The Sacramento Lions defeated the East Palo Alto Razorbacks 73-17 on Saturday at Robla Park in Sacramento, Calif.
Bouncing back from a loss the previous week to the EPA Bulldogs, the Lions were very dynamic on offense, with nine different Lions contributing to the 11 tries scored. Outside center Sione Latu and winger Hiko Fotukava each scored twice. Flyhalf Peceli Rinakama was 9-for-11 on conversion kicks and also added a try to his 23-point effort.
The Lions forward pack contributed the remaining 6 tries with both locks Johnny Green and Joel Scott, No. 8 Nemani Volavola, prop Pun Laiatea, hooker Tone Finau, and flanker Will Saafi each scoring once.
“Our offensive effort began to bear fruit when we kept organized and stuck to our gameplan,” said Lions Head Coach Iferemie Tawake. “We still became overeager at times and some frantic play in the open field led to unnecessary turnovers. It is still early in the season and we have a difficult schedule ahead so we will continue to work to improve as we move forward.”
Despite the score-line, the Razorbacks were a determined side and played a tough, hard-nosed game of rugby.
Sam Vailala, who was very active on defense and contributed one of the three Razorback tries, led the young group of Razorbacks who refused to return home without some points. The Razorbacks scored the final try of the first half and opened up the second half with two unanswered tries in a row.
“The Razorbacks are a tough, young group of rugby players,” commented Coach Tawake about the opposition. “They have some very talented athletes and did not back down to the challenge despite their limited numbers.”
Nevertheless, when the Lions stuck to the system Coach Tawake has instituted in the last few months, they showed the powerful force they could be. Coach Tawake noted that Saafi played especially well today and awarded him man of the match.
“Will was incredibly active on defense and at the breakdown, and was always in support offensively. That’s the type of game play we are looking for and today he exemplified the standard we need to set this season.”
“As we continue to get our game-plan down and the guys learn how to gel with each other, we are not half bad,” said Lions Manager Aaron Frederick. “But there is still plenty of rugby to play in 2013 so we will just keep trying to exceed our potential and play the best rugby we can.”
The Sacramento Lions move to 2-1 in league play and will travel next week to take on the Bay Area Barbarians.
“The Barbarians are always a physical match-up, and we will work hard this week to prepare for next Saturday,” stated Frederick. “That’s all we can do this season is work hard and try to play the best rugby we can come Saturday. Anything is possible with this team.”