2011 Rugby Super League (USA)

Discussion in 'Rugby & Aussie Rules' started by yankee_rob, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. yankee_rob

    yankee_rob Member

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    Am I the only one who thinks that Glendale should be in the RSL?


    http://www.rugbymag.com/news/clubs/super-league/super-league-finalizes-2011-schedule.aspx

    Super League Finalizes 2011 Schedule

    The USA Rugby Super League has finalized its schedule, confirming the addition of the Utah Warriors, and only the Utah Warriors, in an 11-team league of two conferences.

    The Super League Final is also confirmed for May 21, two weeks earlier than is traditional, mainly because the USA Men's National Team expects to be in the UK for an expanded Churchill Cup.

    RSL 2011 LEAGUE SCHEDULE

    WEST Conference (RED)
    Dallas Harlequins
    Denver Barbarians
    Old Puget Sound Beach
    San Francisco Golden Gate
    Utah Warriors

    EAST Conference (BLUE)
    Boston Rugby
    Chicago Griffins
    Chicago Lions
    Life University
    New York Athletic Club
    Old Blue New York

    Week 1 - March 12, 2011
    San Francisco Golden Gate @ Dallas Harlequins
    Utah Warriors @ Denver Barbarians

    Week 2 - March 19, 2011
    Dallas Harlequins @ Utah Warriors
    Denver Barbarians @ Old Puget Sound Beach
    Chicago Lions @ Old Blue New York
    Boston Rugby @ Life University
    Chicago Griffins @ New York Athletic Club

    Week 3 - March 26, 2011
    Old Puget Sound Beach @ Dallas Harlequins
    Utah Warriors @ San Francisco Golden Gate
    Chicago Lions @ Chicago Griffins
    Old Blue New York @ Boston Rugby
    New York Athletic Club @ Life University

    Week 4 - April 2, 2011
    Denver Barbarians @ Dallas Harlequins
    San Francisco Golden Gate @ Old Puget Sound Beach
    Boston Rugby @ Chicago Lions
    Life University @ Chicago Griffins
    Old Blue New York @ New York Athletic Club

    Week 5 - April 9, 2011
    Denver Barbarians @ San Francisco Golden Gate
    Old Puget Sound Beach @ Utah Warriors
    Chicago Lions @ Life University
    Boston Rugby @ New York Athletic Club
    Old Blue New York @ Chicago Griffins

    Week 6 - April 16, 2011
    Dallas Harlequins @ Denver Barbarians
    San Francisco Golden Gate @ Utah Warriors
    Chicago Griffins @ Boston Rugby
    Life University @ Old Blue New York
    New York Athletic Club @ Chicago Lions

    Week 7, April 23, 2011 - (EASTER)
    Old Puget Sound Beach @ Denver Barbarians

    Week 8 - April 30, 2011
    Dallas Harlequins @ San Francisco Golden Gate
    Utah Warriors @ Old Puget Sound Beach
    Chicago Griffins @ Chicago Lions
    Life University @ Boston Rugby
    New York Athletic Club @ Old Blue New York

    Week 9 - May 7, 2011
    BYE WEEKEND

    Week 10 - Semi-Finals - May 14, 2011
    @
    @

    Week 11 - RSL Final - May 21, 2011
    vs.


  2. yankee_rob

    yankee_rob Member

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    http://www.rugbymag.com/news/clubs/...e-utah-players-with-a-competitive-option.aspx

    Warriors, Steelers Provide Utah Players with a Competitive Option

    By Alex Goff

    In college and U19 rugby, getting to a championship game means going through Utah. But while Highland and United have dominated the U19 ranks, and BYU has been one of the two best college teams for several years and the University of Utah isn’t too far behind, Utah club rugby is still waiting for its national leader.

    This year, we might see two clubs step forward. The Provo Steelers look set to jump into the DI competition and shoot for a national title. They have the talent and the physical strength to do it.

    And in the Super League, the new Utah Warriors can’t be expected to win a huge number of games (although you never know), but their presence in the Super League is a big step for the state.

    “I always felt rugby has fans and interested and success in this state, but no venue where they could really appreciate it on the level of there being a team that was everybody’s team,” said Warriors owner Sean Whalen. “Even if you aren’t affiliated with Highland or BYU, you can follow the Warriors because it’s the state’s team, it’s everybody’s.”

    Whalen, who has made his money flipping properties (buying foreclosed properties, fixing them up and reselling them), isn’t a rugby man, per se, but he thinks Utah is the place to jump start a professional model.

    “Most people don’t understand rugby, but I think 99% of the process of getting them to follow it is marketing,” he told RUGBYMag.com. “Marketing is absolutely at the front of our minds. What I have found out about rugby is that a lot of people have been talking about moving the sport forward, and few people have been doing, so I want to do something.”

    Warriors players will not be paid a salary or a per-game fee. They will have all their dues, travel, and other playing costs taken care of. The biggest obstacle to players sticking with the game as adults is the financial drain playing at a high level imposes. Whalen wants to take that fear away. He also is looking to provide financial bonuses – cash for the player of the game, for example.

    “I’ve put myself under the microscope,” he said. “ I want to prove this model will work.”

    Whalen will not be involved in the daily rugby operations. He won’t coach the team or pick the team. He has, in conjunction with Head Coach Jon Law, decided the team will be comprised of Utah-based players. There is no benefit, he says, in bringing in players from around the world to play.

    Law agrees, saying he’s been working hard at recruiting players from within Utah, and players with Utah tied. He’s had some success. Sateki Nau, Sa Palepi, Joe Lomu, Blake Burdette and Jason Pye.

    Players from the Provo Steelers have opted to stay with their club and shoot for a DI title. Pate Tuilevuka has completed his move to Seattle and will play for Old Puget Sound Beach, and Nic Johnson is remaining with the Denver Barbarians.

    “Not everybody we tried for is joining the club, but we wish them the best and wish the Steelers the best,” said Law.

    But the Warriors expect to compete.

    “There’s no point in going into a competition unless you believe you can win every game,” said Law. “Whether we will or not remains to be seen, and we have a lot of work to do, a lot. But we are going into the Super League looking to win every game.”

    Where the Warriors will be strong is in the open field. They are expected to be physical in open field defense, powerful at the breakdown, and will enjoy running with the ball. Where they might struggle is the set piece, especially the scrum.

    So can they get fans interested enough to help Whalen pay the bills? No one will know until they try. Whalen is working on getting radio and TV coverage and increasing exposure for the Warriors, reasoning that Utah’s rugby history will attract old and new fans.

    Can Law, with the assistance of some of his most experienced players, put together a team out of nothing that not only plays in the Super League, but competes? Will difficult in the scrum spell defeat?
    Once again, we can only know if once we watch.

