide and kicked ahead going out at the Ohio 22 meters. Ohio took the lineout and went through multiple forward picks. A lineout went to San Francisco at Ohio’s 22 and then a scrum, resulted in an Orene Ai’i try that was converted. The Ohio lead was cut to 37-17 with six minutes remaining.
Three minutes later JP Eloff attacked inside the 22 and stepped inside a defender for a try that he also converted for a 44-17 lead. That was not the end, as Sebastián Kalm broke and Eloff found a gap for a second try of his own. He converted with no time for a 51-17 Ohio win over San Francisco.
Ohio has an explosive offensive attack and are quick in their cover defense. San Francisco has powerful runners, but their style of running from any point on the pitch left six points on the board and also resulted in Ohio gaining five of their own on a loose ball. Ohio was also able to capitalize in the scrums.
San Francisco has an offense that is capable of putting points on the board. In a losing effort, they managed to still score 17 points. During this match, they faced an early deficit and this challenged their ability to counter. In addition, their forwards seemed to wilt later in the match.
Thank you to AOL for the live stream of today’s PRO Rugby match.
Next week will see San Francisco hosting San Diego at 3pm PT and Ohio at Sacramento at 5pm PT. Both matches for be on ONE World Sports and streamed on AOL.
Preview PRO Rugby Ohio v San Francisco
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 Longi 15 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