July 17, 2016
Denver Stampede Derail Sacramento Express
Photo: PRO Rugby
The Denver Stampede beat the Sacramento Express 59-13 on the strength of nine tries at Ciber Field on the University of Denver campus. With the bonus point win, the Stampede improves their record to 9-1 and trail the Ohio Express for first place by 1 point with a game at hand, 42 to 41.
Will Magie made seven of nine conversions to go over the century mark with 102 points. He is in third place for all scorers to Kurt Morath with 113 and Volney Rouse with 110. Mirco Bergamasco has 85 for the Express and is in fourth place.
Zach Fenoglio had his seventh try of the season and is in third place among try scorers.
Denver v Sacramento Recap
It didn’t take long for the home team, the Sacramento Express, to take the early lead as Denver was pinged for not rolling away. Mirco Bergamasco made it look easy in kicking the penalty just inside midfield for a 3-0 lead four minutes into the match.
A minute later, Denver’s Magie offloaded to Chad London for a try. Magie then converted for a 7-3 lead. The Stampede added another try a few minutes later when Pedrie Wannenburg picked the ball from a scrum and spun it to the backs. Ata Malifa then offloaded to Timana Tahu for a try. Magie missed the conversion, but it was now 12-3.
Garrett Brewer then attacked deep inside Denver’s 22 and Denver was penalized for not releasing. Bergamasco calmly put the ball through the uprights to narrow the lead to 12-6.
Denver came right back and after several phases, Wannenburg made a no look pass to Zach Fenoglio for a try, which was then converted by Magie.
The restart by Bennett went straight out and gave Denver a scrum at midfield. The Stampede used that to attack and a short grub kick by Magie to Max De Achaval resulted in a try. After Magie’s conversion, it was Denver 26-6 twenty three minutes into the match.
The Express had an attack deep into Stampede territory with several phases, however a knock on by Chris Saint, ended their scoring opportunity.
Denver then gained possession and Ata Malifa found a gap and went in for a try. Magie converted and it was 33-6 at halftime.
It took only five minutes into the second half before Denver would gain an advantage as Cam Falcon was sent to the bin after he kicked the ball from an off-sides position at the breakdown. From a scrum, Wannenburg then picked up at the back and passed to Magie, who then used quick hands to London and then to Timana Tahu for a try. Magie once again converted and it was now 38-6.
It was then Sacramento’s turn to attack. This resulted in Hodgkinson reaching within 10 meters of the line before a knock on ended their possession. Denver then attacked from a 5 meter scrum as Chad London found a gap and Hanco Germishuys then moved the ball inside the Express 22. A few phases later, Dustin Croy swerved to within 5 meters before losing the ball.
Sacramento’s Langilangi then went weak off a scrum and went to midfield before Tahu’s high tackle resulted in a penalty. The ball swtiched hands twice and then the Express camped out in Denver’s territory for several minutes.
The Stampede’s Zach Fenoglio was then sent to the bin for not going through the gate at the breakdown. Langilangi picked the ball from the 5 meter scrum and then knocked on. Magie cleared and the Express lost another scoring opportunity.
The Express then took the Magie kick to midfield before Hodgkinson knocked on. Booby Impson spun the ball to Logan Collins and Dustin Croy evaded several tacklers before going in for a try. With Magie’s conversion, Denver had a 43-6 lead.
The Stampede would get another try off a quick tap penalty by Hanco Germishuys with six minutes remaining. Magie made his sixth conversion and the score was 50-6.
Sacramento then answered right back when Hodgkinson fended Impson and went in for a try that was then converted by Bergamasco.
Denver would have the last word after a Denver scrum inside the Express 22, when Mike Garrity received a shovel pass from Tahu for a try. Magie again converted for the 59-13 win.
Next week the Stampede travel to San Francisco to play the Rush, 50-26 winners on Saturday against the San Diego Breakers. Only one point separates the Stampede from taking first place over the Ohio Aviators. A win against the Rush will set up the match against the Aviators in Ohio for the title.
The Express now trail fourth place San Francisco Rush by 6 points. They most likely need to win their two remaining home matches against San Diego and San Francisco to avoid a fifth place finish. That assumes that the Rush also lose their last two matches.
Both Denver and then the Sacramento, face a motivated San Francisco Rush team that sees the possibility of a third place finish. The Rush would require some assistance by the Express by winning next week against San Diego, while denying them a losing bonus point. They would still need to win their final two matches to do that.
The Denver vs San Francisco match will dash the hopes of one of the teams. Sacramento will be rooting for Denver and looking for a win against San Diego. A win against the Rush could then propel them into fourth place.
Denver Stampede: 1 Ben Tarr 2 Zach Fenoglio 3 Chris Baumann 4 Logan Collins 5 Luke White 6 Hanco Germishuys 7 Peter Dahl 8 Pedrei Wannenburg (C) 9 Mose Timateo 10 Will Magie 11 Timana Tahu 12 Ata Malifa 13 Chad London 14 Mike Garrity 15 Max de Achaval 16 Nick Wallace 17 Jake Turnbull 18 Soane Leger 19 Christian Wiessing 20 Zac Pauga 21 Bobby Impson 22 Kyle Hitt 23 Dustin Croy Coaches: Head Coach – Sean O’Leary, Assistant Coaches: Peter Borlase, David Williams Manager: Kieran Browner
Sacramento Express: 1 Eric Fry 2 Cam Falcon 3 Estephan Tuimasanga 4 Matt Doubek 5 Robert Meeson 6 Kyle Sumsion 7 John Quill 8 Langilangi Haupeakui 9 Chris Saint 10 Harry Bennett 11 Garrett Bender 12 Mirco Bergamasco 13 Alipate Takiveikata 14 Cody Jerabeck 15 Alex Hodgkinson 16 Kali Tavake 17 Olive Kilifi 18 Toki Kefu 19 Ryan Koewler 20 Sione LatuE 21 Ronald Dwyer 22 Jope Motokana 23 SShane Moore Coaches: Head Coach – Luke Gross Assistant Coaches: Kevin Battle, Fred Waititi
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