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SFGG Win (Updated)

Saturday May 23, 2009 in Elite Level Rugby Rugby Super League

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(Toni Hensley photo.)

May 23, 2009 – San Francisco Golden Gate are into the Super League final with a dramatic 19-16 victory Saturday at Treasure Island.

SFGG went into the final few minutes down 16-12. But with time up Jason Bowden went over to make it 17-16 as time ended. Volney Rouse hit the conversion to confirm the victory.

SFGG will play the winner of Life University and Belmont Shore, which plays tomorrow in Marietta, Ga.

This was a much different game from the one that ended 45-10 in SFGG's favor two months ago.

"Denver had obviously done their homework, especially defensively, and cut off our options out wide," said SFGG director of rugby Paul Keeler. "Hats off to them, they deserved to win just as much as we did."

Samu Mano and Faimalo Tapui scored earlier tries for the Bay-Area club, with Rouse adding one conversion.

But a sin bin to Jone Naqica for tripping threw them for a bit of a loop, and Denver kept the pressure on.

"We kind of lost our composure with the sin-bin and it took us a long time to adjust to what Denver was doing defensively," said Keeler.

Into injury time SFGG were down 16-12 but looked on their way to scoring the winning try. A knock-on stopped that attack, but with clearly only seconds left, SFGG won the scrum - shoving the Denver eight back - and rammed it down the Barbo throats with a series of pick-and-jams. A penalty helped and they kept it up with the forwards, leading to Bowden's winning score.

"They pulled it together at the end and worked so hard, I am very proud of them," said Keeler.

- Alex Goff
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