PHILADELPHIA, PA – Heading into Week 3 of PRO Rugby, we have the first match that we can anticipate as being really tasty: San Diego hosting Denver. We also have another home opener: Ohio. Week 3 is also the second in a row in which both matches are available to watch. In Ohio, the match is on Time Warner Cable; everyone else can watch on AOL. The San Diego v Denver match will be on One World Sport and AOL. Already, the league looks on track to surpass the 16 matches broadcasted/streamed that they announced at first.
Here are the current league standings. Denver and San Diego are both without a loss, while Ohio and San Francisco are both without a win. Sacramento has the bye this week.
Ohio had last week off, and given their Week 1 loss, it was likely not a fun extra week. In that loss to Denver, they created lots of attacking oppportunities, especially in the first half, and they had no real trouble dealing with the Denver scrum. San Francisco, on the other hand, were embarrassed by Denver at scrum time. The Ohio front row is the same as in Week 1 (though the lineup suggests Angus MacLellan and Jamie Mackintosh are swapping the 1 and 3 jerseys), so they should have a solid scrum platform. The addition of Kyle Baillie to the Ohio lineout, where they did struggle against Denver, should help considerably.
San Francisco has made a few changes from last week’s roster. Against Denver, San Francisco got off to a good start, but then had a long, cold stretch of the match in which Denver pulled away. Two key players remain unmoved from last week’s starting positions: David Tameilau at 8 and Orene Ai’i at 10. Tameilau was rendered invisible for chunks of the match against Denver. Ai’i, meanwhile, seemed most dangerous once the outcome of the match was already determined. San Francisco will need those two players attacking with confidence.
Kick-off: 3pm EST, Sunday, May 1.
Location: Memorial Park, Obetz, OH
Ohio: 1) Angus MacLellan 2) Peter Malcolm 3) Jamie Mackintosh 4) Pierce Dargan 5) Kyle Baillie 6) Filippo Ferrarini 7) Matt Hughston 8) Sabastian Kalm 9) Shaun Davies 10) JP Eloff 11) Mason Baum 12) Roland Suniula 13) Ahmad Harajly 14) Spike Davis 15) Zac Mizell 16) Demecus Beach 17) Cameron Falcon 18) Anthony Parry 19) Robbie Shaw 20) Chris Kunkel 21) Alan Hanson 22) Dominic Pezzuti 23) Zack Stryffeler
San Francisco: 1) Niko Lolohea 2) Tom Coolican 3) Patrick Latu 4) Siaosi Mahoni 5) Richard Knight 6) Siupeli Sakalia 7) Sam Finau 8) David Tameilau 9) Michael Reid 10) Orene Ai’i 11) Jack O’Hara 12) Martini Talapusi 13) Vloney Rouse 14) Pila Longi 15) Jake Anderson 16) Jacob Finau 17) Fancy Namulau’ili 18) Make Tameilau 19) Cody Jones 20) Charles Mateo 21) Naibuka Tawake 22) Junior Helu 23) Isaac Helu
The Denver pack, who outplayed their opposition last week, and the San Diego back line, who outplayed their opposition last week, both remain unchanged. It is unlikely that Denver’s scrum will have the same kind of week this week as last, simply because such performances are generally so rare. However, Denver should have an edge at lineouts and will need to frustrate the San Diego attack by stealing throws. Tim Stanfill and Mikey Te’o don’t need a pristine attacking platform to be dangerous.
Denver will need a better start than they’ve had in their first two matches. In order to get a good start, they are likely to keep things tight early and let Zach Fenoglio, Pedrie Wannenburg, and Casey Rock create some gaps. This is the first start for Timana Tahu.
The 3 San Diego v Denver matches look, at least for now, like they will decide who finishes top of the table.
Kick off: 8pm EST, Sunday, May 1.
Location: Torrero Stadium
San Diego: 1) Hubert Buydens 2) Mikey Sosene-Feagai 3) Epi Kalamani 4) David Dolinar 5) Nikola Bursic 6) Chris Turori 7) Cecil Garber 8) Sione Tuihalamaka 9) Charlie Purdon 10) Kurt Morath 11) Tim Stanfill 12) Phil Mackenzie 13) Ryan Matyas 14) Pono Haitsuka 15) Mikey Te’o 16) Tim Barford 17) Sam Taungakava 18) Kakalia Pule 19) Tai Tuisamoa 20) Arnold Meredith 21) Tom Bliss 22) Kalei Konrad 23) Ben Leatigaga
Denver: 1) Luke White 2) Zach Fenoglio 3) Ben Tarr 4) Christian Wiessing 5) Casey Rock 6) Logan Collins 7) Peter Dahl 8) Pedrie Wannenburg 9) Niku Kruger 10) Will Magie 11) Timana Tahu 12) Ata Malifa 13) Chad London 14) Martin Knoetzee 15) Max de Achaval 16) Nic Wallace 17) Jake Turnbull 18) Bobby Ipson 19) Brian Wanless 20) Chris Baumann 21) Mose Timoteo 22) Mike Garrity 23) Gannon Moore
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