Savage break the LA Mongrel winning streak
Every weekend of the California Rugby League Championship is a rivalry game. If it’s the Battle of SoCal, the Battle of the Bay or The Battle of Sacramento. Yet, none are as heartfelt as the rematch of the historic first game.
Foundation teams from Los Angeles and San Francisco came head to head in Bakersfield California. Creating more history with the first Rugby League match in the Central Valley.
The local fans were out in force to witness a game of Rugby League. This further encourages the leagues plan to add a team in the Central Valley.
Both teams came into the contest undefeated with the Los Angeles side getting wins over Sacramento and San Diego and then the San Francisco side had one win against North Bay and no losses.
In 106 degree heat the game kicked off at 5pm. An early error from the Los Angeles side from the kick off led to a great try by Viliami Soaki who pounced on a Ben Tuipulotu grubber.
Savage had most of the field position in the first half. But the Mongrel as always were strong in defense. Jayson Jackson, Emeri Susu and Emiliano Nash never backed down once in defense.
It was a back and forth contest with the scores at the half being – 16-6 to the savage. 4 Tries to 1 with Ben Tuipolotu not having much luck with the boot.
At the return of the second half it was the Los Angeles side who were to add a quick try with a powerful run from Joe Waqavolavola.
Joe has improved immensely for the Mongrel this season really learning to use his size to cause damage.
With the scores at 16-12 early into the second half we had a ball game on our hands.
Again, both teams putting in great effort in defense and attack with end to end football keeping the fans engaged for the whole 80 minutes.
Special mention to Viliami Saulala for powerful carries in attack for the Savage and to Savage captain Kauulufonuafekai Vete for driving the ball forward.
For the Los Angeles side, Seth Cooney was sensational with the boot. Working in a punter style capacity to ice most of his kicks along with some tactical short kick offs.
The final score was 42-18 to the San Francisco side. The score line doesn’t reflect how tight the contest was out there.
The quality of football continues to improve for both sides. Full Match Replay will be available on California Rugby Leagues YouTube page at 7:00pm August 30th.