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Saturday, January 23, 2016

Seattle Comes From Behind To Beat Glendale

It was anticipated that the match between the Glendale Raptors and the Seattle Saracens would be a battle of two of the best teams in the country slugging it out in a high-quality affair. The match ended up being just that as each team had their moments but in the end Seattle used their scrum to come from a 14-0 deficit to beat Glendale 20-14. Both teams, now having tested themselves against another top side, will head into their respective domestic seasons.

The Raptors came out early looking to surprise Seattle on their home pitch. Glendale were aggressive early on and it quickly led to several opportunities. The first of which was a long penalty attempt from Armandt Peens just inside the halfway line but straight on. Unfortunately for Peens, who was strong throughout the match, the kick missed. Seattle would have an attempt of their own not much later but Peter Tiberio's kick was off.

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Seattle eventually found their energy and were able to push back against the Raptors. Throughout the match, but particularly early on, the pace was high and the hits were hard. Both sides knew the intensity needed to win and the level of play was high.

The deadlock was finally broken thanks to some brilliant passing from the Raptors. A neat dummy from Peens allowed him to slip a pass to Chad London who beat a couple defended and found Brian Wanless for the opening try. Peens made the conversion to put Glendale up 7-0. The Raptors then found themselves up 14-0 as a break from Peens opened up space for Justin Pauga in the corner for the try. Once again the conversion was successful and Glendale led 14-0.

After the two tries by Glendale the Saracens finally began to regroup and see success. Finally capitalizing on possession the team quickly spun the ball out to Ben Roach who made a break on the wing. He then found the supporting Nick Evans who streaked in for the score. Pete Tiberio's drop-goal conversion was unsuccessful but Seattle were back in it at 14-5.

Using the momentum from the try Seattle kept pushing. A handling error on the Raptors near the halfway line allowed Seattle to push deep into Glendale territory. The Raptors were able to temporarily recover but a crossing penalty gave Seattle the opportunity for a line out. They used that to full effect as the forwards pushed their way across the line for Val Lee-Lo to score. Once again the conversion was off and Glendale led 14-10 at the half.

Like the first half, the momentum continued to swing between the two sides in the second half. The major difference in the half and in the match was the powerful scrum of Seattle. It began early in the half with Seattle bowling over the Raptors. Several minute later they used two consecutive scrums at the 10 meter line to gain good position and swing the ball out to Mike Nelson for the try. Like the previous two attempts the conversion was no good.

Seattle kept momentum after the try for a stretch but the Raptors were able to make a few breaks. With the next try likely to decide the match it was the Saracens that would take advantage. With the Raptors having the put in at the scrum on their own 5 meter line the ball popped out and substitute scrumhalf Jope Motokana was the first to pounce for the try and the 20-14 lead.

The Raptors pressed hard at the end of the match and nearly broke through a couple of times but the Saracens were able to hold off for the win. In the end it was a great advertisement for rugby with several players on each team standing out. Kellen Gordon, Matt Trouville, Ollie Kilifi, and Lee-Lo had strong matches for the Saracens while Hanco Germishuys, Chad London, and Peens were strong for the Raptors.

After the match Saracens head coach Justin Fitzpatrick was enthusiastic about the match. "It's great. The objective between the two clubs is to have a club day featuring champions against champions was great. We hope this is a concept that will grow and we can do it again. The top team and top players need to play against each other."

Both sides are preparing for their upcoming seasons and this match was something that helped each prepare. "Glendale give us a look we haven't seen before and it was a good test," said Fitzpatrick. "It served both side very well. Glendale run a very strong program and I'm sure this well help them for the PRP. It will also help us for the Prems next weekend."

Right before the match the two teams played a second side match that ended in a 13-13 draw. With the Raptors women beating the Saracens women early in the day the series was split at 1-1-1 between the two sides.

Seattle Saracens

Forwards: Ollie Kilifi, Mike Shepard, Val Lee-Lo, Eric Soto, Ben Landry, Kellen Gordon, Cecil Garber, Matt Trouville

Backs: Peter Tiberio, Russell Armstrong, Ben roach, Mike Garrity, William Rasileka, Mike Nelson, Nick Evans

Bench: Dan Trierweiler, Pat Farrell, TC Elliott, Taylor Krumrei, Maile Taufa, Sequoyah Combs, Jope Motokana, Nick Hawkins, Shane Moore, Andrew Nelson

Glendale Raptors

Forwards: Luke White, James Del Bozque, Joash Peko, Christian Wiessing, David Hardy, Brian Wanless, Hanco Germishuys, Lynton Mare

Backs: Most Timoteo, Armandt Peens, Dewon Reed, Justin Pauga, Chand London, Martin Knoetze, Dustin Croy

Bench: Joe Hasch, Marshall Godfrey, Chris Hathaway, Casey Rock, Zac Pauga, Crawford Miller, Sean Mills, Max Statler

1 comment:

  1. Video? Stream? would have liked to watch that one