    What we do know is the state of Utah now has two clubs in the USA’s top two club levels, ready to compete and give Utah’s outstanding player pipeline a chance to stay on top.
    Now all they have to do is play.
  3. yankee_rob

    yankee_rob Member

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    http://www.premier-rugby.com/template2.php


    Rugby Super League: Week ONE Preview: March 10, 2011

    The 2011 Rugby Super League (RSL) season kicks off this coming Saturday with two highly anticipated games on show. The newly formed Utah Warriors travel to take on the Denver Barbarians and 2010 RSL Finalists San Francisco Golden Gate travel to the Dallas Harlequins.

    Utah Warriors @ Denver Barbarians:
    Saturday March 12, 4:30pm, Shea Stadium, Denver

    ‘Not a whole lot to report from Denver’ according to their new Super League Coach ‘Jason Kelly’. ‘The boys are excited to get started this weekend’ and first up for them is the newest team to join the RSL ‘The Utah Warriors’. ‘Utah is an unknown side’ according to Kelly but he is assuming that they will be strong in the backs and especially in the back 3.

    Denver will be concentrating on their own game and implementing what they have been practicing on the training ground. Kelly likes to involve all his players; everyone gets their opportunity. Denver is mostly unchanged to last year with just a couple of local additions. Denver is just looking to compete and improve on last season.

    Utah on the other hand has assembled the very best available talent from the state of Utah according to their head coach ‘Jon Law’. The Warriors are looking to make an impact and what better way to start than taking on the Denver Barbarians on the road.

    Law knows that the Super League is filled with outstanding teams and that his players will need to balance brain and brawn if they are to compete at this level. Utah will be athletic and physical, but will they be able to create the space needed to open up their back line? Will their skill level be adequate? A few questions Law hopes will be answered this coming weekend. Utah has gone with local talent by assembling a team primarily made up of Utah athletes. Mike Palefau, Sa Palepoi, Sateki Nau, Jason Pye, Saia Vainuku, and Matt Byrd anchor the team with the addition of Ben Nicholls (Zimbabwe), Ryan Chapman (Colorado) and Kite Afeaki (Nevada) to fill some gaps. Utah is anxious to get their season under way and showcase what they can do on the field.


    San Francisco Golden Gate @ Dallas Harlequins:
    Saturday March 12, 3:30pm, Glencoe Park, Dallas

    ‘The Quins have a massive challenge ahead of them this season’ according to Dallas head coach Michael Engelbrecht. Engelbrecht goes on to say that ‘competing in the RSL is getting tougher and tougher from both a financial and on field performance perspective’.

    The Quins have been hit hard by injuries and retirements as well as the loss of some key youth like Zak Mizell who has gone to play rugby at Arkansas State University. The Quins pride themselves on physical play and stout defense – something that they need to replicate this season for them to achieve any level of success. On attack they are looking to keep the ball alive and quickly move the point of contact to challenge opposing defensive structures.

    The team is effectively lead by uncompromising captain Pete Van Scoy at lock and supported in the tight 5 by a fast and skillful front row that includes Jimmy Jewison at loose head prop and Kevin Becker at hooker. The loose forward trio is becoming settled and is working well together with aggressive and fast Gonzalo Ruiz at #8, smart and skillful Tim McNeeley at openside, and big hitting Derrick Thomas at blindside who is playing some of the best rugby of his career.

    Quins are hoping their pack can produce quick ball to give their back line time and space. They are relying on Robert Thraves (Scrumhalf) Charles Davidson (Flyhalf) and Leon Guerin (Fullback) to shoulder their backline. Quins have been unable to filed the same lineup coming into the season so are hoping this combination can settle in quickly and play like they have been practicing, with pace, power, and purpose. The Quins are looking forward to what promises to be a grueling RSL season with an opening day matchup versus San Francisco Golden Gate.

    Nothing like testing yourself out of the shoot against one of the top clubs in the USA says Coach Michael Engelbrecht. He has had many opportunities to coach alongside SFGG Head Coach Paul Keeler and says that “I really respect the way Paul does things and especially enjoy the way he thinks about the game”.

    This is a fixture that will quickly demonstrate what areas of the Quin game are working well and what areas will need continued focus.

    The Rugby Super League is proud to be sponsored by GILBERT (The Official Ball of the Rugby Super League) Rugby Athletic (RSL Official apparel provider) TapOutMouthGuard (Official Mouth Guard of the RSL) and by an organic vitamin/supplement & sports nutrition brand.


    About the US Rugby Super League
    www.Premier-Rugby.com

    The Rugby Super League is sanctioned by USA Rugby as the premier level of Men's Club competition in the USA. The Rugby Super League is managed and administrated by the League within the guidelines of USA Rugby and is subject to the international laws of the game. The 2011 season will showcase 11 teams competing in two conferences with scheduled season play and two rounds of playoff games - culminating in the Rugby Super League Championship match on May 21, 2011. The competition runs from Mid-March to May each year.
  4. yankee_rob

    yankee_rob Member

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    http://www.rugbymag.com/news/clubs/super-league/new-day-for-warriors-barbarians.aspx


    New Day for Warriors, Barbarians

    By Alex Goff

    New coach, new teammates, new attitude … and that’s the more experienced team in the game.

    The Utah Warriors travel to Denver to take on the Barbarians this weekend in one of two opening weekend matches in the Super League. No one knows really what to expect.



    Above, the Warriors are still a work in progress (Paul Meyers). Below, Denver's lineout could be a major factor. (Dobson Images)

    For the Barbarians, they have a new Head Coach, some player turnover, and some changes to deal with. For Utah, well everything, from the team to the name to the jerseys, the coach and the players are all new.

    For Denver Head Coach Jason Kelly, it’s a return to the club he patrolled for at flyhalf for so many years. After leading the Las Vegas Blackjacks to a national DI title last year, Kelly moved back to Denver. What he found was a situation that needed changing.

    “I remember the club atmosphere we had when I was playing, and I didn’t feel we had the same atmosphere now,” Kelly told RUGBYMag.com. “So I’d like to see that change, but I also know it’s not going to happen overnight.”

    A big part of the change revolves around a new Barbarians-related business venture. Some players have gone in on running a Crossfit Gym in the area.

    “The intent was to create opportunity for Barbarian players and contribute funds for stability in the future,” said longtime Barbarian and former Eagle Link Wilfley. “The intent was to contribute funds for stability of the local game, sport, and culture of rugby in the future.”

    The initial positive has been that the gym has become a gathering place for the players. Many have purchased memberships, and there they do their workouts and socialize.

    “It’s good because they’re spending time together and also working on their conditioning,” said Kelly. “It makes for a good atmosphere overall.”

    “The group came together because we’re sick of feeling like we don’t have a home,” added Wilfley. “We’ve been changing playing field locations for 40 years, we’ve changed bars constantly for 40 years, we’ve been driving up north to Boulder to train, down south in Centennial to train, and every year we spend thousands of dollars without a place to put up a trophy to look at, no picture to look at, no jersey to remind us of the tours, no boots to brag about. We have no place to sweat, bleed, puke, and build a club; no place to build camaraderie, no place to build a team. We had a few boys that all felt the same and had different recourses to contribute.”

