Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Ohio Roll To Another Home Win

Photo: Jack Hurley
Another home match for Ohio and another win as they beat the San Diego Breakers 44-21 at Memorial Park in Obetz last Sunday. Once again the Aviators were able to get their offense going as they piled in a bunch of points. They weren't able to reach the 50 point barrier to keep their streak alive but it was still another convincing win for the hottest team in PRO Rugby. San Diego did several things well in the match even though they have now lost four matches in a row. The loss essentially eliminates them from winning the title although they will have a large say in who finishes at the top of the table.

The first chance for points came just four minutes into the match but unfortunately for Kurt Morath he wasn't able to add to his league total as he missed on his long penalty attempt. Instead, it was Shaun Davies that would score first as a big win in the air from Sebastian Kalm led to a penalty on the Breakers.  Despite those early points San Diego did enjoy a nice early stretch to their match as they pushed hard for the score. Unfortunately for them all they got from that pressure was another missed Morath penalty. On his third crack at it Morath would connect to tie the score at 3-3 with 12 minutes played.

Take the jump to read more.

San Diego did catch a break just after Morath's penalty as Ohio lock Ryan McTiernan was sent to the bin for a tip tackle. However, they weren't able to take advantage. Instead it was Ohio that would go to work. From an attacking line out at their five meter mark Ohio used their terrific maul to see Dylan Fawsitt go over for the try. The Aviator maul has been nearly unstoppable all year and it delivered once again.

The Breakers did have an opportunity after the try when a Phil Mackenzie intercept put them on the front foot. That led to Morath's second penalty of the match. However, the earlier Fawsitt try seemed to energize the Aviators.  A Davies penalty extended the lead and from the restart Ohio went right back at it. Despite the rain they were able to connect on several passes, including some from Demecus Beach and Dom Waldouck, to see Fawsitt score his second of the match. With the conversion Ohio were in charge at 20-6. Each team would search for chances in the remaining ten minutes of the half but it would go into the break without another score.

San Diego didn't help themselves five minutes into the second half when Ian Carpenter was sent to the bin for illegally taking the ball from a promising Ohio ruck. Now with a man advantage Ohio used their scrum to push San Diego off the ball. that allowed Riekert Hattingh to scoop up the ball and go in for the try.

Morath would respond with a penalty for San Diego just a couple of minutes later but the match firmly turned into a blowout with a big stretch for the Aviators with 20 minutes left to play. Spike Davis scored the first of his two tries as the Aviators did very well to run through phases quickly to put the Breakers on the back foot. All Davis had to do was collect the ball in the corner for the score.
The second came in spectacular fashion as he did well to read an Andrew Suniula pass to go in for the intercept try.

The last Ohio try came as the Ohio offense got out on attack again leading to a five meter line out. It was the threat of the maul that set the San Diego defense and allowed Sebastian Kalm to peel off for the try. The conversion was missed but Ohio held a commanding 44-9 lead with just a little over ten minutes left.

Credit to San Diego. Even though the match was lost they did well to score two tries in the final ten minutes. Another Ohio yellow card opened up the space for Mikey Te'o to make a break and then pass to Tom Bliss for the try. Kalei Konrad would hit the conversion to make it 44-16.  The second came off a great run from Ryan Matyas that put the Breakers just meters from the line. A penalty on Ohio gave San Diego an opportunity and after a couple of phases Epi Kalemani crashed over for the try.

With the bonus point win Ohio hold a six point lead over idle Denver. However, Ohio have only two matches left on the season while the Stampede have four. Ohio will need help from the likes of San Diego, who play Denver next week, and others if they want to set up a final showdown on the last week of the regular season.


Tries: Fawsitt (2), Hattingh, Davis (2), Kalm
Conversion: Davies (2), Shaw (2)
Penalties: Davies (2)

San Diego

Tries: Bliss, Kalemani
Conversions: Konrad
Penalties: Morath (3)

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