June 26, 2016
Ohio Aviators Leave San Francisco Rush in their Jetstream
Photo: PRO Rugby
The Ohio Aviators have been on an offensive tear. They entered the match tied in the points standing with the Denver Stampede and emerging with a 71-20 win against the San Francisco Rush, and now top the point standings with 32 points. Denver also won 29-13 against the Sacramento Express, but did not pick up a bonus point for their win. Ohio has three matches remaining, while Denver has four.
The Aviators had a record breaking performance on Sunday, in scoring the most point ever for a PRO Rugby match. They also had nine individual try scorers, along with eleven tries. Forty seven points alone were scored during the second half.
The team tops the League with 359 points scored in nine matches. They also have the four top try scorers in the League in Spike Davis (10), Sebastián Kalm (8), Filippo Ferrarini (6) and Dominic Waldouck (5), while Alex Elkins is 7th in tries with 4. Captain Shaun Davies sits in 4th position of the League’s top point scorers.
When the San Francisco Rush visited “The Fortress” they first endured the flight across country. Travel can have an impact on performance and since traveling is a necessity based on the locations of teams, minimizing the time spent traveling has to be a priority.
After the match, the teams reconvened to enjoy a meal courtesy of City Barbeque, one of the team sponsors. This is an important rugby tradition when hosting teams and is appreciated by all. It is a time to meet with old friends and competitors and form new bonds with others.
Paul Barford, Head Coach of the Aviators, thanked San Francisco for continuing to compete to the end, as Jack O’Hara of the Rush scored the last try. He recognized Volney Rouse of San Francisco for his achievements. Rouse currently is in second place in the point scoring race with 86 points.
Ohio Aviators v San Francisco Rush Recap
Two minutes into the match, the San Francisco Rush took the early lead as Volney Rouse slotted a penalty kick. The lead was short lived however, as the Aviators won a scrum and quick hands from Zac Mizell to Roland Suniula to Spike Davis resulted in a try in the corner. Shaun Davies conversion bounced off the posts, but the Aviators took a 5-3 lead, one they would not relinquish.
Alex Elkins then scored in the other corner with Davies converting for a 12-3 lead. Volney Rouse then narrowed the score to 12-6 with another penalty kick for the Rush. He also had another attempt shortly later, but the kick went wide right.
The next Aviator score came after a scrum to San Francisco. After the ball came out, Pierce Dargan stole the ball and went in for the third try. Davies missed the conversion, but Ohio increased their lead to 17-6. The Aviators would tack on one more try prior to halftime, as Ohio had numbers and Sebastián Kalm went over for a try. Davies converted and at halftime it was Ohio 24 to 6 over San Francisco.
During the second half, the Aviators controlled possession and opened up their potent offensive attack. Entering the match the Aviators averaged 52 points for their three previous home matches. That is why their pitch is referred to as “The Fortress”.
Four minutes into the second half, Spike Davis bulled his way through defenders and sped his way into in-goal and centered the ball between the posts. That was his second try and was converted by Davies for a 31-6 lead.
A penalty is favor of Ohio had the Aviators kicking to touch. Riekert Hattingh caught the lineout and quickly formed a maul. Sebastián Kalm took the ball for his second try, Davies converted and the lead was 38-6.
The deception of the day occurred after the ball went into touch. The wily veteran Jamie Mackenzie executed a quick lineout of what should have been Rush ball. Ohio attacked wide. Three Lineouts turned into mauls later, Felippo Ferrarini added a try. This time Robbie Shaw, who came on for Shaun Davies converted for 46-6 lead.
San Francisco then executed a multiple phase attack into Ohio territory, before eventually losing the ball. The next Ohio attack resulted in a try by Peter Malcolm, who entered the match at Flanker. Shaw again converted and Ohio made it their fourth consecutive home match of scoring over fifty points, as the Aviators led 52-6.
Five minutes later Dylan Fawsitt added another try, but Shaw’s conversion was wide. Kalm then took the restart and the ball was swung wide for an Ahmad Harajly try in the corner. Shaw converted and the lead was now 64-6.
San Francisco then had their best attack of the day so far. They went through 7 phases in geting the ball to within 10 meters of the line. Harajly was sent to the bin after interfering with with a sure try. A penalty try was given, which Rouse then converted. The score was now 64-13.
Ohio would add one more try, a highlight one at that. Spike Davis offloaded the ball to Alex Elkins who sped down the pitch drew in the defender and offloaded the ball to Dominic Waldoulk for a try. Shaw converted for an Aviator 71-13 lead.
The Rush continued to look for opportunities and found one off a penalty. Jack O’Hara raced for a long try, beating his last defender, Alex Elkins, for a try. Rouse converted and the the match ended with the final score Ohio 71-13 over San Francisco.
The match was broadcast by TimeWarner Cable and may be viewed on the PRO Rugby You Tube Channel – San Francisco at Ohio.
DJCoil Rugby Preview Article: Ohio Aviators v San Francisco Rush Preview
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
Jack Hurley Photos: Ohio Aviators