July 22, 2016
Sacramento Express v San Diego Breakers Preview
Photo: PRO Rugby
The Sacramento Express host the San Diego Breakers on Saturday July 23 at 7:30 PT at Bonny Field. Tickets may be purchased by clicking on SACvSD. For those that can’t be at the event, the match is being streamed at prorugby.org.
Both the Sacramento Express and the San Diego Breakers are meeting after losses last week. The Denver Stampede beat the Sacramento Express 59-13 on the strength of nine tries, while the San Francisco Rush beat the San Diego Breakers 50-26.
The Express with a 2-8 record, trail fourth place San Francisco Rush by 6 points. They 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.
The San Diego Breakers, after a very promising start of the season, have lost their last six matches and now have a 4-7 record and 24 points. A win against Sacramento would secure third place in the League. A loss to Sacramento, would open the door for San Francisco to claim third place if they won Sunday against Denver and next week against Sacramento.
This is San Diego’s last match of the season and they would like to taste victory to carry them through the off-season.
The Sacramento Express have made four changes to their starting XV from last week. Val Lee-Lo returns at prop, Kali Tavake at Flanker, while Nemia Qoro and Jope Motokana are at the centers.
The Express will miss Langilangi Haupeakui’s presence, but will see Ray Barkwill returning as a reserve. Some positional changes have also been made. Kyle Sumsion will be at eight-man, Harry Bennett moves to fullback, as Mirco Bergamasco is a flyhalf.
The San Diego Breakers have also made four changes to their starting XV. Nikola Bursic will be at lock and Derrick Broussard at flanker. In the backs, Kurt Morath returns at flyhalf after injuring his leg two weeks ago. Phil Mackenzie also returns at wing.
Both the back changes should help the Breakers. Kurt Morath is the League’s leading scorer with 113 points and both his and Mackenzie’s leadership are an asset.
In the reserves is Pat Blair. The Eagles Sevens were selected for the Rio Olympics this week. Pat contributed to their success and now he can contribute to the Breakers in their last match.
Both the Express and the Breakers are professionals and are motivated to perform. While the Breakers end their season on Saturday, the Express still has one match remaining home next week against the San Francisco Rush. The Express have beaten the Rush both times they faced each other this season and would like to sweep the series.
That is next week. This week’s match promises to be an exciting one that should not be missed.
Sacramento Express: 1 Eric Fry 2 Cam Falcon 3 Val Lee-Lo 4 Robert Meeson 5 Matt Doubek 6 Kali Tavake 7 John Quill 8 Kyle Sumsion 9 Chris Saint 10 Mirco Bergamasco 11 Garrett Bender 12 Nemia Qoro 13 Jope Motokana 14 Cody Jerabeck 15 Harry Bennett 16 Ray Barkwill 17 Olive Kilifi 18 Estephan Tuimasanga 19 Ryan Koewler 20 Sione Latu 21 Ronald Dwyer 22 Joeli Tikosuva 23 Shane Moore Coaches: Head Coach – Luke Gross Assistant Coaches: Kevin Battle, Fred Waititi
San Diego Breakers: 1 Mason Petersen 2 Joe Taufete’e 3 Jake Ilnicki 4 Nikola Bursic 5 Tai Tuisamoa 6 Derrick Broussard 7 Cecil Garber 8 Chris Turori 9 Charlie Purdon 10 Kurt Morath 11 Taku Ngwenya 12 Andrew Suniula 13 Ryan Matyas 14 Phil Mackenzie 15 Mikey Te’o 16 Mikey Sosene-Feagai 17 Epi Kalamani 18 Kakalea Pule 19 Pat Blair 20 Bruce Thomas 21 Zach Pangelinan 22 Kalei Konrad 23 Pono Haitsuka Coaches: Head Coach – Ray Egan Assistant Coaches: Matt Hawkins, Rob Hoadley Manager: Sean Lindersmith
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