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Saturday, July 23, 2016

Preview: Sacramento Hosts San Diego


An improving Sacramento team will face a struggling San Diego team tonight at Bonney Field in what will be the final match of the season for San Diego. Both Sacramento and San Diego couldn't have had more opposite seasons. Despite winning their first match Sacramento struggled losing five straight games before a big June break. That break rejuvenated the team and while they didn't go on a winning streak they did look extremely approved and did pick up some wins along the way. 

On the flip side, San Diego enjoyed a very strong start to the season and at one point had a chance to upset Denver and claim first place in the standings. However, the June Internationals and injuries took a major toll on the team as they have proceeded to those their last six.  It's a surprise turn for a team that had one of the most stacked rosters in the league. Defense has been a major problems in recent weeks having given up big point totals. Now with only one match left in their season they will want to go out with a victory. 

Take the jump to read more.No matter what the outcome tonight neither team has a shot at winning the title. However, that doesn't mean there isn't something to play for. San Diego currently sit third in the table and if they want to avoid being potentially caught by San Francisco they are going to need to pick up some points. Sacramento are currently holding the wooden spoon and if they want to avoid that designation they will at least need to pick up a couple of points in order to catch San Francisco next week. 

As mentioned, the teams are heading in opposite directions in many ways. Sacramento has tightened up their defense despite a big loss to Denver last week (they were in it in the first half) while San Diego has become a leaky ship. Additionally, the Sacramento offense has come alive. That could be tested this weekend though as they have made a number of changes, including putting Mirco Bergamasco at fly-half with Harry Bennett at fullback. If they can get the ball out to their backs and use the power in the back-row then they should still be able to put up points. 

San Diego can score as well and that hasn't really trailed off. Having Kurt Morath back in the starting line-up is only going to help. Kalei Konrad is a good kicker but Morath provides a bit of extra confidence to pick up points from anywhere past half field. If San Diego can put up points early it might change the game but if Sacramento can go on a try scoring spree similar to what they've done in the last several weeks this is their match to lose. 

The match is set for 10:30 p.m. et/7:30 p.m. pt and will be streamed on prorguby.org.

San Diego

Forwards:
Mason Pedersen, Joe Taufete'e, Jake Ilnicki, Nikola Bursic, Tai Tuisamoa, Derek Broussard, Cecil Garber, Chris Turori

Backs: Charlie Purdon, Kurt Morath, Taku Ngwenya, Andrew Suniula, Ryan Matyas, Phil Mackenzie, Mike Te'o

Bench: Mikey Sosene-Feagai, Epi Kalemani, Kakalea Pule, Pat Blair, Bruce Thomas, Zach Pangelinan, Kalei Konrad, Pono Haitsuka

Sacramento

Forwards: Eric Fry, Cam Falcon, Val Lee-Lo, Robert Meeson, Matt Doubek, Kali Tavake, John Quill, Kyle Sumsion

Backs: Chris Saint, Mirco Bergamasco, Garrett Brewer, Nemai Qoro, Jope Motokana, Cody Jerabek, Harry Bennett

Bench: Ray Barkwill, Ollie Kilifi, Estephan Tuimasaga, Ryan Koewler, Sione Latu, Donald Dwyer, Jojo Tikoisuva, Shane Moore

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