July 24, 2016
Denver Stampede Win vs San Francisco Rush Gains First
Photo: PRO Rugby
The Denver Stampede traveled to San Francisco to play the San Francisco Rush and came away with a 31-24 win, vaulting them into first place in the League. This sets up a match next Sunday in Ohio against the Aviators for the League title.
With the loss, the San Diego Breakers finish third in the League, while the Rush will travel to Sacramento next Saturday to see who finishes fourth.
San Francisco Rush v Denver Stampede Recap
It only took a minute for the San Francisco Rush to go the length of the pitch a try by Pila Longi after offloads from Anderson to Blevins to Longi. Volney Rouse converted for a 7-0 lead.
Denver won a Rush scrum and moved the ball to their centers where Orene Ai’i anticipated the pass and intercepted the ball. He raced to within 15 meters of the line before an offload was knocked on by Ferris. Denver breathed a sigh of relief and was able to win the scrum and clear.
Denver came back as Timana Tahu drew in a defender and offloaded to Pete Dahl and back to Tahu for a try in the corner. Magie’s conversion from touch into the wind was just short. After 11 minutes, it was 7-5 to the Rush.
A penalty to Denver for being off their feet at a breakdown resulted in Rouse kicking for touch. San Francisco attacked from a lineout and swung the ball wide and Jake Anderson, who offloaded to Pila Longi for his second try. Rouse’s conversion was wide, but the Rush increased their lead to 12-5.
The Stampede then attacked inside Rush territory after offloads by Tahu to Wannenburg to Germishuys. A penalty at the breakdown had Magie kick for territory. Denver then executed a lineout that quickly turned into a maul for a Pedrie Wannenburg try. Magie converted and the score was 12 all.
Right away, Denver returned to a scoring position when they won a scrum and drove earning a penalty. Magie kicked to touch and the Stampede executed a lineout play inside the Rush 22 meters. However, an errant pass turned the ball over to the Rush and an opportunity was lost.
San Francisco had the next threat at 30 minutes, as Volney Rouse side stepped inside the 22 and offloaded to Ai’i to Brendan Daly who was held up just shy of the line. Orene Ai’i then gave a no look pass to Bill Fukofuka for a try in the corner. Rosue missed the conversion, but the Rush regained the lead 17-12.
Five minutes later Denver lost a sure try when Tahu found a gap and offloaded to Magie who drew in a defender and passed to Ben Tarr. Just a split second of thinking run prior to controlling the pass, lost a sure try for the Stampede.
The Rush then won the ensuing scrum and Ai’i broke deep before kicking ahead for a foot race between Pila Longi and Denver’s Mike Garrity. A hand by Garrity just beat Longi to survive the attack.
The half ended with Denver not being able to score from two set pieces within 10-15 meters of the line before turning the ball over to the Rush. The ball then went to San Francisco for a 5 meter scrum that had them on their back foot from a Stampede drive. Rouse ended the pressure with a kick into touch and a 17-12 halftime lead over Denver.
Just like the first half, San Francisco attacked deep into Stampede territory on the restart with the ball going through multiple phases before Orene Ai’i attempted a drop goal that was missed.
The Rush came back soon after a Denver turnover and a Rouse dummy resulted in a try that he then converted to increase the lead to 24-12. The Rush were playing with a flair and their confidence was evident.
Denver would then have the next opportunity aftter the Rush was penalized for collapsing the scrum by Latu. Ben Tarr was injured on the play and exited the match. Casey Rock came in at lock and Luke White shifted to prop.
Will Magie then kicked to touch and the Stampede executed a lineout and swung the ball wide for a try by Martin Knoetze in the corner. Magie’s kick was missed, but the Stampede narrowed the lead to 24-17, but the momentum was shifting.
Soon after, Denver had an opportunity to add points as the Rush were penalized inside their 22. The Stampede elected to kick to touch and had a lineout 15 meters out. They went to within 5 on the ensuing maul, but the ball was turned over to the Rush.
Denver would then have three additional attacks, each time going deep into the Rush territory, but were not able to finish. The fourth time, however was a charm as Chris Baumann set up Mose Timateo for a try. Magie’s conversion then tied the match at 24 all with 15 minutes remaining.
The restart pinned Denver inside their 22 meters, as Chad London was driven into touch by Nick Blevins. A penalty after the Rush lineout had Patrick Latu taking a quick tap, but he was held up in-goal. San Francisco then had a 5 meter scrum, but turned the ball over on a knock on soon after.
The ball went over to Denver for a scrum and Denver chose to run the ball instead of clearing and a Malifa to Garrity pass was not controlled. This allowed the Rush to continue to camp inside the Denver 22 for the last few minutes.
Finally, a penalty for hands in the scrum allowed Denver to clear for a lineout. The Stampede were able to reach their own 40 and gained a scrum in the center of the pitch. The ball went right to Malifa to the 40. Then Tahu broke and offloaded wide to Chad London, who centered a try under the posts and an easy Magie conversion for a 31-24 lead.
Denver came right back on the restart and Chad London reached to within 5 meters of the line. The ball went left after the breakdown and a Magie grubber was knocked on off Knoetze just prior to scoring.
The Denver defense then held on to gain a 31-24 bonus point win and more importantly, regained first place in the League.
The Denver Stampede record improved to 10-1 and they will travel to Ohio next week holding a 46 points to 42 lead over the Aviators. A win by Denver or a bonus point win by the Aviators, will claim the title. The match is Sunday July 31 at 3pm ET, so it is an event that already should be on your calendar.
With the loss, San Francisco will travel to Sacramento to play the Express on Saturday July 3o at 7:30pm PT. Both teams have 3-8 records with the Rush holding a one point advantage. This match will decide who finishes the season fourth and who gets the Wooden Spoon.
This week’s match also had some League scoring implications. Volney Rouse had 9 points in the match for the Rush and trails Kurt Morath (120 points) by 1 point for the Leading Scorer title. Will Magie with his six points has 108 points and is in third place.
It is hoped that Ben Tarr’s shoulder will be ready to go next week, as the Denver pack is a major strength. Today, Denver was unable to capitalize on several attacks. While that is part of the ebb and flow of a match, the Stampede attack will need to work on all cylinders when they visit the Fortress.
San Francisco has played some excellent attacking rugby over the last few weeks and that will need to continue next week in Sacramento. The Express have won against the Rush in both games that they have played, but the Rush have been playing some of its best rugby lately.
San Francisco Rush: 1. Codi Jones 2 Jay Finau 3 Patrick Latu (captain) 4 Nick Grass 5 Jeremy Laenaerts 6 Brendan Daly 7 Sam Finau 8 Bill Fukofuka 9 Deveraux Ferris 10 Volney Rouse 11 Pila Longi 12 Orene Ai’i 13 Jack Blevins 14 Michael Haley 15 Jake Anderson 16 Mone Laulaupeaalu 17 Neill Barrett 18 Fancy Namulau’ulu 19 Isaac Helu 20 Siupeli Sakalia 21 TBA 22 Junior Helu 23 Michael Reid Coaches: Head Coach – Paul Keeler Assistant Coaches: Adriaan Ferris, Simon Fathers
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 Martin Knoetze 12 Timana Tahu 13 Chad London 14 Mike Garrity 15 Ata Malifa 16 TBA 17 Jake Turnbull 18 Brodie Orth 19 Christian Wiessing 20 Casey Rock 21 Bobby Impson 22 Kyle Hitt 23 John Godinet Coaches: Head Coach – Sean O’Leary, Assistant Coaches: Peter Borlase, David Williams Manager: Kieran Browner
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