GECKOS SWEEP RUGBY TITLES

GECKOS SWEEP RUGBY TITLES

📅15 March 2014
Share this article:

By Robert Balajadia

The 2014 Rugby season officially came to a close Saturday evening with the GW Geckos making it a clean sweep, winning both the girls and boys rugby title. The girls successfully defend their title for the third straight year, defeating the Academy Cougars 17-10 in the first cup game. The boys won their first ever rugby title shutting out the Friars 14-0 in the last cup game finishing the season undefeated.

“This feels so good, especially since I see how hard these guys work. You’ve got to give these guys all the credit, they push themselves in practice. Our motto is ‘finish strong’ and they definitely did that,” said Geckos head coach T.J. Ada.

Bamba Propels Geckos Over Friars

Geckos’ Jacob Bamba made the most of his moment scoring the only two tries in the championship game against the gritty Friar squad. His first came late in the first half, right before the halftime whistle.

GW came with the try zone three times before Bamba was able to punch it in having turned the ball over on penalties. The offense got a spark from Cory Santos who got a big kick that the Geckos were able to recover.

Bamba took the ball away after a ruck and shouldered more than three Friars into the try zone for the games first score. Teammate Tevin Santos made it a 7-0 game after the conversion giving the Geckos momentum heading into the second half.

Cory would play an even bigger factor in the second half pinning the Friars deep with great kicks that never allowed them to flow offensively.

Friars John Paul Mallari made a heads up play stripping the ball from a Gecko player shifting the Friar offense into Gecko territory, but Mallari was called for a penalty after being brought down which denied the Friars the much needed possession.

Every time Friars Zavier Damian touched the ball the Friar fan base elevated their cheers but the Gecko defense was quick to tackle Damian preventing the dangerous Friar from making much of an impact in the game.

Jacob Bamba of the GW Geckos takes the ball down the center of the field, slipping past a few Friar defenders. (photo by Asha Robles)

Jacob Bamba of the GW Geckos takes the ball down the center of the field, slipping past a few Friar defenders. (photo by Asha Robles)

With time winding down, Ada kept screaming at his boys they were just minutes away from the title. Bamba rallied behind his coaches and plunged a run deep into the Friar back line dragging his way into the try zone for the games final try.

The Geckos sideline erupted immediately knowing that they had just hit the Friars with the finishing blow and the Tevin Santos conversion finalized the score at 14-0.

“It feels great, we just made history,” said Bamba. “It wasn’t just me, I was pushing for the whole team. We’ve been working hard all season. We knew FD was a tough team, but we were prepared and the stronger team got it.”

“All you have to say is ‘FD Rugby,’ they have had a long history of success,” said Ada. “We knew it was going to be a battle and we knew the ball could bounce either way. We just needed to get back to what we’ve been doing all season and we were approaching this feeling like we were the underdogs. We did not dominate FD in the regular season so it wasn’t very hard to be level headed.”

Lady Geckos Halt Cougar Rally

Zea Nauta of the GW Geckos’ kicks the ball  to start a play. (photo by Asha Robles)

Zea Nauta of the GW Geckos’ kicks the ball to start a play. (photo by Asha Robles)

The Lady Geckos rugby team have yet to lose a title game in the past three years remaining the champions for the third year in a row. They wasted no time against the Cougars scoring two tries in the first five minutes of the game.

GW’s Maricia Mariano took a pass up the right sideline and went untouched for 60+ yards until laying out for the games first score to quickly of up 7-0 after an Erlissa Delfin conversion. Moments later, teammate Dyonii Quitugua capitalized on a steal and punched in another try to go up 12-0.

Cougars’ Mia Santos to the ball nearly the length of the field and was tackled hard by Mariano, who was the last defender, before having to leave the game after an injury timeout.

Geckos’ Geana Leon Guerrero then took a pass nearly 70 yards going untouched into the try zone to push the Gecko lead to 19-0 after the successful conversion.

“I saw my teammate go down and no one was getting the ball after the ruck and I just grabbed it and saw an open lane and didn’t stop running,” said Leon Guerrero.

Midway through the second half, the Geckos appeared to be coasting to their third title but the Cougars fought back late and ran just short of time to complete the comeback.

Bella Flores resorted to a move that has previously worked for her in the past, kicking the ball ahead of the Gecko defense and being the first girl to catch the ball as she sprinted untouched for Academy’s firs try.

Ladera Linn then took possession after a ruck to score the Cougars second try with just minutes left in the game. Academy had possession of the ball, but turned it over while being backed near their try zone which resulted in the Geckos getting the win as time expired.

PHOTO GALLERY:

Gabrielle Avilla of the Academy Cougars quickly passes the ball to a teammate after a scrum down. (photo by Asha Robles)

Gabrielle Avilla of the Academy Cougars quickly passes the ball to a teammate after a scrum down. (photo by Asha Robles)

The George Washington Geckos celebrate their win with each other after hearing the final whistle. (photo by Asha Robles)

The George Washington Geckos celebrate their win with each other after hearing the final whistle. (photo by Asha Robles)

The George Washington Geckos celebrate their win with each other after hearing the final whistle.(photo by Asha Robles)

The George Washington Geckos celebrate their win with each other after hearing the final whistle.(photo by Asha Robles)

The Geckos catch the incoming line-out. (photo by Asha Robles)

The Geckos catch the incoming line-out. (photo by Asha Robles)

Zav Damian of the FD Friars defends himself from oncoming Gecko defense as he runs the ball down the sideline.  (photo by Asha Robles)

Zav Damian of the FD Friars defends himself from oncoming Gecko defense as he runs the ball down the sideline. (photo by Asha Robles)

 A Gecko player almost scores a try. (photo by Asha Robles)

A Gecko player almost scores a try. (photo by Asha Robles)

GW Geckos’ Jacob Bamba pushes his way through Friar defenders. (photo by Asha Robles)

GW Geckos’ Jacob Bamba pushes his way through Friar defenders. (photo by Asha Robles)

Players from both GW and FD get low and fight for possession of the ball during a scrum. (photo by Asha Robles)

Players from both GW and FD get low and fight for possession of the ball during a scrum. (photo by Asha Robles)

JP Mallari of the FD Friars looks for room to run after quickly receiving the ball. (photo by Asha Robles)

JP Mallari of the FD Friars looks for room to run after quickly receiving the ball. (photo by Asha Robles)

FD Friars’ Zach Bonanno quickly passes the ball after winning a scrum down. (photo by Asha Robles)

FD Friars’ Zach Bonanno quickly passes the ball after winning a scrum down. (photo by Asha Robles)

Devin Blas of the GW Geckos pushes his way through Friar defense. (photo by Asha Robles)

Devin Blas of the GW Geckos pushes his way through Friar defense. (photo by Asha Robles)

FD Friars’ Kin Mesa gets tackled by two Geckos defenders as he tried making his way towards the try zone. (photo by Asha Robles)

FD Friars’ Kin Mesa gets tackled by two Geckos defenders as he tried making his way towards the try zone. (photo by Asha Robles)

Share this article: