SACRAMENTO - The Sacramento Lions defeated the Bay Area Barbarians 24-20 in the final of the Sacramento 10s Invitational to take home a $1,000 cash prize on Saturday at Danny Nunn Park in Sacramento, CA.
It was an exciting day of pre-season rugby that featured two Sacramento Lions squads, the East Palo Alto Razorbacks, the Bay Area Barbarians, and Sacramento City College. The Sacramento Amazons women’s team also defeated the East Palo Alto Razorback women 64-22 in a full 15s match.
The Lions finished 4-2 in round-robin play, losing narrowly to the Razorbacks and Barbarians before the semifinal and final rounds. By the end of the day, the Lions core group played 160 minutes of rugby in eight different 10s matches.
“We had a long day and I was impressed with this group who continued to play hard throughout the tournament,” commented Lions Head Coach Ifereimi Tawake. “At times, we got away from our game plan which caused plenty of mistakes. But I was happy with the way the team came back from the two losses and finished strong. There is alot we have to work on in preparation for the season, but I was proud of the Lions today.”
The Lions were led by veteran co-captains Dennis Saafi and Nemani Volavola, who both set the tone throughout the day on defense with their bone-crushing tackles. Veterans Eddie Matakibau, Wayne Koi, Sione Tanoa, Garrett Hawley, and Mike Dreu all contributed greatly to the Lions’ efforts as well. The Lions’ youth was also very productive with Brett Willis, Joel Scott, Sione Latu, Johnny Green, and Davita Pale all adding multiple tries and solid defense.
“We are really excited about this team,” stated Lions Manager Aaron Frederick. “We have great veteran leadership and plenty of young guys to complement the group. We are a diverse team with athletes from all different backgrounds and rugby pedigrees. We have talent coming in from the Sacramento Islanders High School team and Sacramento State. With Coach Tawake at the helm, I think this group will be very successful going into the 15s season.”
2012 Sacramento 10s Invitational Scores:
Lions A 66 - Sac City College 0
Barbarians 19 - Lions B 7
Razorbacks 17 - Sac City College 5
Lions A 24 -Barbarians 10
Razorbacks 31 - Lions B 17
Barbarians 43 - Sac City College 0
Lions A 29 - Razorbacks 5
Lions B 31 - Sac City College 19
Barbarians 32 - Razorbacks 19
Lions A 46 - Sac City 19
Barbarians 24 - Razorbacks 21
Lions A 24 - Barbarians 20
Women’s Club 15s Match
Sacramento Amazons 64 - East Palo Alto Razorbacks 22