Sacramento Express Power Over San Francisco Rush

July 3, 2016

Sacramento Express Power Over San Francisco Rush


Photo: PRO Rugby

Doug Coil

The Sacramento Express rivalry with the San Francisco Rush is becoming one to follow. The Express traveled to San Francisco and left with a 43-19 win. This was their second win of the season, both against the Rush.

Sacramento now has a 2-6 record and has 10 points, while San Francisco has a 2-7 record and 17 points.

Sacramento has four matches remaining in their season and face the Ohio Aviators next week, who are on fire. They then travel to Denver before returning home for their last two matches against San Diego and San Francisco.

San Francisco has a bye next week and then have home matches against San Diego and Denver before they travel to Sacramento to end the season.

Today’s match featured two teams with contrasting styles. The Express played power rugby with Langilangi Haupeakui gaining the Man of the Match with two tries. The Rush found themselves down 26-0 before they came back with flair in scoring three tries prior to halftime.

During the second half both the power of the Express attack and the flair of the Rush backs continued, but the Express took advantage of opportunities to gain the win.

Match Recap

Sacramento opened up the early lead as Val Lee-Lo went into contact with 5 meters. A few picks and goes later, Sacramento went into in-goal, but was held up. A 5 meter scrum resulted and this time Cam Falcon went in for a try. Mirco Bergamasco converted and the Express took an early 7-0 lead.

San Francisco seemed on the verge of scoring when they had a lineout only meters from the line. The ball was thrown long and Langilangi showed what a force he is in breaking into Rush territory before offloading to Jope Motokana, who reached the 22. Quick hands by the backs then resulted in Cody Jerabeck scoring a try in the corner. Bergamasco’s conversion from near touch was short.

Sacramento then had another attack to the Rush 22 before they lost the ball on a knock on. San Francisco then exhibited an offensive surge that went through about 20 phases, before loosing the ball. That seemed to be a factor today, as the Rush had a number of attacks that ended similarly.

On an errant pass by San Francisco, Langilangi picked up the ball and motored for a long try under the posts for an easy conversion by Bergamasco and a 19-0 lead. The Express then added another try from a 5 meter lineout turned into a maul. Kyle Sumsion took a pick and go in for a try and Bergamasco converted for a 26-0 lead.

Another try at this point would probably seal this match early. San Francisco made certain that this would not happen as they scored three tries prior to halftime. First it was DAvid Tameilau who powered over for a try that was converted by Volney Rouse. From the restart Orene Ai’i would add a try and finally an Ai’i to Bill Fukofuka offload ended in a try. Rouse converted and at halftime the Express had a 26-19 lead.

The second half began with the Express cementing their lead, as Langilangi showed what a force he is with his second try. Bergamasco had a good day kicking and Sacramento held a 33-19 lead.

The next twelve minutes had attacks from both sides before a penalty against the Rush resulted in another penalty kick by Bergamasco.  He would have another attempt later, but was missed low. Still the Express had a commanding 36-19 lead with fifteen minutes remaining.

Five minutes later, the Express would add a penalty try that was converted by Bergamasco for a 43-13 lead. Only ten minutes remained. Despite attacks from both sides, the matched ended with the EXpress winning 43-19.

Ray Barkwill was helped off the pitch with his knee bothering him. It is hoped that the injury in minor.

The match was an entertaining one to view and both sides left it all on the pitch.

San Francisco Rush: 1. Niko Lolohea 2 Patrick Latu (captain) 3 Fancy Namulau’ulu 4 Brendan Daly 5 Jeremy Laenaerts 6 Tevita ‘David’ Tameilau 7 Sam Finau 8 Bill Fukofuka 9 Deveraux Ferris 10 Volney Rouse 11 Pila Longi 12 Orene Ai’i 13 Mils Muliaina 14 Jake Anderson 15 Martini Talapusi 16 Neil Barrett 17 Mone Laulaupeaalu 18 Codi Jones 19 Siupeli Sakalia 20 Sione Sina 21 Michael Haley 22 Jack O’Hara 23 Michael Reid Coaches: Head Coach – Paul Keeler Assistant Coaches: Adriaan Ferris, Simon Fathers

Sacramento Express: 1 Eric Fry 2 Cam Falcon 3 Val Lee-Lo 4 Matt Doubek 5 Robert Meeson 6 Kyle Sumsion 7 John Quill 8 Langilangi Haupeakui 9 Jope Motokana 10 Harry Bennett 11 Cody Jerabeck 12 Mirco Bergamasco 13 Nemia Qoro 14 Ryan Thompson 15 Alex Hodgkinsen 16 Ray Barkwill 17 Olive Kilifi 18 Lagakali Tavake 19 Alipate Takiveikata 20 Sione Sina 21 Ronald Dwyer 22 Garrett Brewer 23 Ryan Keowler Coaches: Head Coach – Luke Gross Assistant Coaches: Kevin Battle, Fred Waititi

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