The SFGG Rhinos have moved to 2-0 after a 39-26 win over the Santa Monica Dolphins. It was the first match of the season for the Dolphins and despite the loss they showed improvement, giving hope to a strong 2016. For SFGG it was about establishing themselves early as a top team.
The match was close throughout with SFGG taking a lead several times only to see Santa Monica climb back. Flanker Opeti Okusi was the first to score for SFGG but that was nearly neutralized ten minutes later when Harry Bennett hit his first penalty of the match to make the score 5-3.
Volney Rouse would respond with a penalty of his own a few minutes later. Ricky Reynolds then scored SFGG’s second try of the match that Rouse conversed. Eoin Sheeran would add one more try to balloon SFGG’s lead to 20-3.
A trio of penalties from Bennett would put the score at 20-12 before lock Tom Booke scored for SFGG to push their advantage to 27-12. Once again, Santa Monica pushed back. A penalty try in the 60th minute followed by a try by Ralph Cartwright put Santa Monica down one at 27-26.
However, the final minutes belonged to SFGG. Niell Barrett would score with six minutes left to give the Rhinos a cushion and then Okusi would score his second to ice the match.
SFGG return home to play Denver next week while Santa Monica host Glendale.
Tries: Okusi (2), Reynolds, Sheeran, Rooke, Barrett
Conversions: Rouse (3)
Tries: Penalty, Cartwright
Conversions: Bennett (2)
Penalties: Bennett (4)