July 8, 2016
Ohio Aviators Look to Ride Sacramento Express to Victory & Express Hope to Sac their Flight Plan
Photo: PRO Rugby
The League leading Ohio Aviators fly into Sacramento for a Saturday night matches under the lights at 7:30pm PT. Tickets on sale here: http://bit.ly/1ONvvo3
With the PRO Rugby season ending at the end of July, don’t miss the opportunity to experience the fastest growing sport in the United States. Just in case you have other plans, the match will be streamed on prorugby.org
Last week 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. With a win Saturday, they can rush past San Francisco into fourth place. The Sacramento Express would like to finish the season on a high note and escape the Wooden Spoon.
After playing the Aviators, Sacramento have three matches remaining in their season. Next week they travel to Denver before returning home for their last two matches against San Diego and San Francisco.
The Express have made two changes to their starting XV, Alipate Takiveikata will be at center and Jojo Tikoisuva will be at wing, replacing Nemia Qoro and Ryan Thompson respectively.
In last week’s match, Ryan Thompson and Ray Barkwill both were replaced with injuries. It is hoped that they recover well and return to rugby soon.
Mirco Bergamasco has been one of the leading points scorer in the League and is in 5th place in points scored with 66 for the Express. With both teams having excellent kickers, the teams need to minimize penalties within their range.
The Express unleashed Langilangi last week, who showed he can combine power and speed to be an offensive force. More of the same will be needed this week against the Aviators who have averaged 40 points per match while the Express average almost 23.
The Express will need to defend well and starve the Aviators from ball possession, create turnovers at the breakdown and minimize penalties. That should prove to be a difficult task.
The Ohio Aviators are in first place with a 7-3 record and 37 points. With a win against Sacramento, they will have one remaining match on July 31 with the Denver Stampede. Should Denver win their remaining matches, July 31st could decide the League title.
Last week the Aviators broke open a close match during the first half and won 44-21 against the San Diego Breakers. This was the first time that the Aviators did not reach 50 points at home, however they lead the League in points scored (403), most tries (58) and have the top 4 try scorers in the League. Aaron ‘Spike’ Davis tops the charts with 12 tries, followed by Sebastián Kalm (9), Filippo Ferrarani (6) and both Dominic Waldouck and Dylan Fawsitt (5). Also Shaun Davies is in 4th place in points scored with 72.
The Aviators have made two changes to their starting XV, as Kyle Baillie returns at lock and Chad Joseph starts at flanker in place of Filippo Ferrarini, who is not on the 23 man squad this week.
The Aviators are a confident team who feel they will continue to score enough points coupled with excellent coverage defense to emerge with a win. An unknown however, is the impact of travel. Ohio has logged the most miles this season and fatigue can be a factor defending on travel arrangements.
Expect more fireworks on Saturday. Watch some professional rugby.
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 Alipate Takiveikata 14 Jojo Tikoisuva 15 Alex Hodgkinson 16 Toki Kefu 17 Olive Kilifi 18 Lagakali Tavake 19 Sione Latu 20 Estephan Tuimasanga 21 Ronald Dwyer 22 Garrett Brewer 23 Supeli Sakalia Coaches: Head Coach – Luke Gross Assistant Coaches: Kevin Battle, Fred Waititi
Ohio Aviators: 1 Jamie Mackintosh 2 Dylan Fawsitt 3 Demecus Beach 4 Kyle Baillie 5 Pierce Dargan 6 Chad Joseph 7 Sebastián Kalm 8 Riekert Hattingh 9 Shaun Davies 10 Taylor Howden 11 Alex Elkins 12 Dominic Waldouck 13 Roland Suniula 14 Aaron “Spike” Davis 15 Zac Mizell 16 Peter Malcolm 17 Dominic Pezzutti 18 Angus MacLellan 19 Zachary Stryffeler 20 Ahmad Harajly 21 Robbie Shaw 22 Allan Hanson 23 Derrick Van Klein Coaches: Head Coach-Paule Barford Assistant Coaches: Paul Holmes, Eamonn Hogan Manager: Tom Rooney
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