San Francisco Golden Gate defeated the Chicago Griffins 44-16 Saturday in Chicago to open up their Super League campaign.
Coming off a 45-35 defeat of Denver in Denver, the Griffins were feeling confident, but SFGG played solid defense and kept the ball moving effectively on offense to win on the road.
“We had some opportunities, and we didn’t take them,” said Chicago lock Charlie Jacobson. “Golden gate played their game, one they’ve been playing for a while, and they do it well. We had some good possession from set pieces, but couldn’t turn that into enough points.”
Down 25-11 nearing halftime Chicago had a chance to move within a try after getting a scrum five meters from the SFGG line. But a knock-on from that movement left them 14 points adrift, and with hanging heads going into the second half.
SFGG continued to move the ball well, passing before contact and forcing two-on-ones and single-tackle matchups.
“They gave us a hard time in the scrum, which we will be working on more this week,” said SFGG Director of Rugby Paul Keeler. “We played our style. We want to force one-v-one tackles because that’s how we break down defenses and build momentum. It worked.”
Keeler said he was pleased with the defensive effort, especially, but also said the attacking play was good for a group still getting to know each other.
Center Tevita Okusi and sub forward Pone Samisoni both scored two tries.
SFGG goes to 1-0, Chicago drops to 1-1.
Tries: Civetta, Thomas, T. Okusi 2, O’Meara, Samisoni 2
Convs: Rouse 3
Chicago Griffins 16
Tries: Penalty Try, Marek
Pens: Doggett 2