Lady Oaks stay Undefeated Against Bishop O’dowd in a Close Battle, 17-12
Match played March 15, 2013
On a warm friday night in Oakland, the Danville Lady Oaks took the pitch against the experienced, well drilled, and disciplined Bishop O’dowd Lady Dragons. A good sized crowd was on hand to witness what would turn into the match of the season so far in Bay Area Girls rugby.
Both sides came out swinging on Senior Night for the Lady Dragons, and some stellar defense would keep both teams out of the goal for the first quarter of the match. All night O’dowd played the field position game, putting sophomore fullback Leti Hingano in some tough situations with a nice kicking game from her opposite number.
Finally, the Oaks got a long break from their captain Fina Toetuu which set up a scoring opportunity for freshman Nane Fifita. Nane was held up in goal, and the Oaks were awarded a 5 meter scrum. Senior Number 8 Mele Vaka then took the ball right off the scrum and powered her way in to give the Oaks a 5-0 lead.
The Lady Dragons answered quickly to tie it up, driving and scoring shortly thereafter with some strong forward play. O’dowd would continue to threaten the rest of the half, but some stingy defense at the goal line by Danville prevented another try before intermission.
The Lady Oaks looked tired at the break, but dug down deep in their hearts to win the 2nd half. Possession went back and forth, when the Oaks were awarded a scrum around the halfway line. The scrum turned a bit and the ball popped out just perfectly to junior scrumhalf Fina, who broke a handful of tackles on the way to an exciting try. Brynne Newsome was good on the conversion to make it 12-5 with about 20 minutes to go.
Again, the Dragons answered. They were awarded a questionable penalty at the Oaks 10 meter line after Mata (Queen) Hingano looked to steal the ball cleanly. The opportunistic scrumhalf for the Dragons quick-tapped and had a spectacular run about 40 yards for the try. The conversion was good and the teams were even at 12 points.
After O’dowd gained possession on the kickoff, Queen was back to her old tricks and poached the ball in the tackle, this time cleanly according to the referee. It would be the start to the play of the day, in which the freshman flanker (playing inside center at the time) looked to be tackled at least 3 times but went all 60 yards for the game winning try.
Still, the Dragons never quit. They played the last 5 minutes deep in Danville’s half, threatening to score the possible game winner. The crowd was going crazy during this time, and the hearts of the spectators were racing. Into extra time, O’dowd held onto the ball in the tackle and Danville was awarded a penalty, signalling the final whistle and end to a brilliant match.