    On the field the Barbarians have many familiar names, such as Wilfley, Max de Achaval, Chris Moreno, Ben Happapuro, Mike Mangan, and others. They have lost Nic Johnson to a pro contract in Italy, and that’s a blow, said Kelly. But he has high hopes for former Colorado University All American Tom Pasque.

    “Tom’s still got a lot to learn but he’s a great athlete and can play all three loose forward positions,” said Kelly. “I’m excited about what he can do.”

    One unknown in a forward pack full of veterans would be a luxury for the Utah Warriors. Certainly many of their players are experienced, but not as a unit. On the RuggaMatrix podcast, Head Coach John Law said it’s been a challenge to get players from so many different rugby backgrounds to all pull in the same direction.
    “Our pattern has continuously evolved,” said flyhalf Jason Pye. “Like John said, we have guys used to playing different types of rugby, but we all have to adhere to one structure and approach. It’s mostly a mental thing.:

    Pye at flyhalf is still learning to work with the great open-field talent he has at his disposal. He is spending a lot of time trading reads with other players, and communicating constantly.

    “I am lucky to have Mike Palefau on the field with me,” Pye added. “He’s the best player in the entire country right now. We have a plethora of talent. It’s just how we use it.”

    Leading the forwards is No. 8 Ryan Chapman, who returns to the Denver area where he played for Glendale.
    Full of question-marks, the Warriors do seem to be carrying a narrative with them. Observers expect them to struggle in the scrum – a place where Denver is strong – and perhaps struggle with fitness in the closing 15 minutes or so.

    But that won’t matter if teams make mistakes against them, and fall behind early.

    Said Kelly, perhaps it will be another set piece that spells the difference.

    “We have some really good players in the lineout, and I think we might have an advantage there,” Kelly explained. “So I think we need to make sure our kicks go to touch and avoid being careless with those kicks.”

    Otherwise, you never know.


  5. yankee_rob

    yankee_rob Member

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    http://www.rugbymag.com/news/clubs/super-league/warriors-win-in-first-league-game.aspx


    Warriors Win in First League Game

    By Alex Goff

    The Utah Warriors stunned the Denver Barbarians in the Mile High City Saturday with a 38-21 victory in their first ever league game.

    The Warriors club, put together under the financial guidance of real estate developer Sean Whalen, was created specifically to play in the Super League.

    The semi-professional outfit was put together using players from around Utah and elsewhere in the USA.

    Saturday was their first league game, and they came out firing, attacking from all over the field and testing the Denver defense. Denver replied with a concerted attack, and spent several periods on or near the Utah line. But the Utah defense held, sometimes illegally as they were repeatedly called for a variety of penalties, giving Maximo de Achaval six shots on goal in the first half. He was good on six of them, but Utah scored three times to lead 17-15 at halftime.

    In the second half, Utah cantered away late, showcasing a surprising level of fitness. They were led by Mike Palefau, who set up two back-breaking tries on well-orchestrated counter-attacks, and No. 8 Ryan Chapman, who has previously played for Glendale in the Denver area, and was outstanding today.

    Detailed match report to come ...

    With SFGG's win over Dallas today, the Super League West standings look as follows:

    RSL WEST

    SF Golden Gate 5
    Utah Warriors 5
    Old Puget Sound Beach 0
    Denver Barbarians 0
    Dallas Harlequins 0
  6. yankee_rob

    yankee_rob Member

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    http://www.rugbymag.com/news/clubs/super-league/sfgg-scores-big-over-dallas.aspx


    SFGG Scores Big Over Dallas

    By Alex Goff

    San Francisco Golden Gate got their Super League season off to a winning start with a 71-12 defeat of the Dallas Harlequins in Big D.

    SFGG weathered a somewhat difficult trip to Texas and were late to the field, resulting in a delayed kickoff. Head Coach Paul Keeler said he was pleased with how his team handled the travel and got the job done.

    "We dealt well with travel issues and held our shape through the whole game," Keeler told RUGBYMag.com. "It's always hard to go on the road in this league. Dallas is a young team but they played tough all 80 minutes."

    Danny LaPrevotte and Samu Manua led a solid forward effort for SFGGm while flyhalf Volney Rouse and fullback Folau Niua sparked a high-scoring day for the backline.

    "We have some takeaways from this game," said Keeler. "I think we need to clean up the ruck area and work on better placement of the ball. Dallas gave us a lot of problems in that area."

    The opening twenty minutes were relatively even, the home side benefiting from the wind and leading by a score of 12–10, Charles Davidson and Kaleb West notching scores for the home side. However SFGG soon hit their stride, running in a few tries before the break to take a 30-12 half-time lead.

    In the second half, it was one-way traffic, as SFGG took control. Powerful forward play and excellent off-loading kept the pace of the game up, and caused many problems for the young home side.

    SFGG is 1-0 and gets a bonus point with four tries, while Dallas is now 0-1.
  7. yankee_rob

    yankee_rob Member

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    Not to sure about this team. If Rio Tinto Stadium already fell through, then it doesn't look good IMO.


    http://www.rugbymag.com/news/clubs/super-league/venue-change-wont-derail-utah-says-whalen.aspx


    Venue Change Won't Derail Utah, Says Whalen

    By Pat Clifton

    The Utah Warriors host their first Super League match Saturday, but unlike team owner/financer/founder Sean Whalen said in interviews in December, that match will not be played at Rio Tinto Stadium, home of the MLS’s Real Salt Lake. Rather, it will be played at McCarthy field, where the University of Utah plays its home matches.

    Venue changes are nothing new to rugby, and we usually don’t report on them. But the Warriors aren’t your typical team. They were formed with the goal of becoming America’s first professional rugby club, and ticket sales at home games were to be the base of that effort. So when the Warriors announced they’d be hosting their RSL opener against the Harlequins somewhere other than Rio Tinto, we asked why.

    “Truthfully I’m not at too much liberty to talk about he whole situation. I can just tell you that it didn’t work out the way we anticipated with Rio Tinto,” Whalen told RUGBYMag.com.

    “There’s kind of some extenuating circumstances there, and the long and the short of it is it’s opened up some good doors for us, it’s opened up some really unique opportunities, and our goal is right now we focus more on the team year one than necessarily the venue, because year two we’re just going to blow some people out of the water.”

    Whalen said the Warriors are looking at a couple other venues, including the University of Utah’s soccer stadium and Rio Tinto, for their remaining two home matches, but that nothing was set in stone.

    Whalen’s not been shy about much since starting the Warriors, including his confidence in being able to monetize rugby. With a few months and a few games under his belt, is he still confident he can make running a Super League team a money-making venture?

    “Without a doubt. Just look at our facebook, look at our response, look at the feedback we’re getting. Truth be told, we probably had more fans in Denver than Denver did. I think the Utah Warriors are making a massive statement just by being on the field,” he said.

    “Sure there’s definitely some things I wish we could do differently, there’s some angles that I wish we could take in having a bigger, 20,000-seat venue, but the reality is I’d much rather have a 3,000-seat venue with 3,000 people in it than a 20,000-seat venue that I can’t put together because a deal structure wasn’t put together right, or something along those lines.

