Old Puget Sound Beach kicked off their 2012 RSL season with a solid win at home under the lights in Seattle against the Chicago Griffins, taking the game 27-15.
OPSB scored ?? tries in the encounter, earning a bonus point in their first match of league play.
The first half began with OPSB controlling possession inside the visitors' half. The Griffins defense was able to bend, but not break and were twice awarded a penalty at the breakdown. But they couldn't quite relieve the pressure and eventually OPSB scored - scrumhalf Ratu Emosi zipped in from a scrum.
Beach's new #9 was very consistent all game around the breakdown with his quick and accurate delivery. OPSB extended their lead thanks to some hard running from outside center Alipate Tuilevuka. The former Eagle offloaded to wing Filimoni Botitu who ran it in.
Tuilevuka continued to challenge the Griffins gainline throughout the game.
OPSB continued to win the majority of the ball and with their outstanding backline, stressed the Chicago D. A long series of phases saw the Seattle-based forwards work well to maintain possession, and finally inside center Nic Hawkins was in under the posts.
But it wasn't all good news for OPSB. For the second season in a row speedy fullback Isimeli Davita sustained a serious injury in the opening game. This time, he was shoulder-charged by Chicago flyhalf Roland Suniula, falling badle and breaking his collarbone. Suniula received a yellow card for his infraction.
But Chicago survived being a man down, and with scrumhalf Cal Dogget organizing the attack and with prop Tim Paulsen and lock Charlie Jacobsen leading the way, they threatened to score.
OPSB's defense held and the first half ended 17-0.
Chicago came out much more aggressive in the second half and scored their first try through center Ryan Beecher. On the ensuing kickoff, Suniula took possession under his own posts and stepped his way through the defense to set up an impressive full-field try, finished off in the corner by fullback Corey Quaglia. Those two quick tries changed the momentum of the game.
"It was a brutally physical game", said the Griffins' Jacobsen.
Both teams realized the next score could be pivotal. And it was; OPSB extended their lead when Tuilevuka came in on support of a Botitu break to make the line.
That made it 22-12, and for good measure No. 8 Matt Trouville set up wing Nate Olsen with some nifty running and a long pass. OPSB won 27-15.