July 29, 2016
Sacramento Express v San Francisco Rush Preview
Photo: PRO Rugby
The Sacramento Express host the San Francisco Rushon Saturday July 30th at 7:30pm PT at Bonney Field. It is the last match of the season for both teams. The match will be broadcast on One World Sports and streamed on prorugby.org.
The teams have played each other twice, with the Express winning both times. The first time was in week one 37-25 and then in week 12 in San Francisco 43-12.
Both teams enter this last match of the season with fourth place on the line. They both have 3-8 records, but the Rush have 19 points to 16 for the Express.
Last week both teams played with the Express winning 35-27 over the San Diego Breakers, while the Rush lost a close match 31-24 to the League leading Denver Stampede.
While the Express have won both matches against the Rush, winning is not a foregone conclusion. The Rush have been playing some excellent rugby lately and are very creative in their offensive attacks.
The forwards will test each other early and try to gain an advantage. Both teams will need to minimize mistakes as they both have excellent kickers. Volney Rouse is in second place for the League’s scoring title with 119 points. He trails Kurt Morath by one point, but the San Diego Breakers season ended last weekend. Mirco Bergamasco is in fourth place with 100 points and will also make a team pay for their infractions.
The Sacramento Express offense was in full force last Saturday and they will have a stronger starting XV this week, as Ray Barkwill returns at Hooker and Langilangi Haupeakui is at eight-man. Kyle Sumsion moves from eight-man to Flanker.
Langilangi will practice with the Harlequins Rugby Union next week in San Francisco and it is hoped that he will make enough of an impression to be signed by them.
The San Francisco Rush lost a narrow match to the League leading Denver Stampede last Sunday. They made two changes to their starting XV as Isaac Helu enters at Flanker moving Brendan Daly to Lock. Mils Muliaina returns from an injury at fullback.
Sacramento Express: 1 Eric Fry 2 Ray Barkwill 3 Val Lee-Lo 4 Robert Meeson 5 Matt Doubek 6 Kyle Sumsion 7 John Quill 8 Langilangi Haupeakui 9 Chris Saint 10 Mirco Bergamasco 11 Garrett Bender 12 Nemia Qoro 13 Jope Motokana 14 Cody Jerabeck 15 Harry Bennett 16 Cam Falcon 17 Olive Kilifi 18 Estephan Tuimasanga 19 Ryan Koewler 20 Kali Tavake 21 Ronald Dwyer 22 Shane Moore 23 Alex Hodgkinson Coaches: Head Coach – Luke Gross Assistant Coaches: Kevin Battle, Fred Waititi
San Francisco Rush: 1. Codi Jones 2 Jay Finau 3 Patrick Latu 4 Brendan Daly 5 Jeremy Laenaerts 6 Sam Finau 7 Isaac Helu 8 Bill Fukofuka 9 Deveraux Ferris 10 Volney Rouse 11 Pila Longi 12 Orene Ai’i 13 Nick Blevins 14 Michael Haley 15 Mils Muliaina 16 Mone Laulaupeaalu 17 Fancy Namulau’ulu 18 Niko Lolohea 19 Jake Anderson 20 Siupeli Sakalia 21 Jack O’Hara 22 Martini Talapusi 23 Michael Reid Coaches: Head Coach – Paul Keeler Assistant Coaches: Adriaan Ferris, Simon Fathers
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