    “I’m a marketing guy, my mind works that way, it’s just the way that I want to go, and I’m extremely disappointed. I wanted the glitz and the glamour, and I’m going to do the glitz and the glamour on my own time frame and in my own way now, versus having to do it with Rio Tinto.”

    One way Whalen is pulling in some cash in the mean time is through the Warriors’ online store, which he says has already become a big hit.

    “We have orders coming from all over the country just for our t-shirts. That’s the mark. What I said when we very first started talking was the definition of success for me was seeing kids walking through the mall wearing my gear, and that’s already happening, and we’ve barely even played our first game,” Whalen added.

    “To put it in perspective, I had a company show up in my office yesterday just bringing me their products asking me if they could sponsor our team, and I had no clue who they were. They just showed up to my office completely unsolicited. If that’s not a sign of people wanting to be involved, I don’t know what is.”

    Whalen talks a lot. Check out his company’s website or his personal website, and that will become apparent. Some in the rugby community interpret Whalen’s loquacious and sometimes blunt nature as a sign of arrogance or foolishness, but ask Whalen and he’ll assure you he walks the walk.

    “Here’s how I rebut it: how many people thought we were going to beat Denver? Not very many. We absolutely in the second-half manhandled Denver, plain and simple, so people can rebut what color underwear I have or whether they like my shoes or they don’t like my shoes, but truth be told the Utah Warriors kicked the hell out of Denver, that’s the real deal here,” he said.

    “If people want to judge us off what stadium we’re playing in, they’re very mistaken on what true success is, because the windows and the doors that have opened for the Utah Warriors within in the last 90 days, I guarantee you are things that probably no Super League team has ever experienced, or had an opportunity to do what it is that we’ve had come our way in the last 90 days.”

    Whalen is unapologetically confident, but he’s also unabashedly loyal. Siofilisi (Sofi) Funaki went down with a gruesome ankle injury during Saturday’s win over Denver that will keep him out the rest of the season (if you check out the Warriors face book page, you can see photos of the injury, but be warned that they’re not pretty.)

    To help Funaki’s family while he is out of commission, Whalen is donating all of the proceeds from the Warriors’ home opener to Sofi. “We want to stand behind him,” said Whalen. “He did the same thing for us, and the Warriors want to support him.”
  8. yankee_rob

    yankee_rob Member

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    http://www.usarugbysuperleague.com/template2.php


    Week 2 Preview

    Following the exciting first week action, a full schedule of games is on tap for this weekend. In the West, Dallas Harlequins provide the opposition for Utah Warrior's home opener. The Warriors are listing a 7PM kickoff at the University of Utah's McCarthy Field. The Warriors are dedicating the game to Siofilici Funaki, who suffered a season ending leg injury in their win last week. Utah’s John Law isn’t taking much comfort from Dallas’ loss last week, as they expect Coach Engelbrecht to have his team ready. The Warrior’s focus is expected to be on exerting defensive pressure on their opponents, something they felt was lacking last week. Dallas will need to respond positively from last week, so as not to fall into an early season hole.
    Also in the West, Denver Barbarians head to Seattle to take on Old Puget Sound Beach. OPSB have had a successful preseason, enjoying victories over Provo Steeler and Old Blue during a trip to Las Vegas last month, as well as wins over solid college opposition. OPSB will be anxious to continue their excellent performances from last year, and spectators will be eager to see if the coaching influence of 7’s legend Waisale Serevi will make the exciting OPSB backline even more dynamic. Denver will look to convert pressure into points and eliminate turnovers that cost them last week against the Warriors.
    In the East, two semifinalists from 2010 meet in Georgia, as Boston visits Life University. Life has lost some players from last year, but James Isaacson mentions some newcomers that might be productive. These include two former Furman University football players Chris Truss and Shaun Van Rensberg, and Arkansas State winger Chris Whittler. The recent high profile signing of Paul Emerick will add even more experience to the talented squad. In Boston, new coach Mike Diamantopoulos reports just two departures from the squad of 2010, and he likes the depth available to him at several positions. It has been tough to get his team outside, but Boston has looked impressive in their three recent run outs. Mike reports “massive” respect for Life and he is excited by the challenge ahead.
    Also in the East, the Chicago Lions visit the Big Apple to take on Old Blue. The Lions’ bulk of their preseason preparation was their annual trip to Life University for an extended camp, and they will be eager to bring their lessons learned with them. Old Blue have managed to get a few games in, dropping a few on the road in the Las Vegas tournament, while posting solid wins at home against some college opposition and old rivals PAC. The final game in the east is also in New York, with the Chicago Griffins taking on 2010 RSL Champions NYAC. Spring games have included Charlotte, Palmer and a very snowy intra-squad scrimmage. They have a tough opponent in the Champions, who have had a successful preseason, posting a 5-0 record. NYAC’s Bruce McLane reports a half-dozen new players \are expected to compete for spots, competing with a solid returning contingent from last year.
    All in all, an exciting schedule of games on tap for the second week of action. The full schedule can be found at premier-rugby.com.
  9. yankee_rob

    yankee_rob Member

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    Week 2 Recap

    In New York, a couple of close games suggested it may be a very competitive season in the 2011 Rugby Super League. On Travers Island, NYAC got their campaign to retain the Championship off to the best possible start, with a bonus point win over the Chicago Griffins. “No way through” reports NYAC’s Bruce McLane, praising a Griffins side that came to play. It was a very physical game, with everything hotly contested. Again this week, a strong wind played a factor in the game, with the Griffins taking advantage to move out to an 11-5 half-time lead. NYAC eventually took the lead in the second half, pushing the score to 17-16. NYAC added another score to make it a more comfortable 22-16, but the Griffins came storming back to score in the corner at the final whistle. The conversion attempt was no good, not surprising given the very difficult conditions.
    Karl Harding had one of the tries for the visitors, and his teammate Pat Marek had a couple. Andrew Suniula completed the Griffins scoring with a pair of penalties. Both McLane and head coach Mike Tolkien praised the play of Griffins, in particular Suniula, outhalf Curtis MacLean and hard charging number 8 Viliami Fakatou. Try scorers for NYAC were winger Steve Annuziato, number 8 Paul Jesseman, strong running center BJ Hall, and newly returned scrumhalf Mike Petri, with Troy Hall adding the conversion to round out the NYAC scoring.

    Also in New York, the Chicago Lions came away with a close win over Old Blue by a final score of 24-22. The Lions dominated much of the opening fifteen minutes, and were rewarded first with a try from scrumhalf Dave Selimos and later another through prop Dave Knab, Mark Roberts adding the conversion for the early twelve point lead. The Lions had several opportunities that were not capitalized upon, either through knock-ons or excellent defensive work that prevented the Lions from grounding the ball. Indeed Lions player representative Chris McClellan cannot recall a game where there were as many contested groundings, on both sides of the ball. While the Lions were not exerting their dominance on the scoreboard, Old Blue started clawing their way back into the game. Flanker John Hoehmann finished off a sustained period of forward pressure by scoring from close range, and the conversion was supplied by Elliot Rechtin for the half time score of 12-7.

