May 8, 2106
PRO Rugby San Francisco v San Diego a Thriller
It didn’t take long, but after San Francisco was penalized for not rolling away, Kurt Morath slotted a penalty kick for a 3-0 San Diego lead.
San Diego attacked again off a scrum with a Tom Bliss grub kick. He then kicked the ball loose from a defender, picked a try resulted. Morath converted and San Diego led 10-0.
San Francisco offense then attacked as Pila Longi took the restart. A short time later, David Tameilau moved the ball close to in goal. San Diego was penalized and San Francisco elected a scrum. Michael Reid went in for a try and Volney Rouse converted. The score was now San Francisco 7 and San Diego 10.
San Francisco penalties would be their achilles all day. Two penalties and Kurt Morath kicked two more to increase San Diego’s lead. (7-16)
San Diego in trying to stop a San Diego attack were then penalized for repeat infringements and Tai Tuisamoa went to the bin. A quick pass to David Tameilau then reulted in a try. Volney Rouse converted and San Francisco narrowed San Diego’s lead. The score was 14-16.
San Diego answered just prior to halftime as Ryan Matyas drew in the defense and offloaded to Mikey Te’o for a try. Morath converted and San Diego had a 23-14 lead at halftime.
San Diego increased their lead early in the second half as Phil Mackenzie poached and then evaded defenders offloading to Cecil Garber for a try. The conversion was missed, but the lead was now 28-14.
San Francisco mounted a comeback as Codi Jones found a gap and offloaded to Volney Rouse for a try that he also converted. David Tameilau then ripped the ball from a San Diego attacker and Pila Longi had a break before David Tameilau powered in for a try. Rouse converted and the match was tied at 28 all.
Penalties continued to haunt San Francisco, as Morath reclaimed the lead 31-28. Another penalty, reulted in San Diego kicking to touch. San Diego won the lineout and Nikola Bursic was in for a try. The conversion was missed, but San Diego now lead 36-28.
A San Francisco cut the lead as their attack saw hands from Maka Tameilau to Patrick Latu to Finau to Pila Longi for a try. The conversion was missed and the score was San Francisco 33-36 San Diego.
San Diego then scored another try by Hubert Buydens after multiple phases. Morath converted. Morath later would add another penalty kick as San Diego won 46-33 over San Francisco.
Entering the match, San Diego was trying to trying to narrow the standings gap with Denver and did so. They had a potent offense and was almost matched by San Francisco.
It was a thrilling offensive match and if San Francisco can minimize their penalties, they will be on the winning side soon. They have a bye week next week and return to action on Friday, May 20 away against first place Denver.
San Diego hosts Ohio next Sunday in a battle of second place teams. Both will be rooting for Sacramento to win against Denver, so a new standings leader might emerge.
PRO Rugby Week 4: Preview
San Francisco: 1. Niko Lolohea 2 Jay Finau 3 Patrick Latu (captain) 4 Richard Knight 5 Alex Bowman 6 Sam Finau 7 Siupeli Sakalia 8 David Tameilau 9 Michael Reid 10 Volney Rouse 11 Jake Anderson 12 Orene Ai’i 13 Nick Blevins 14 Pila Longi 15 Martini Talapusi 16 Codi Jones 17 Fancy Namulau’ulu 18 Maka Tameilau 19 Junior Helu 20 Charles Mateo 21 Jack O’Hara 22 Naibuka Tawake 23 TBA Coaches: Head Coach – Paul Keeler Assistant Coaches: Adriaan Ferris, Simon Fathers
San Diego: 1 Hubert Buydens 2 Tim Barford 3 Kakalea Pule 4 David Dolinar 5 Tai Tuisamoa 6 Chris Turori 7 Cecil Garber 8 Sione Tuihalamaka 9 Tom Bliss 10 Kurt Morath 11 Phil Mackenzie 12 Andrew Suniula 13 Ryan Matyas 14 Takudzwa Ngwenya 15 Mikey Te’o 16 Joe Taufete’e 17 Mason Petersen 18 Epi Kalamani 19 Nikola Bursic 20 Arnold Meredith 21 Charlie Purdon 22 Kalei Konrad 23 Tim Stanfill Coaches: Head Coach – Ray Egan Assistant Coaches: Matt Hawkins, Rob Hoadley Manager: Sean Lindersmith