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A Little Rain Won’t Ground Aviators

Ohio Aviators Rugby Coverage by Chase Thompson For Columbus Wired   

On a nasty and surprisingly cool July 4th weekend, the Aviators defended their pole position against a tough and resurgent San Diego team. San Diego might have been on a three game losing streak headed into Sunday’s matchup, but with the return of a lot of their international players, the Breakers looked poised for the upset victory and wanted to end the unbeaten streak at Memorial Field.

   The big matchup to watch was the battle between the back lines. It was a battle between Ohio’s physical and dominant wings versus the Breakers fleet-footed back trio, and it was going to be a fun one. The fun even including another face off between Roland Suniula and his brother Andrew. Then, the rain started. Sloppy ball from both sides neutralized the back matchup as the turnovers piled up from both sides. It ended up coming down to the pack (No.s 1 through 8), and Ohio’s big men paved the way to another win. Spike Davis wasn’t going to let it be all about the big boys, as he scored twice. The others who notched tries were Dylan Fawsitt (2), Reikert Hattingh, and Sebastian Kalm.

   There was a first though at Obetz. For the first time at home this season, the Aviators were held under 50 points (a heartbreaker). The final score was 44-21. Ohio’s kicking continued to trend upward and despite the rain, the Aviators managed to keep the game pretty open and free flowing with an astounding 552 meters made. The physical defense, the heart and soul of this team, continued with only five missed tackles over the entire 80 minute period. First up tackles (tackles made by the first man to the ball) are a signature of the team and always keep teams from gaining much momentum with ball in hand play.

   With a trip to Sacramento and then two weeks off before the grand finale at home against Denver, Ohio is right where the want to be on the leaderboard as the inaugural season reaches it’s final leg.

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