    The second half started much the same as the first, with the Lions again dominating proceedings. Old Blue coach noted the impressive play of Lions flanker Joey Chesak throughout the game. However it was Old Blue to score first in this half, narrowing the gap with a penalty kick. Lions hooker Phil Abraham extended the lead with his teams second try, before Hoehmann again finished off a forwards movement with his second try for Old Blue. With Old Blue pressing again, an interception and long break by Selimos was finished off by Mark Roberts to push the score to 24-17 in the Lions’ favor. However with the Lions down to 14 men apparently due to contesting some grounding decisions, Old Blue fullback Luke Hume ran in a try from 25 meters at full time to leave the score at 24-22 with the conversion to come. Controversy was to ensue, with Lions defenders charging the kick as the Old Blue kicker was addressing the ball. Old Blue maintained he had not begun to approach the ball, but now had to rush the kick with defenders approaching, and the kick was off target. Lions take the maximum points from their visit to New York, while Old Blue receives the consolation point for the close loss.

    Sizzling temperatures in Marietta made it a classic day for fast-flowing rugby, as Life University took out Boston in their home opener on Saturday in Marietta, 30-18. The Running Eagles jumped on the board with a penalty kick by Aaron McMaster. Just moments later, a charge-down kick resulted in Life’s first try by Steve Petzel and a good conversion from McMaster. With 12 minutes remaining in the half, Life’s Tui Osborne made a great defensive tackle and picked it up give the walk-in try to Mark Aylor. McMaster followed with another good conversion. Boston fought back and pushed through Life’s goal-line defense for their try first try of the game by Marcus McAllister, 17-5. Life responded with a great phase play that resulted in a try in the corner by Clint Whittler with four minutes remaining. McAllister earned Boston’s final points of the half with a penalty kick as they trailed 22-8.

    The second half started out quiet until Life’s McMaster made his second penalty kick of the game. Boston’s Kyle Marshall followed with two consecutive penalty kicks, staying close behind Life, 25-11. Life’s Whittler scored his second try mid way through the half. Boston closed the game with one final try from Hugh Galligan.

    “We made a decent start in the first half, but made hard work of the win. We have to give credit to Boston for their physicality and ability to keep the ball in the tight areas, which provided some frustration for us. We’ll take an ugly win at this stage of the season,” said Life University Head Coach James Isaacson. “Next week will be another tough game, but I’m pleased that Boston raised some questions that we haven’t answered yet. We will be stronger next week from our experience today.”

    “For the first game of the season I was disappointed with the amount of mistakes we made. Life maximized our mistakes into scoring opportunities,” Boston coach Mike Diamantopoulos said.

    The pattern of close games continued in the Pacific Northwest, as Old Puget Sound Beach held off the challenge of the Denver Barbarians 31 – 29. In a game with several lead changes, OPSB survived a late charge by Denver to get off to a winning start. Last year’s matchup between these two came down to the final seconds, and this year would be no different.

    The first half started with Denver in possession for multiple phases, probing OPSB's defense. The visitors were rewarded with a soft try under the posts by center Jake Humphrey, converted by outhalf Taylor Howden. OPSB prop forward Josh Osborn stole the ball in a ruck and it was quickly passed through the hands to Alipate Tuilevuka who was able to score in the corner. The difficult conversion was successful by OPSB fullback Evan Haigh. And the dye was cast for the majority of the first half, with Denver being methodical and going through the phases with some success and OPSB waiting to counter attack and unleash their speedy back line. OPSB playmaker Isimeli Daveta went down with a possible broken arm and Beach had to reshuffle their backline. Another turnover in the ruck by OPSB deep inside their own 22 was spread wide to winger Filimoni Botitu who danced his way to midfield and off loaded to winger Bobby Fitzpatrick who dotted down his first of three tries on the day. Converted by Haigh once again. Repeated mental mistakes by OPSB allowed Denver to set up their excellent rolling maul from a line out and the visitors were rewarded with their second try on the day from second row Tom Hewitt. At the half, OPSB 14 and Denver 12.

    Denver came out in the second half with a strong push and after continued pressure inside OPSB's 22, the ball was spun wide from a quick ruck to Humphrey who scored his second try on the day. On the ensuing kick off, Denver knocked on the ball which OPSB quickly recycled to Haigh who split the gap between defenders and made a perfect pass to Botitu who raced into the corner and touched down under the posts. Conversion good by Haigh. In the 55th minute, Denver scored again from a quick tap by number 8 Tommy Pasque who was a solid runner all afternoon. Conversion missed from Howden. OPSB replied after Tuilevuka was able to break through the Denver defense and put the visitors on the back foot. After a quick recycle, the ball was spread wide to Fitzpatrick who scored his second try. Conversion missed by Haigh. Mike Mangan, Denver's second row speedster was able to scoop up a loose ball at the back of a ruck in midfield and ran over and ran away from three defenders. Mangan's size and speed continues to impress. Conversion good by Howden made the score Denver 29 and OPSB 26 with less than 10 minutes to play. The game's final try started deep inside OPSB's half as Botitu kicked ahead inside Denver's 22. The Denver player knocked the ball on and another Denver player scooped it up from an offside position, giving a penalty to the home side. Haigh decided to take a quick tap and barreled ahead within meters of the tryline. After a few failed attempts to push over from the mixed pile of desperate players, OPSB spun the ball wide to Fitzpatrick who scored his third try on the day. A collective sigh of relief went through the home crowd of 400 as it looked like Beach was going to pull off the victory. Denver had other intentions as they quickly recycled the ball and ran deep inside OPSB's 22. Desperate defense and several lunges by Denver's forwards to score the deciding try provided the audience with a nail biter finish. The final whistle blew as Denver was held up in the try zone. Final score OPSB 31-Denver 29.

    Denver falls to the very unfamiliar position of no wins from their two outings thus far, and will have to wait two weeks to try to get their first win of the season. There is some consolation in the overall points total, as Denver has two points from their close losses.

    Over in Utah, the only blowout on the day’s scoreboard came courtesy of the Utah Warriors, who saw off the challenge of the Dallas Harlequins by a score of 78-15. Ominous skies and strong winds throughout the day threatened this game with challenging weather conditions, but by the time kick off arrived the wind had diminished and the pitch was dry. In what has become a consistent pattern, Utah opened the game with several penalties, inviting Dallas to play the majority of the first 5 minutes in Utah territory, but the Warrior defense held firm, then gave way the Utah attack. Mike Palefau opened the game’s score card by dotting down under the posts after receiving a skillful off-load from Richard White who had achieved a nice line break off set-piece ball. Jason Pye converted, and with eight minutes off the clock Utah led 7-0. Three minutes later, Palefau continued his scoring ways with another brilliant solo counter attack, and once again Jason Pye converted the straight-on kick. It was Pye who found points next, placing the ball down in the right corner on a 5th phase run as Utah started to find continuity and stretch the score to 19-0. Second rower, Mike Law, nimbly hauled in the high ball off a Warrior lineout and the ball was presented to a hard-charging winger Matt Byrd who scored Utah’s fourth try of the opening half which was converted by captain Jason Pye. A few moments later, Utah lapsed defensively and left a Harlequin right-side touch-line open and the visitors made them pay with a boot to the corner, scooped up by Dallas’ fleet-footed wing Scott Girling who took the ball in and put Dallas on the board. A yellow-card ensued for Utah for repeated infringements, but it didn’t seem to matter as Jason Pye ran in his second of the night after the Warriors spread the field effectively and created space up the middle. And in the 37th minute, front-row reserve, Kite Afeaki rambled in for his second short-handed try on the season following an excellent display of ball retention by Utah and the ability to burn through several phases of play very quickly. Pye converted, and at the break Utah held a commanding lead of 40 to 5.

