June 24, 2016
Ohio Aviators v San Francisco Rush Preview
Photo: PRO Rugby
San Francisco comes into the match in fourth place with a 2-5 record and 12 points. This will be a rematch from a 30-15 win against Ohio.The Rush have been playing very competitive rugby and have a creative back line with Volney Rouse, Orene Ai’i and Mils Muliaina.Their forwards are are also a force. With Canada playing Italy this week, the Rush will miss Nick Blevins for the third week. David Tameilau was also in Eagles camp this week, and is not traveling with the team.
The Rush have made five changes from their starting XV from last week’s 24-19 win over the San Diego Breakers. In the forwards, Niko Lolohea returns at prop, Nick Grass is back at Lock after serving a suspension, and Siupeli Sakalia enters at flanker after Isaac Helu was injured last week.
In the backs, Devereaux Ferris gets the start at scrumhalf and Junior Helu replaces Mils Muliaina at outside center. While Junior Helu is a promising player, missing a former All Black with over 100 caps, is a loss. Since Muliaina joined the Rush, the team has jelled and has been playing exciting rugby.
After this match, The Rush have 4 remaining matches with the first three at home against the Sacramento Express, San Diego Breakers and Denver Stampede, before ending their season July 30th away against the Sacramento Express.
The Aviators have averaged over 50 points for each of their three home matches. They are the top scoring team and have the top four try leaders in Spike Davis, Sebastian Kalm and Filippo Ferrarini and Dominic Waldouck. With International tests being held this weekend, the Aviators will miss Angus MacLellan who is with the Eagles and Kyle Baille,who is playing for Canada.
The Aviators have made two changes in their starting XV from last week’s win against the Denver Stampede. Both changes are in the backs as Zac Mizell will play flyhalf in place of Taylor Howden and Allan Hanson moves to fullback.
The Aviators are in second place in the League, but are tied in the points standing with the Denver Stampede. This should be match that should not be missed. After this match they conclude their season home against the San Diego Breakers, travel to Sacramento and then battle the Denver Stampede in the last week of the season at home.
Ohio Aviators: 1 Jamie Mackintosh 2 Dylan Fawsitt 3 Demecus Beach 4 Pierce Dargan 5 Ryan McTiernan 6 Filippo Ferrarini 7 Sebastián Kalm 8 Riekert Hattingh 9 Shaun Davies 10 Zac Mizell 11 Alex Elkins 12 Dominic Waldouck 13 Roland Suniula 14 Aaron “Spike” Davis 15 Allan Hanson 16 Peter Malcolm 17 Dominic Pezzutti 18 Chad Joseph 19 Chris Kunkel 20 Robbie Shaw 21 Ryan Cochran 22 Derrek Van Klein 23 Ahmad Harajly Coaches: Head Coach-Paule Barford Assistant Coaches: Paul Holmes, Eamonn Hogan Manager: Tom Rooney
San Francisco Rush: 1. Niko Lolohea 2 Patrick Latu (captain) 3 Fancy Namulau’ulu 4 Nick Grass 5 Jeremy Laenaerts 6 Siupeli Sakalia 7 Sam Finau 8 Bill Fukofuka 9 Deveraux Ferris 10 Volney Rouse 11 Michael Haley 12 Orene Ai’i 13 Junior Helu 14 Jake Anderson 15 Martini Talapusi 16 Jay Finau 17 Mone Laulaupeaalu 18 Codi Jones 19 Neil Barrettt 20 CC Mahoni 21 Pila Huihui 22 Jack O’Hara 23 Michael Reid Coaches: Head Coach – Paul Keeler Assistant Coaches: Adriaan Ferris, Simon Fathers