27th August 2011
Full Match Report
COLONIAL CUP - GAME 1
The USA Tomahawks defeated Canada in the first match of the 2011 Colonial Cup, downing the Wolverines 18-2 in inclement conditions in Philadelphia. With Hurricane Irene looming only hours away, the kick off was brought forward and played on a saturated field and under teeming skies which, naturally, affected the ball handling.
The first half was characterised by dropped passes but both sides made up for it with brutal defence. As points were so hard to come by in the awful conditions, debutant Michael Garvey slotted a penalty goal for the Tomahawks after which Matt Pettie squared matters for Canada, which were the only points of the opening forty.
With conditions taking their toll, Canada started to tire and the Tomahawks found some holes and Connecticut Wildcat Charlie Rizzo, playing in his first international, put back-rower Salesi Tongamoa through a hole and he crashed over to reinstate a US lead. Next over was Sean Taylor, fresh from AMNRL Grand Final celebrations with his New York Knights teammates the previous week, who showed his trademark elusive and powerful running style.
Rizzo was in thick of the action again and he put the game beyond all doubt as he served Fitz-James Adams (New York Knights) a long ball and the debutant finished well in the corner. Tomahawks assistant coach, Marcus Vassilakopoulos, picked out Ian Elliot (New York Knights), Justin Ripley (New York Knights), Lesili Alovili (Northern Raiders) and Salesi Tongamoa (Connecticut Wildcats) as standouts.
"It was really physical. It was a sloppy game due to the weather but the boys put together a good game," he said. "We have to thank the groundskeeper for letting us play because everything else on the eastern seaboard was pretty much closed down as far as games go, so we we're happy that we got the game in.”
Game two of the Colonial Cup series will be held in Toronto in three weeks' time on September 17.
Fitz-James Adams, Leslie Alovili, Gareth Baxendale, Bryan Confer, John Convery, CJ Cortalano , John Dykeman, Ian Elliott, Michael Garvey, Andrew Kneisly, Xavier Lozinguez, Kelly McGill, Apple Pope (c), Thomas Ray, Joshua Rice, Justin Ripley, Charlie Rizzo, Touanga Talakai, Sean Taylor, Salesi Tongamoa, Louis Tulio, Alejandro Valentin
Robin Legault, Tony Felix, Geoff Bylund, Christian Miller, Matt Pettie, Jamie Lester, Matt Wyles, Steve Conlon, Chris Diamond, Louis Robinson, Cam Grace, Henry Miers, Tyler Allen, Graham Dobbs, Dale Fitzgerald, Mike Reid, Steve Lamb, John Felix.