    In the second half, scrumhalf Ben Nicholls scored two successive tries, the first, an astute effort off a Dallas penalty, and the second a sneaky about-face off the back of the scrum after Dallas had closed down the strong side. Jason Pye converted both. In the 68th minute, forward reserve Isi Helu added another try with a ball taken from a lineout. Dallas countered with two unconverted tries of their own, Girling getting his second and scrumhalf Ryan Phillips adding the second, showing great sportsmanship and resolve. But Utah flanker and captain, Sa Palepoi, who played a brilliant game, halted any Harlequin momentum with a deftly intercepted Dallas backline ball, and raced in untouched. Ben Nicholls converted the try, as well as Utah’s next score which was run in by Joe Lomu in the 74th minute. In the closing moments, the energetic crowd was treated once more to a bit of Mike Palefau dazzle as the outstanding fullback ran through and around several defenders en route to his third try of the young season.
    Dallas will regroup at home to Old Puget Beach next weekend, while a mouth watering clash is on the cards as the Warriors travel to take on San Francisco Golden Gate.
  10. yankee_rob

    yankee_rob Member

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    Week 2 - March 19, 2011
    Dallas Harlequins 15 @ 78 Utah Warriors 7pm
    Denver Barbarians 29 @ 31 Old Puget Sound Beach 3pm
    Chicago Lions 24 @ 22 Old Blue New York 1:30pm
    Boston Rugby 18 @ 30 Life University 2pm
    Chicago Griffins 21 @ 22 New York Athletic Club 1pm


    RED CONFERENCE
    Utah Warriors 10
    SF Golden Gate 5
    Old Puget Sound Beach 5
    Denver Barbarians 2
    Dallas Harlequins 0


    BLUE CONFERENCE
    Life University 5
    Chicago Lions 5
    New York Athletic Club 5
    Old Blue New York 1
    Chicago Griffins 1
    Boston 0

    Week 3 - March 26, 2011
    Old Puget Sound Beach @ Dallas Harlequins 3pm
    Utah Warriors @ San Francisco Golden Gate 3pm
    Chicago Lions @ Chicago Griffins 1pm
    Old Blue New York @ Boston Rugby TBA
    New York Athletic Club @ Life University 1pm
  11. yankee_rob

    yankee_rob Member

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    Author:John DoodyMarch 24, 2011
    Date:For Immediate Release

    March 24, 2011



    Rugby Super League: Week 3 Preview



    BOULDER, Colo. – There are some great games on the horizon for week three of the Rugby Super League (RSL). In the Red Conference, the Dallas Harlequins (0-2) host Old Puget Sound Beach (1-0) and, in a battle of unbeatens the newly-formed Utah Warriors (2-0) will test their mettle against San Francisco Golden Gate (1-0). In the Blue Conference, Windy City bragging rights are on the line with the Chicago Griffins (0-1) squaring off with the Chicago Lions (1-0). Life University (1-0) hosts 2010 RSL Champions New York Athletic Club (1-0) and New York Old Blue (0-1) will play Boston (0-1) in Boston.



    Week 3 - March 26, 2011

    Old Puget Sound Beach @ Dallas Harlequins, 3:00 p.m. CDT, Glencoe Park, Dallas

    Utah Warriors @ San Francisco Golden Gate, 3:00 p.m. PDT, Sheeran Field, Treasure Island, San Francisco

    Chicago Lions @ Chicago Griffins, 1:00 p.m. CDT, Riis Park, Chicago

    Old Blue New York @ Boston Rugby, 7:00 p.m. EDT, Milton High School, Milton, Mass.

    New York Athletic Club @ Life University, 1:00 p.m. CDT, Life Rugby Pitch, Marietta, GA



    In the Red Conference, Old Puget Sound Beach (OPSB) will travel to Dallas Harlequins. OPSB had a solid win over a strong Denver Barbarians team last weekend, and they will look to keep their momentum going, whereas the hosts need to get on the winning track, and quickly, if they are to compete in the latter stages of the competition. OPSB will also have to overcome the loss of injured playmaker Isimeli Daveta, who sustained a significant arm injury last week.



    A much anticipated clash between the Utah Warriors at San Francisco Golden Gate (SFGG) will give the Warriors a chance to prove they are true contenders. Utah will have to be at their best to knock off the past champions as SFGG has a wealth of big game experience to draw from. Utah certainly has the talent to compete, but they will have to play error free and disciplined rugby in order to succeed. SFGG will likely be focused on limiting the effectiveness of high-scoring pivot, Jason Pye, and unleash some hard running rugby of their own.


    In the Blue conference, the Chicago Lions and Chicago Griffins will battle for local bragging rights. The Lions won a close game in New York last week, while the Griffins played well in their trip to New York but fell short against New York Athletic Club (NYAC). The Lions seem to be on an upswing at the moment and the Griffins have strengthened their program recently, so this one could be close.



    Another great matchup is on tap in Marietta, Ga., as Life University host 2010 Champions, NYAC. It's likely another close game, and neither team will want to drop a game against their highly- ranked opponent. Temperatures in the 70s should help the spectators enjoy the game.



    The final game of the day will have New York's Old Blue making the short trip to Boston. With some snow and freezing temperatures in the forecast, the teams will have an added hurdle to overcome. Both teams dropped close games last weekend, and given the strength of the conference, dropping to 0-2 will not be a pleasant position to be in.



    Further Information:

    John Doody | Public Relations | Rugby Super League | [email protected]



    About Rugby Super League

    The Rugby Super League is sanctioned by USA Rugby as the premier level of Men's Club competition in the USA. The Rugby Super League is managed and administrated by the League within the guidelines of USA Rugby and is subject to the international laws of the game. The 2011 season will showcase 11 teams competing in two conferences with scheduled season play and two rounds of playoff games - culminating in the Rugby Super League Championship match on May 21, 2011. The competition runs from Mid-March to May each year.
  12. yankee_rob

    yankee_rob Member

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    Week 3 Recap
    Life University battling NYAC is one of the most anticipated games of the season, and a day that ended cold and wet could not deter the excited crowd. "You'd be hard-pressed to find this caliber rugby from both teams at any other match in the US," said Director of Life Rugby Dan Payne.
    Life came out strong and was first on the board first with a penalty kick from Aaron McMaster. They quickly followed with a breakaway run by Tui Osborne, which earned the Running Eagles their first try of the game.

