July 10, 2016
Ohio Aviators Fly Out of Sacramento With Win & Chance for PRO Rugby Championship
Photo: PRO Rugby
The League leading Ohio Aviators flew into Sacramento for a Saturday night match against the Sacramento Express and flew out with a 46-31 win against the Sacramento Express at Bonney Field.
With the win the Aviators will have two consecutive byes before hosting the Denver Stampede in what could decide the PRO Rugby Champions. If you haven’t seen the match it is on the PRO Rugby You Tube Channel.
The Aviators now have an 8-3 record with 42 points. Sacramento and San Francisco each have a 2-7 record, while the Rush have 12 points to the Express’s 11.
The Denver Stampede play the San Diego Breakers later today, so standing will be updated by the League later. Entering this match, the Stampede have a 7-1 record and 31 points. The Breakers are 4-5 with 23 points.
Sacramento has 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.
For the match against the Aviators, the Express made two changes to their starting XV, Alipate Takiveikata at center and Jojo Tikoisuva 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.
The Aviators made two changes to their starting XV, as Kyle Baillie returned at lock and Chad Joseph started at flanker in place of Filippo Ferrarini, who is not on the 23 man squad this week.
Sacramento Express v Ohio Aviators Recap
Anxiety seems to dissipate after a team scores its first points. Sacramento had an early opportunity to take the lead, but Mirco Bergamasco’s penlalty kick was missed.
Sacramento was feeling pressure from the Aviators in trying to get out of their own half and were drawing early penalties. The Aviators would take advantage of this pressure when Jamie Mackintosh took the ball from a maul in for a try. Shaun Davies converted for a 7-0 Ohio lead.
At the 18th minute, the Express answered back. From 5 meters out after a penalty, Kali Tavake ran in a try and Mirco Bergamasco converted to tie the match 7 all.
Reikert Hattingh showed that he can be more than a key jumper in the lineout when he ran down the right side of the pitch for a try with Davies converting. (31′) Spike Davis would add to that total as he received the ball on the outside and then turned on the motors for an unconverted try.
With one minute remaining until halftime, the Sacramento Express seized an opportunity to kick for points and Bergamasco slotted the ball. At halftime, the score was 19-10 in favor of the visiting Ohio Aviators.
Riekert Hattingh added his second try six minutes into the second half as the Aviators attacked inside the 22 after a scrum. Ohio lead increased to 24-10 and the momentum was in the Aviators favor.
Kyle Baillie then added another try and Davies converted. Robbie Shaw added a penalty kick and Spike Davies added his second try of the day, with Shaw converting for a 41-10 lead.
Sacramento then started to claw their way back into the match as Shane Moore crafty running resulted in a try. Kali Tavake added his second try of the day and with both conversions made by Bergamasco, the Express trailed the Aviators 41-24.
The Aviators still had steam left in the tank as Alex Elkins added one more try for Ohio,
It was a little too late for Sacramento, but Toki Kefu went in for a final try and Bergamazo’s toe was on target. The final score ended with the Aviators taking the match 46-31.
While three players scored two tries in the match, Riekert Hattingh try spirited the early momentum for the Ohio win and is the Man of the Match.
Spike Davis also had two tries and now leads the League with 14 for Ohio. Kali Tavake had two tries for the Express and Sacramento hope they will come in bunches the rest of the season.
Ohio has one key match remaining July 31 at the Fortress. Should the Denver Stampede win out prior to this match, it will be for the PRO Rugby Championship.
Sacramento has to be pleased with their three second half tries and hopes that their offense will be unleashed during their remaining three matches. Next week they travel to Denver and then end the season with two home matches against San Diego and San Francisco.
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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