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Week two in the DII NorCal saw the Sacramento Capitals improving to 2-0 with a 27-8 win over Vacaville (1-1), the Sacramento Blackhawks (1-1) blasting the Chico Mighty Oaks (0-2), 56-17, and BA Baracus (1-1) scoring four early tries to double up the Diablo Gaels (0-2), 43-20. Life West and Berkeley postponed their match and will make it up next weekend.
The Sacramento Capitals once again came out strong and limited the visiting Vacaville to less than 10 points, 27-8. The Caps dotted down two tries in the first half by wing Tavita Matapula and outside center David Sallee, Jr., with scrumhalf Tyler Harrison connecting on both of his conversions. Vacaville flyhalf Matt Hensley contributed to the tally with a penalty kick to make the score 14-3 at halftime.
The turning point of the game came right at the end of the first half. “They were on the goal line towards the half. We held them off,” said Caps head coach Mason Gunn. “You change that game to 14-10 rather then 14-3 at halftime, it’s a different story. I think the most significant play was that goal line stand towards the end of the first half. Then, we came in the second half scored right away which eased up the pressure.”
Sallee opened up the second half with a try for Sacramento to increase the lead to 21-3. The Old Dogs attempted to make a comeback after a Hensley try, but the Caps tacked on two penalty kicks by Harrison to close the game, 27-8.
“The game didn’t go well,” Vacaville head coach Chris Motes stated. “The inability to put together phases from set pieces. I don’t think the turnover ratio wasn’t too much in their favor, but we could take advantage of any set piece possession... [The Capitals] played well. They played a good structure to string together multiple phases. Overall, our defense was pretty good. It was really just a case of unforced errors on our part leading to their possession.”
The Sacramento Blackhawks got back on track with a win at the Chico Mighty Oaks, 56-17, after a disappointing loss last week to Vacaville. “We got a lot of our boys back that were absent from the week before,” said Blackhawks head coach Ben Parker. “Sometimes a week is a long time in rugby. It was good to get our guys back on the field playing Blackhawks rugby. We got the outcome.”
Sacramento scored a total of 10 tries by six players with flanker Tokemoana Kefu, fullback Robert Carter, inside center William Vi, and outside center Jake Wrobel each scoring two tries and eightman Estephan Tuamasaga and prop Evan Walker scoring once. Scrumhalf Mosese Langi was three-for-10 on conversions.
For Chico, flyhalf Jacob Velikonia had 12 points in the match with a try, a penalty kick and two conversions. Velikonia’s try was scored in the first half and eightman Casey Helmick dotted down a try for his club in the second.
Parker discussed the focus of his club this year with Rugby Today. “This year, we look at it as a year of maturity to sweeten the things we did last year and build on it with the view og going through onto DI next year. It’s less about the actual results this year than the processes and having players mature so they can manufacture tries. Build on what we do as a club rather than who got the tries in 2014.”
The goal of BA Baracas’s game at the Diablo Gaels was to show improvement and grit over last week’s loss to Life West. “As a team, we really came together and we decided to be better at committing and being more decisive,” Baracus head coach John Kuhns said. “For us, our strengths in the game were most definitely the organization in our backline, as well as our forwards and our set pieces. Last week against Life, we weren’t able to execute on one of our set pieces, which was troublesome. But for the backs on Saturday, they were able to execute and always have the defense on their heels.”
Baracus accomplished their goals with a solid win over the Gaels, 43-20. They scored six tries by five players and flyhalf Stuart Campbell continued his stellar kicking with five conversions and one penalty kick. Outside center Justin McManus, eightman/coach John Kuhns, Campbell, and hooker Aaron Aida each scored in the first half and wing Garrett Wymore dotted down two tries in the second half.
Coach Kuhns noted that the try that opened up the second was the most significant play of the game. “In the second half, our inside center Ryan Lutz broke threw a couple of tackles and offloaded to our fullback Kevin Hurley, who made a very great play with his hands to our outside center Justin [McManus]. They put together a fantastic sequence in the early second half. Justin offloaded to our wing Garrett Wymore who burned up the sideline. Justin moved back around and took another offload from Garrett and passed back to Garret to finish the try. It was champagne rugby and one of the best sequences we have put together all year.”
Outside Center Sam Patolo scored under the posts in the first for Diablo and eightman Terrance Frank broke through for the try in the second. Flyhalf Mo Ishak contributed with two conversions and a penalty kick in the losing effort.