    NYAC's Pete O'Brien put up a penalty kick. After five phases Osborne scored his second try from a crossfield kick by Pete Burt. Life led 13-3. The Running Eagles got immediate control of the ball again from the kick-off and ran it in for another try by Steve Petzel. A good conversion by McMaster put Life ahead at the half 20-3. Interestingly, these tries were scored despite playing a man down, with Life’s number 8 Mary Aylor spending some time in the sin-bin after being judged to have committed a deliberate knock-on.

    The second half fared much better for NYAC, who put more pressure on Life and were within striking distance several times. NYAC got the only score of the second half from Steve Annunziato with 21 minutes remaining.

    "The match did not end favorably for us. It was a very physical and high pressure match, which is exactly what we expected," said NYAC Head Coach Mike Tolkin. "We didn't come out of the gate strong enough and Life certainly capitalized on our errors. We played much better in the second half."

    "The forwards played really well, and when the forwards have a good game it is contagious throughout the rest of the team," said Life’s Osborne.

    "Playing NYAC is always going to be a close game. The first half really won it for us and was a monumental effort by our players. We really enjoy playing NYAC and I wouldn't bet against us seeing them again later in the season," said Head Coach James Isaacson.

    The Chicago Lions join Life at the top of the standings in the East Conference, as the Lions put together a solid performance to dispatch the cross town rivals the Chicago Griffins. The Lions played error free rugby, controlling the game via a strong set piece platform and keeping turnovers to a minimum. About a dozen penalties were conceded by the Griffins in the first half, ensuring they could not get any momentum going. Griffins coach Wez Parkes pointed to the clearly superior Lions scrum as another major factor in the game. Playing against the wind in the first half, Lion winger Jeff Nogaj contributed the first points of the game with a penalty kick, soon matched by the Griffins’ Andrew Suniula. Nogaj added an unconverted try later and added a couple of penalties to round out the first half scoring at 14-3 in the Lions favor.

    Chasing the wind in the second half, the Griffins were unable to claw their way back into the game, and it was the Lions who extended the lead fifteen minutes into the second half with a try through fullback Ben Purcell, converted by Nogaj. A dominant scrum forced the Griffins to concede penalties and the Lions pinned the Griffins deep for much of the game. Lions player representative Chris McClennan mentioned the Griffins defended well throughout the game, but were never really able to get going. Lions man of the match was center Matt Kelly, and along with the play of prop John Vitale may have caught the eye of USA Eagles head coach Eddie O’Sullivan, who was reportedly in attendance.

    In Texas, visiting Old Puget Sound Beach put the Dallas Harlequins to the sword by a score of 69-13, taking the win on a hot and windy afternoon. The Dallas Harlequins played a very physical game and made the visitors work hard for their scores. Pack leader Matt Trouville summed it up well, "We didn't have any chance to rest out there, Dallas is a very opportunistic side". OPSB received a bulk of their scores from the usual suspects on the wings as Bobby Fitzpatrick put down two only to be one upped by Filimoni Botitu with three, as OPSB continues their impressive run and move into a three way tie on top of the standings.

    In a frigid Boston evening, the locals overcame Old Blue, winning 34-8. Boston coach Mike Diamantopoulos says Old Blue had some bad luck to start, losing their flyhalf to injury in the first few minutes, and later in the half were playing a man down due to a yellow card. Boston’s Mike Bunce opened the scoring with a try in the 16th minute. Veteran Anthony Adam started in place of Boston’s injured captain Hugh Galligan, and Adam scored Boston’s second try, also in the first half. Old Blue responded with a Luke Hume penalty for a half time score of 10-3. Boston seemed to dominate the second half, especially in the backs, and added four tries. Derick Wovumba had two, and one each were scored by Kyle Marshall and Brian Regal. Nick Elrick converted two to round off the scoring, which may have been higher but for a significant number of errors.

    In perhaps the most intriguing game of the day, San Francisco Golden Gate defeated the Utah Warriors 32-8. The halftime score was 10-8, with Daniel La Prevette and Saimone Lauaupaleau notching the unconverted tries. SFGG coach Paul Keeler is happy enough with the result, though he is still concentrating with getting the side to gel, avoiding mistakes like trying to force the game and not sticking with the game plan. A couple of SFGG defensive miscues were exploited by Mike Palefau who notched a try, and Utah also added a penalty in the first. In the second half, SFGG added scores through another from La Prevotte, and one each from Hector Quiles, Folau Moleloa and Damian Fatognia. Volney Rouse added a conversion to finish out the scoring. Keeler liked what he has seen from Utah so far, saying they are “a great addition…. and will be a huge asset to the league”. SFGG travels to take on Old Puget Sound next week, while Utah has the week off.
  13. yankee_rob

    yankee_rob Member

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    http://www.rugbymag.com/news/standings/2011-usa-super-league-standings.aspx

    2011 USA Super League Standings

    Updated March 26, 2011

    Super League East
    Life University 9
    Chicago Lions 9
    New York Athletic Club 5
    Boston Rugby 5
    Chicago Griffins 1
    Old Blue New York 1



    Super League West
    SF Golden Gate 10
    Old Puget Sound Beach 10
    Utah Warriors 10
    Denver Barbarians 2
    Dallas Harlequins 0




    Week 4 - April 2, 2011
    Denver Barbarians @ Dallas Harlequins 3pm
    San Francisco Golden Gate @ Old Puget Sound Beach 3pm
    Boston Rugby @ Chicago Lions 1:30pm
    Life University @ Chicago Griffins 1pm
    Old Blue New York @ New York Athletic Club 1pm
  14. yankee_rob

    yankee_rob Member

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    http://rugbyamerica.net/

    The Rise of Warrior Nation

    March 30, 2011

    Featured, Rugby News, Super League by Ted Hardy, Editor, Rugby America

    In just a handful of months, the Utah Warriors have gone from concept to one of the most talked about teams in American rugby, if not the most talked about. Assembled without bias to clubs and with a business model firmly in place, the Utah Warriors management has made no secret their intention to be part of the professionalization of rugby in the United States.

    This bravado has been mirrored on the field by a team that one would swear had been playing together for years and not just a couple months. The Warriors won their first two Super League games convincingly before falling this past weekend to Super League stalwart San Francisco Golden Gate. With playoffs still firmly in the Warriors’ reach, the two contenders are set for a rematch in Utah on April 16th.

    At home, Utah will have their secret weapon and proverbial sixteenth man… Warrior Nation.

    Warrior Nation is the aptly named fan club of the Utah Warriors although it has become so much more. It has become an extension of the team with players and management actively engaging fans through a variety of mediums. From public appearances to social media sites to merchandising to radio and TV… the Utah Warriors are doing what no other Super League team has done before them.

