Columbus Wired Rugby Coverage By Chase Thompson
In all honesty, it was more like a 23 car pile up for the Rush. Before we get into the nitty gritty, Ohio 71-20 Rush. With that outlandish score, Obetz is still a hostile place for opposing teams and the Aviators set a new scoring record (Again) with help from fan favorites like Spike Davis, Filippo Ferrarini and Sebastian Kalm, and help from emerging stars Dominic Waldouck and Alex Elkins (Ahmad Harajly, Ryan Mctiernan, Peter Malcolm and Dylan Fawsitt also scored).
Our first place Ohio Aviators continued their roll after a stellar win against previously undefeated Denver last week. The kicking game had a huge turn around last week (6 for 6 on conversions and 2 for 3 on penalties for Shaun Davies) and it continued this week (8 for 11). The tactical kicking was excellent from Zac Mizell, who had to step in at Fly Half for Taylor Howden (Knee). Howden had been on a roll but tweaked the knee that had previously been holding him out this season.
In Roland Suniula’s return to Obetz, he wasn’t shown much attention from San Francisco while carrying the ball, and he made them pay. The center combination of Waldouck and Suniula showed how dangerous it could be and ripped San Francisco apart. Dominic Waldouck kicked well in open space and created a lot of offense opportunities by stretching San Francisco’s defensive line.
Ohio’s strong defense continued and they showed their physicality. Big hits have been part of Ohio’s game all season and it’s truly become part of the team’s identity. Fitness has continued to pay off for the Aviators, as they continue to get a lot out of their starters through the first 60 and then they unleash the bench to finish opponents.
With the combination of arguably the best back row in the tournament, physical defense, strong play in the set piece, and an explosive offense; Ohio looks to win the tournament by racking up bonus points and beating down teams at Obetz. The points system is how teams are ranked throughout the tournament, and teams are awarded bonus points for scoring 4 tries and also if they lose a game by 7 or less points. These points are what have been crucial to Ohio staying near the top of the leaderboard and what has allowed them take first place.
With San Diego and Denver at home and a final trip to Sacramento left on the schedule, the Aviators must continue to keep the kicking game in top form and limit the turnovers and penalties if they want to take the title in the inaugural season of PRO Rugby.
The Aviators host the San Diego Breakers at Obetz next weekend at 3 pm ET