Rugby News & Views From an American Perspective
by Ted Hardy, Editor, Rugby America
It’s only the third week of the USA Rugby Super League season and the matchups are getting more and more pivotal as the weeks progress. Tomorrow’s games will have huge playoff implications for the 11-team league.
Starting off in the Red Conference, there are two games on the schedule. One of which could very well decide who wins the conference title and gets home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Old Puget Sound Beach (1-0) at Dallas Harlequins (0-2) – OPSB is coming off a thrilling home win over Denver last weekend, while Dallas is off to another rough start. The Harlequins are giving up an average of 74.5 points per game and may struggle under the pressure that OPSB brings to the table.
Utah Warriors (2-0) at San Francisco Golden Gate (1-0) – The big one on the Red Conference schedule this weekend, the upstart Warriors face the long time RSL stalwart. The Warriors will be tested by the experienced SFGG side. The Warriors have been getting huge performances out of Jason Pye and Mike Palefau and will need them at their best to topple SFGG.
In the Blue Conference, it is hard to find a mismatch on any given weekend. The competitive margin between the six teams in the division is minimal.
Chicago Lions (1-0) at Chicago Griffins (0-1) – The Windy City grudge match has significant bearing on the Blue Conference standings. The Lions brought home a narrow win last weekend while the Griffins lost a close one to NYAC. In this rivalry you could throw out the records. This should be a great game that neither team can afford to lose.
Old Blue New York (0-1) at Boston (0-1) – One of these two proud teams walks away with a win and the other will be put in a difficult position to recover. Boston was tested last weekend against Life while Old Blue lost a close decision to the Chicago Lions. Weather may play a factor in this battle as a cold front has hit the East Coast.
New York Athletic Club (1-0) at Life University (1-0) – The two favorites in the Blue Conference lock horns in Georgia with the winner getting the early pole position in the conference standings. No weather issues here… going to be sunny and warm which should make for ideal playing conditions. Since rejoining the RSL in 2009, Life and NYAC’s two conference games have been decided by a grand total of five points. This one should be no different.
Three weeks into the season and the pressure is on. Who rises to the occasion? Who is left staring at an uphill battle to reach the playoffs?
Stay tuned to Rugby America for results and coverage of all of the Super League action this weekend.