You are here

SFGG v Life is certainly a battle of contrasts. Life University is generally considered to be a very conservative team, which wins games on tough interior defense, kicking for territory, and power at set piece.

Golden Gate, for their part, destroy turnover ball, run in open play better than anyone, and can turn backward ball into forward ball.

Open play and closed play. It’s a clear distinction, and also not completely reliable. With a front row of Paula Fukafuka, Chris Biller and Saimone Laulaupeaalu, SFGG can hang just fine in the scrum, thanks. And don’t forget, when we say set pieces, we also mean lineouts, and this season SFGG’s lineout has been lights out. Danny LaPrevotte and Samua Manoa have been excellent in the air, and Biller has not missed.

Meanwhile for Life, last we checked Benny Mateialona and Tui Osborne, not to mention Clint Whittler, can play a wild, open game when asked.

We do know that this game, for both teams, will come down to defense, discipline, and goalkicking. Effective goalkicking could well decide what promises to be a close match.

We look at the relative units of the teams, and the other aspects, too.




Blake Bradford

Front Row

Fukofuka, Paula

Phil Thiel

Very good front rows both. Life a little better in scrum. Edge LIFE

Biller, Chris

Seth Straus

Lauaupaleau, Saimone

Kris Headlee

Second Row
Actually one of the unheralded strengths of the Life team. Edge LIFE

Thomas, John

Chris Truss

Adam Zelazny

Pat Danahy

Back Row
No back row has played as well as SFGG’s this year. Their lineout work, defense, and support running are first-rate. Edge SFGG

Thomas, Bruce

Nick DiMichele

La Prevotte, Daniel

Mark Aylor

Manoa, Samuela

Brendan Thomson

Halfback Hinge
Two very good units. Burt has an awesome punting boot and Thomson is very smart and works his forwards well. Timoteo and Rouse? Very similar. Edge: SFGG

Timoteo, Mose

Pete Burt

Rouse, Volney

Steve Petzel

Wow, what a great group of four players. Petzel is clutch, Van Meter is unsung but excellent. Okusi and Whittle, fast and dangerous. Edge: Maybe SFGG

Van Meter, Jeffrey

Clint Whittler

Okusi, Tevita

Benny Mateialona

All very good. Mile Pulu has been the best center threequarter in the Super League this year. Edge: SFGG

Pulu, Milemoto

Andrew "Tui" Osborne

Pone, Samisoni

Aaron McMaster

Moleloa is a dangerous runner, but can he handle the booming life kicks? McMaster is eminently dependable. Edge: LIFE


James Isaacson

Hard to gauge how these players will be used, or whether they will be needed early. But the Life group hust seems a little more powerful and dynamic. Edge: LIFE

Woolwright, Ryan

Chris Sullivan

Nelson, Jacob

Tishki Garcia


Zach Simkins

Fatognia, Damian

Shaun Van Rensburg

Sakalia, Siupeli

Jason Bloom

Quiles, Hector

Alfred Qaranivalu





Team Attack: Edge SFGG. If the came gets moving, they will win.





Team Defense: Edge LIFE





Goalkicking: Edge no one. Both kickers are very, very strong, but not automatic.





Sorry, too close to call. Right now it seems we have Life winning because of their possibly superior bench (possibly, and remember depth hurt SFGG last year), and because Aaron McMaster might be a little bit better on defense at fullback. That’s a flimsy difference, frankly.

Home field advantage? Not always an advantage. It’s simply too close to call.