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INAUGURAL RUGBY 7’S UNDERWAY

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By Crystal Aguon

GSPN’s Rico Taitague stiff arms his opponent to the ground before getting taken down by Southside defender Gerard Aguon. (photo by Errol Alegre Jr.)

This nice sunny Sunday was the perfect time for some rugby action. Heineken is hosting a 7’s tournament all throughout July, to prepare for a larger series in August, where trophies and cups are awarded.

” Seven’s Rugby is Guam’s future,” stated Matt Sgro, who is the league coordinator. This July friendly tournament is meant to prepare all teams for the “big cup” in August. “We want to let teams have time to get the hang of the game and grow in this sport,” Sgro added. When asked how he felt about the first day, he smiled and said, “I’m glad how everything is turning out so far. I want to see this sport grow, specifically 7’s because the people of Guam aren’t the biggest people, but in 7’s we can use our speed and agility to come out on top.”

Eight men’s and five women’s teams are signed up in what will lead to bigger and better rugby action on Guam.

Southside vs. GSPN was one of many great games that day. Both teams came out with adrenaline pumping. Neither team were able to gain much territory switching possessions of the rugby ball back and forth. That was until Southside broke GSPN’s line of defense and Southside’s Joey Swatzell took the ball down the line running almost half the field to score the first try of the game. The conversion that followed was missed.

Although Southside was not able to execute on the conversion, it was not long after until Southside’s Gerard Aguon found himself at the try line once again for another try added to their side of the score board. This time, the conversion from the far right corner was beautifully kicked for the extra two points. With Southside leading 12-0, GSPN refused to give the Southside another try within the first half. Although GSPN lost possession of the ball due to fumbles, their defense would not let Southside execute on their minor mistakes. It was then the whistle was blown for the first half. What was only seven minutes, seemed like it felt like hours of hard work.

GSPN’s John Arceo tosses the ball to his teammate before getting taken down by a Southside defender. (photo by Errol Alegre Jr.)

With the score at 12-0, and Southside kicking off, the ball floated perfectly at the ten meter line. From then, the ball fluctuated back and forth between Southside and GSPN. Both defense was aggressive causing no real yardage gain from either teams. Southside then had a line break, gaining about 25 meters and only a near 5 meters short of the try line until tackled, and knocking on the ball.

GSPN displayed a great goal line stand and managed to get the ball away from their danger zone. Although GSPN managed to get the ball about 32 yards away from Southside’s try line, Southside’s Joedee Reyes felt a new shock of energy come over him as he pushed through three GSPN opponents and taking the ball straight to the try line and scoring the conversion kick right after.

GSPN’s Jake Leon Guerrero makes the low tackle on Southside’s Gerard Aguon. (photo by Errol Alegre Jr.)

“I just had a huge adrenaline rush and couldn’t stop,” said Reyes.

As the game continued, GSPN did not let up. They executed on a Southside penalty that was a near 15 meters away from their try line. Starting from the far right, with GSPN’s very own Bucky Brennan, the ball traveled all the way to the left side, as the ball went through hands, GSPN’s Jacob Leon Guerrerro was the last to receive the ball and managed to place the ball for a nice 5 points to put GSPN on the scoreboard. When the conversion was missed, it was not long after the whistle to end the game at 19-5.

Men
Para Todu Red 35, Halu’u 0
Para Todu Black 31, Da Doks 0
South Side 19, GSPN 5
South Side Colts 7, Young Guns 22
Da Doks 19, Para Todu Red 10
Halu’u 5, GSPN 24
Para Todu Black 12, Young Gunz 22
South Side 10, South Side Colts 14

Women
Para Todu Black 42, Southern 0
Ziggy’s 12, The Blue Comrades 19
Southern 0, Para Todu Red 29
Para Todu Black 15, Ziggys 0
Para Todu Black 5, Para Todu Red 5

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DID U KNOW?

The FD Friars have retired running back Kein Artero’s (#3), becoming the third Friar in three years to have his number retired. 2018 saw two numbers be retired from quarterback Daniel Phillips (#6) and De’Aundre Cruz (#24).

(photo from Kein Artero on Twitter)

COMING SOON …

– Girls Basketball Semifinals on Wednesday

– NFL Week 15: Bills at Steelers

– Jon Tuck in Bellator Japan Dec. 29

– IIAAG/GDOE Split on Jan. 1st

– GSPN Preseason Basketball Tournament

 

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