June 17, 2016
San Diego Breakers Host San Francisco Rush in PRO Rugby
This is the last home match for the San Diego Breakers as they take on the resurgent San Francisco Rush at 6:30pm PT this Saturday. Tickets are available by clicking: http://bit.ly/1UQtA6T The match is being streamed on prorugby.org
San Diego is currently in third place in the PRO Rugby standings with a 4-3 record and 22 points. The Ohio Aviators are in second place, also with 22 points by virtue of their 55-31 win last week over the Breakers in Ohio. Both team are chasing the Denver Stampede, who are 6-0 and have 27 points. A bonus point win by the Breakers over San Francisco, coupled with a bonus point win by Ohio against Denver on Sunday, could create a virtual three team tie.
San Diego will miss for the second week in a row, their front row of Jake Ilnicki, Hubert Buydens and Joe Taufete’e, as well as backs Taku Ngwenya and Mikey Te’o. The later three players are on the Eagles playing against Italy this Saturday. Jake Ilnicki is playing for Canada against Russia on Saturday, while Hubert Buydens season has ended with a knee injury.
San Diego has made four changes to their starting XV from last week’s loss against the Aviators. Phil MacKenzie returns to the squad at Center after a week’s absence and replaces Andrew Suniula who left last week’s match with an injury. The extent of his injury is unknown and it is hoped that it is minor. David Dolinar returns at Lock, Zach Pangelinan at Fullback and Ben Leatigaga, who had two tries last week, at Wing.
San Francisco has had a two week break, since they gained their first win against Ohio 30-15. San Francisco has to hope they will pick up where they left off with their offense and clicked just as Mils Muliaina arrived. The forwards seemed at their finest this season as they did what their nickname also implies, Rush.
The San Francisco Rush have made three changes to their starting XV with Codi Jones at Prop, Jeremy Laenaerts at Lock and Jake Anderson at Wing. Isaac Helu and Sam Finau have switched sides at Flanker and Michael Haley has done so at Wing.
The Rush will also miss Nick Blevins, who is playing for Canada against Russia this week. They also will miss the offensive threat of Pila Longi at Wing.
The USA Men’s Eagles may be playing against Italy Saturday, but I’m sure that for many rugby addicts that many will be following both matches.
San Diego Breakers: 1 Mason Petersen 2 Mikey Sosene-Feagai 3 Epi Kalamani 4 David Dolinar 5 Tai Tuisamoa 6 Chris Tuori 7 Cecil Garber 8 Sione Tuihalamaka 9 Charlie Purdon 10 Kurt Morath 11 Ben Leatigaga 12 Phil Mackenzie 13 Ryan Matyas 14 Pono Haitsuka 15 Zach Pangelinan 16 Kakalia Pule 17 Brice Schilling 18 Ian Carpenter 19 Nikola Bursic 20 Bruce Thomas 21 Derek Broussard 22 Kalei Konrad 23 Tim Stanfill Coaches: Head Coach – Ray Egan Assistant Coaches: Matt Hawkins, Rob Hoadley Manager: Sean Lindersmith
San Francisco Rush: 1. Codi Jones 2 Patrick Latu (captain) 3 Fancy Namulau’ulu 4 Brendan Daly 5 Jeremy Laenaerts 6 Isaac Helu 7 Sam Finau 8 Bill Fukofuka 9 Michael Reid 10 Volney Rouse 11 Michael Haley 12 Orene Ai’i 13 Mils Muliaina 14 Jake Anderson 15 Martini Talapusi 16 Jay Finau 17 Niko Lolohea 18 Mone Laulaupeaalu 19 Siupeli Sakalia 20 Tevita “David”Tameilau 21 Jack O’Hara 22 Junior Helu 23 Deveraux Ferris Coaches: Head Coach – Paul Keeler Assistant Coaches: Adriaan Ferris, Simon Fathers