Rugby News & Views From an American Perspective
With just two weeks left in the USA Rugby Super League regular season the playoff slots are beginning to be filled. All that’s left is some jockeying for position and there are some important matchups this weekend that will give further shape to the playoff picture.
The four teams atop the Western Conference have nearly sealed their playoff bids, with only the Chicago Lions having a slim chance of sneaking into the picture.
After NYAC and Life in the Eastern Conference things are a bit more up in the air, but not by much. This weekend should sort it all out.
Old Puget Sound Beach @ San Francisco Golden Gate
Western Conference leaders, San Francisco Golden Gate (4-0), play host to upstart Old Puget Sound Beach (3-1). Both teams are capable (and then some) of playing dynamic rugby. If there was a RSL game that I could watch this weekend, this is the one. Both teams are destined for the playoffs, but OPSB wants to avoid the dreaded road game in the first round. They’ll need a win this weekend to avoid it.
Prediction: Gonna be a great game, but SFGG is rolling right now. SFGG wins the shootout.
Chicago Lions @ Dallas Harlequins
The Chicago Lions (1-3) still have an outside shot at the playoffs, but they have no margin for error and they need some help as well. They travel this weekend to face the Dallas Harlequins (0-4) who are still looking for a win and can’t be enjoying the realignment that put them in the Western Conference. Despite their winless record, Dallas has played fairly well at home.
Prediction: Dallas ends the Lions playoff hopes with a home win
Old Mission Bay Athletic Club @ Chicago Griffins
The final Western Conference matchup between Old Mission Bay Athletic Club and the Chicago Griffins is likely not going to be played. OMBAC has pulled out the hardship card on the RSL and said that they can’t make it to Chicago this weekend. They have asked that the game be rescheduled for May 8th. I say it should be a forfeit if they can’t make it. I’m certain that the Griffins would love to have May 8th off as they prepare for the opening round of the playoffs on May 15th.
Besides that, if OMBAC can’t make the trip now, who says they are going to make it in two weeks?
Sad state of affairs for OMBAC and a punch in the eye for the RSL.
Prediction: It should be a forfeit, but the RSL will probably bend to OMBAC’s wishes. The Griffins will make them pay dearly for it on May 8th. I hope they crack 100 points on the once proud OMBAC club and send them packing back to D1.
Boston Irish-Wolfhounds @ Potomac Athletic Club
In the Eastern Conference, the match I’m looking forward to the most is a lower tier matchup with the Boston Irish-Wolfhounds (0-5) travel to play the Potomac Athletic Club (1-3). Both teams have played much better rugby in recent weeks and this one promises to be a fun game. PAC has slim playoff hopes, so a win is an absolute necessity to stay in the race. The Irish-Wolfhounds have nothing to lose and they’ve played that way the last few weeks.
Prediction: The Irish-Wolfhounds get their first win of the season and deservedly so
New York Athletic Club @ Charlotte
The New York Athletic Club (4-0) heads to Charlotte (1-3) this weekend to continue their push towards the playoffs. NYAC is playing really well right now and this weekend should be a good learning experience for a young Charlotte squad.
Prediction: NYAC in a rout
Old Blue @ Life
Another tough game for Old Blue (2-2) as they try to hold onto a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. A road game to play one of the top teams in the RSL is NOT what the Doctor ordered for old Blue. Life is hitting their stride. The one glimmer of hope for Old Blue is that Life (4-0) is looking ahead towards their big tilt with NYAC next week.
Prediction: Life wins and sets up a winner take all with NYAC next weekend
With the predictions out of the way, let’s take a look at the 2010 RSL Playoff picture.
In the Picture
Need to Win Out and Get Alot of Help
No Chance in Hell