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Saturday, July 16, 2016

Preview: Pressure On Denver Against Sacramento

Photo: David Barpal
The pressure is on the Denver once again to deliver a victory in order to assure a final showdown with Ohio to finish the season. Denver still have to matches left in order to get the job done beginning with Sacrament at CIBER Field on Sunday. It will be the last home match of the season for Denver with a trip to San Francisco coming up the following week. As things stand Denver have 36 points to 42 for Ohio. That means that if Denver pick up a win or at least two bonus points over their next two matches they will have a chance to surpass Ohio on the final day. That said, if Denver pick up bonus point wins in both of their remaining matches before the match against Ohio they will have a four point advantage, putting the pressure on the Aviators to beat them.

The Stampede are arguably coming off their best performance of the season. Against San Diego last week they scored over 50 points and had a good defensive day as well. Even though they only have one loss on the season to three for Ohio it's been bonus points that have helped Ohio. They have ten bonus points to only four for Denver. Having the offense click for the Stampede is going to help them pick up much needed points the next few weeks.

Take the jump to read more.
Denver return essentially the same team that beat San Diego last week. Their forward pack is as good as they come with arguably the best front-row and the best back-row in the competition. Hanco Germishuys has a beast last week while Peter Dahl and Pedrie Wannenburg are as good as they come. Additionally, the back line stays the same and will once again pack a punch. Will Magie has been in fine form and has done a great job of finding Timana Tahu, Mike Garrity, Chad Lond, and Ata Malifa in space to make things happen.

While Denver are certainly favored in the match it would be a mistake to count out Sacramento. The Express have been rejuvenated since their month long break in June. While they haven't won every match they've been competitive and have picked up another win along the way. Having Harry Bennett Back from injury has certainly helped and their offense has finally been able to find itself once again. Cody Jerabek and Alex Hodgkinson have been revelations in the back line and with Chris Saint and Garrett Brewer returning from injury the Express will have options.

The front-row for the Express also got a boost this week as Eric Fry will start once again for the club. Having his experience is going to be big against Chris Baumann. Personally for Fry it's an opportunity to show that he should be starting in an Eagles shirt, something that didn't happen in the June internationals. Also in the forwards the back-row of Kyle Sumsion, John Quill, and Langilangi Haupeakui is going to challenge Denver.

Overall this should be a tight match. Denver will likely win in the end but don't expect it to be a blowout. Both teams have excellent kickers and will pick up points wherever they can but you can also expect a bunch of tries.

The match starts at 5:00 p.m. et/3:00 p.m. mt/2:00 p.m. pt and can be see on prorugby.org.

Denver

Forwards: Ben Tarr, Zach Fenoglio, Chris Baumann, Logan Collins, Luke White, Hanco Germishuys, Peter Dahl, Pedrie Wannenberg

Backs: Mose Timoteo, Will Magie, Timana Tahu, Ata Malifa, Chad London, Mike Garrity, Max De Achaval

Bench: Nick Wallace, Jake Turnbull, Soane Leger, Christian Wiessing, Zac Pagua, Bobby Impson, Kyle Hitt, Dustin Croy

Sacramento

Forwards: Eric Fry, Cam Falcon, Estephan Tuimasanga, Matt Doubek, Robert Meeson, Kyle Sumsion, John Quill, Langilangi Haupeakui

Backs: Chris Saint, Harry Bennett, Garrett Brewer, Alipate Taivaikata, Mirco Bergamasco, Cody Jerabek, Alex Hodgkinson

Bench: Kali Tavake, Ollie Kilifi, Toke Kefu, Ryan Koewler, Sione Latu, Donald Dwyer, Jope Motokana, Shane Moore

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