San Francisco Golden Gate kept up their winning ways Saturday with a 52-10 defeat of the Chicago Griffins.
SFGG is now 3-1 in the Super League West, in first place over Old Puget Sound Beach, which has a game in hand.
SFGG scored early and often, leading at halftime 35-5 after tries from John Thomas, Samisoni Pone, Volney Rouse, Drew Hyjer, and Jeff Colata. Rouse converted all five, while the Griffins got one try from scrumhalf Cal Doggett.
In the second half, the Griffins managed to score early, but Golden Gate held on from there. Hooker Neill Barrett scored in the corner 18 minutes in, and then Mose Timoteo touched down. One more try finished it off 52-10.
“It was a good performance overall, I guess,” said SFGG coach Grant Wells. “We were happy with the first-half performance, anyway. In the second half I think we fell off a little bit. We committed too many penalties, and we tried to force things when we didn’t need to. So, yes, there was a drop-off.”
Barrett at hooker had one of his stronger games for Golden Gate, helping solidify SFGG’s set piece. Also in the front row, Paula Fukafuka was enormously hard to stop.
“He is a load to handle, and when you get him ball and room to run he’s very hard to bring down,” said Well. “He brings in so many tacklers it creates space elsewhere.”
In the backs, Rouse kicked very well, and directed the attack. But a move to center in the second half might have undercut his ability to lead the backs.
Wells said Golden Gate is getting back on track after their shock loss to Old Puget Sound Beach. SFGG has a return game in Seattle May 19, but win or lose there, indications are that they will likely have a semifinal back in Seattle a couple of weeks after that.
That, acknowledges the San Francisco team, is when they need to beat Beach.
“We know what happens now when we don’t take care of the ball,” said Wells. “Possession is critical. If we maintain possession it gives us a shot.”
Notes: Jone Naqica missed the game against Chicago, serving out his suspension for his red card against OPSB for a dump tackle.