The newly named San Diego Breakers traveled to Obetz Field, just under 10 miles southeast of Columbus, to take on the Ohio Aviators, looking to re-group after last week’s thriller against Denver.
San Diego came into this match wanting to maintain their hold on the second spot on the table and as such a big match was on the cards. It has to be said, the game delivered, with several good phases of play, however the Aviators proved very early in the piece that they were not a team to be trifled with, and they were here to fight.
In just four minutes the Aviators struck to through Spike Davis, linking up Dominic Waldouck who scored first PRO Rugby try, which Robbie Shaw converted to take a 7-0 lead.
Ohio remained strong in attacks, while the Breakers gave away costly penalties. That said, Kurt Morath maintained his own dominance with the boot when presented with kicking opportunities, slotting the breakers first points off a penalty goal halfway through the first.
The Aviators continued to attack hard, Alex Elkins crossing in the corner for a try, which was ably converted by Shaw to see the Aviators extend out to a 17-3 lead.
San Diego were able to spark an offensive after the Aviators saw Jamie Mackintosh yellow carded after an incident with Breakers Pono Haitsuka, with Kalei Konrad scoring the first Breakers try. Morath’s conversion gave Breakers a real sniff of the competition, with a seven point margin.
However Ohio hot back hard through Alex Elkins, who powered in his for second try of the match. Putting the Aviators in a strong position late in the first half, which was strengthened just before half time after a Spike Davis try saw Ohio take a 27-17 lead over San Diego into the break.
Ohio continued its dominant form in the second with Dominic Waldouck scoring his went in for his second try of the day, before the Breakers missed an opportunity with a Morath missing a shot on goal.
San Diego continued to press, but Ohio’s defence was relentless, styming the Breakers time and time again, holding up both Chris Tuori and Sione Tuihalamake before clearing the ball out and giving themselves some breathing room..
Ohio’s attack itself seemed to continue to find another gear, with solid performances Taylor Howden and a hat trick from Dominic Waldoulk seeing the Aviators blast out to 48-17 lead, which was soon increased further by Spike Davis.
San Diego for their part refused to go down without taking some serious swings, ansdwering back with tries to Ben Leatigaga and Zach Pangelinan but ultimately the Aviators would not be denied, as they closed out the match deserved victors with an impressive 55-29 margin over San Diego.
With the Aviators off to Denver next weekend to face the Denver Stampede this season and series is still well and truly up for grabs, Ohio showing they are firmly in contention, while San Diego will be wanting to fight back and regain their dominance in their next match against the San Francisco
Taking into account players out for international duties, as well as injuries to Ohio’s Matt Hughston, who sustained a broken jaw, and San Diego’s Andrew Suniula and Cecil Garber there are still several components to take into consideration with both of today’s teams, this season is far from decided, and it’s fair to say the next couple of weeks are going to see some electric game play from all of the teams involved.
Kyle Willoughby is a New Zealand based rugby writer, Boston Sports fan and former media manager for the Tongan Rugby Union operating internationally to share rugby news from the USA around the world. Follow Kyle’s Twitter feed for more rugby and sports tweets.
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