Monday, May 9, 2016

Strong Second Half Sees Ohio Past Sacramento

Photo: Judi Price

Taking advantage of a number of errors from Sacramento, Ohio beat the home side 31-11 to improve to 2-1 on the season and set up a big showdown with San Diego next week. It was a convincing win for Ohio, following their win over San Francisco last weekend, and they now have to be considered one of the favorites in the competition.

Only thirty seconds into the match Ohio had an opportunity for points when Sacramento were penalized. However, the kick from Shaun Davies was no good. Just two minutes later Sacramento had their first opportunity when it was Ohio's turn to commit a penalty. This kick was from a better range than Davies's kick and Mirco Bergamasco made no mistake to put Sacramento up 3-0.

Sacramento kept up their possession and made smart plays that pushed them down the pitch. Being on the front foot they were soon rewarded again when Ohio was pinged for offside. Bergamasco once again stepped up and connected to make it 6-0.

Take the jump to read more.

Ohio responded right away. After the ball was soccer kicked down the pitch a knock-on allowed Ohio to have the put in at the scrum. From the scrum they went through a couple of phases before Mason Baum ran through a couple of tackles for the try. Davies would convert and Ohio held a 7-6 lead.

With each team needing a win both were aggressive when they had their chances. That aggressiveness was not only on the offensive end but was even more evident on the defensive end with some big tackles. Both teams were also a little chippy at times making for a grew atmosphere.

For the next 20 minutes each teams battled each other with the possession mostly staying in the middle portion of the pitch. Davies had a penalty attempt on the 30th minute mark but his attempt missed again. The match did change in favor of Ohio a few minutes later when Langilangi Haupeakui was sent to the bin for a late tackle on Peter Malcolm. Ohio soon made Sacramento pay. Off a scrum Sebastian Kalm picked up the ball, fed Davies who took a few steps before finding Spike Davis for the score. Davies was off with another kick but Ohio led 12-6.

The teams evened up at 14 men with four minutes left in the half. With Sacramento pushing, thanks to a run from Bergamasco and a solid maul from a line out, Jamie Mackintosh was judged to have halted a chance and earning a spot in the bin. Sacramento capitalized when the ball spilled out of the back of the scrum and Chris Saint collected and dived over for the try. Bergamasco was off on the conversion and at the half Ohio led 12-11.

Sacramento started the second half brightly and arguably should have had a try about five minutes in but it was knocked on. At the same time Ohio also had their chance but couldn't convert. Sacramento were shown their second yellow card roughly ten minutes in which John Quill through a bit of a shoulder into Davies. Down a man Sacramento couldn't withstand a big push from the Ohio forwards on several phases leading to Filippo Ferrarini scoring. 19-11 to Ohio.

The visitors nearly added another but Ahmad Harajly dropped the ball as he tried to stretch it out for the try. It took awhile but soon Ohio added yet another try. From a penalty on Sacramento at the scrum Kalm took the quick tap and went over for the score. With roughly ten minutes to play Ohio had a 24-11 lead.

The difference throughout the match, but especially late, was that Sacramento killed themselves with small errors. Either a knock-on, a poor line out, or a missed tackle it cut off good opportunities for themselves and gave possession to Ohio. Instead, it was Ohio that would score with Baum adding his second late. However, it wasn't all positive at the end for Sacramento as Davies went down with a head injury.

Overall, it was a great win for Ohio who now look to be one of the favorites in the competition. Just like this match was a sifting match, Ohio's trip to San Diego next week will have the same feeling. For Sacramento it was a disappointing finish to the match. Had they been able to cut down on their errors it could have been a different story. They will regroup to face Denver next week.


Tries: Baum (2), Davis, Ferrarini, KalmWi
Conversions: Davies, Eloff (2)


Tries: Saint
Penalties: Bergamasco (2)


  1. The medical care looked absolutely Byzantine. Quill had a bad looking ankle injury yet he was seen lying on the ground on the sideline other little or no care. And Davies was carried off on a flimsy looking back board. A wheeled guerny isn't to much to expect is it? Or a motorized cart.

    I know this may not be the direct responsibility of Pro Rugby but a better standard of care should be expected.

  2. I have noticed that articles on the matches have stopped including attendance figures. Is that because attendance has dropped after the first week or are the numbers not being provided by the league?

  3. The numbers have certainly dropped off, but they still seem to pulling decent crowds. But yes, ProRugby should be providing that information.

  4. Man, those are some BIG wingers for Ohio.