    Warrior Nation is an all-encompassing entity that includes the players on the field, management, and the fans that support them.

    Social media sites, such as Facebook, have provided a valuable outlet for Warrior Nation and team management to promote the Utah Warriors. However, Warriors Owner Sean Whalen is careful to note that social media is a valuable tool as long as it is used properly.

    “The advantage of social media is that it is far reaching and has a great expanse to who you can communicate. The disadvantage to it is it’s like a machine and there are not many people that like to interact with a machine,” said Whalen.

    “People want to know you, the real you. They want to feel your passion. They want to feel your pain. Unless you truly understand that social media can deliver that and unless you are as brutally honest on Facebook as you would be face to face, you will not capture the true opportunity social media can provide. This is hard for people to do and a lot of teams don’t even have a Facebook page let alone a social media plan. I hope the Warriors and Warrior Nation will motivate other teams to engage their fans the same way.”

    In concept and on a much smaller scale, what is happening with Warrior Nation bears little difference to what you may see from the fan base of higher profile professional sports teams… an outpouring of support in victory and defeat, the ruffling of feathers over what was perceived in an article, and maybe even a few armchair quarterbacks… although it would be armchair flyhalfs in this case.

    That is not to say that the other Super League teams do not have fans. They do and some of them have very loyal fans. But no one can argue that anyone is doing as much or more than the Utah Warriors to engage and attract fans.

    In an interview with Rugby America in December, Utah Warriors Owner Sean Whalen stated that the success of the Warriors will not just be witnessed with on the field results, but with fan support.

    “We are having a hard time keeping up with the daily purchase and requests for Warrior gear! I mentioned that I wanted to see people wearing Warrior gear in the malls and I can say that this is happening almost at a pace even shocking to me and I’m not easily shocked,” said the Warriors Whalen emphatically.

    Whether it is running into supporters at airports on their way to away games or staying after games to sign autographs for kids, the Warriors are making that effort and being rewarded in the process with a growing legion of fans young and old.

    “At our first home match we gave away 100 mini rugby balls to the first 100 kids. After the match we invited all those kids onto the field where the team spent over an hour autographing the balls, taking pictures and talking with the kids and fans. It was really fantastic. I am delighted with how well people have responded to wanting to be part of this team and to be a part of Warrior Nation,” added Whalen.

    The Warriors are just beginning to scratch the surface of their promotional onslaught. A recent “Win a Date with a Warrior” promotion that was launched on a local morning show nearly crashed the Warriors’ website. Plans are in place for even more cutting edge promotions aimed directly at building the kind of fan base that any professional team would envy.

    “We will be doing it on a regular basis and I guarantee there are major league baseball, football and basketball teams that will be copying what we are rolling out in Warrior Nation,” said a confident Whalen.

    Will the ball rolling in the right direction, now Whalen and the Warriors are tasked with keeping that momentum going both on and off the field. Keeping it going off the field is perhaps the most vital component of the equation.

    The message is very clear, rugby will not fully professionalize without fans to support, come to game, buy merchandise, and force the hand of television and sponsors.

    “I believe the best way to keep things going is by doing exactly what we are doing now. Put a great team on the field, be engaging with the fans, be a team people can relate to and root for, and last be heroic,” said Whalen.

    “Being heroic might sound cheesy to some, but people want to have hope, they want something to believe in and something that gives them excitement and motivation.”

    This is where the on the field play of the Warriors comes into the picture. A winning environment is needed to draw in the fans, but it will be the active engagement of those fans that will keep them coming back.

    “I believe people will continue to love this team and our fan base will continue to grow because it’s hard to not get excited and motivated by watching what we are doing. For us to do this people see that anything is possible if you put your mind at something and never listen to the naysayers,” said Whalen in regard to keeping the momentum flowing.

    Whalen and the Warriors are bullish on their future and that of the Super League. The recent announcement that the RSL is looking at expanding both the length of the season and the number of teams has the team excited about the prospects.

    “The Warriors support the growth 100%,” adds Whalen.

    “We now have a voice in the super league and we want to use that voice to make things better for rugby in America. The RSL has been the highest level of rugby in America or a long time, but it’s a bit lost in direction. Sean Kelly (RSL President) and the team managers are focused on making the RSL a quality organization and the Warriors intend to support that vision of growth and quality.”

    Because of the way the Utah Warriors were built and their business minded approach, there are detractors are at every corner. Even the gusto in which Warrior Nation has displayed has been met resistance from a rugby community that is still struggling with the concept of rugby becoming professional and the caveats that come along with professional sports.

    “Some people question how we, as a team, are going about things and in some ways thinking the Warriors, myself in particular, are brash but look at what’s happening. People are talking, and when people are talking that’s always a good sign in the business world,” Whalen states.

    “If your product is lackluster and sucks no one cares about it, or talks about it. When you create excitement, run a little bit on the edge of what’s customary, it creates a buzz. Rugby in America needs a buzz. Rugby in America will not grow without it. Rugby in America needs the Warriors and need the excitement and mystique the Warriors bring to the table.”
  15. the shelts

    the shelts Member

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    So last year, there was a show called Glendale Rugby on Fox Sports Rocky Mountain. It comes in here on channel 784 or something. Haven't seen anything about it, they showed mostly RSL but highlights from around the world too. Hopefully someone can get this back.
  16. yankee_rob

    yankee_rob Member

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    Would love to see an American rugby show on Universal Sports....could cover 15s and 7s from rookie rugby all the way up to the elite domestic clubs and international teams.
  17. yankee_rob

    yankee_rob Member

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    Week 4 Recap
    In the East, Life University takes sole possession of first place after a hard fought 25-16 win over the Chicago Griffins. Life’s coach James Isaacson had predicted the Griffins would be making a fast start out of the blocks. “It was a real tough game” he reports, “we went behind in the first half and deservedly so, as the Griffins played superbly”. First half penalties were exchanged by Griffins Andrew Suniula and Life’s Aaron McMaster, before Griffins flanker Brian McBride touched down for his side’s first try. Near the end of the half, Life’s winger Steve Petzel tied up the score with a try of his own, before Suniula regained the lead with another penalty to make the half time score 11-8 in the Griffins’ favor.
    Fifteen minutes into the second half and playing against the wind, the Griffins extended their advantage with another try to go 16-8 ahead. Moving into the final quarter of the game, Life’s center Tui Osborne notched a try, and the McMaster conversion brought Life within a point. Winger Petzel added another try with less than ten minutes on the clock to push Life into the lead, and McMaster added a difficult conversion. Minutes later McMaster added another penalty to push the lead to nine points, and Life held on for the win.

    Griffins coach Wez Parkes reflected “we had a lot of things to correct after last week, which we did to a large extent, but we still came second”. Parkes mentions a few defensive lapses that were costly, and credits McMaster with pinning the Griffins deep for long periods, especially in the second half.

    In an interesting side note, the win marks Life’s first time in the last couple of years where the team has mounted a late comeback to take the win. True, they are not often in a position to have to make a comeback, but it is certainly a positive step in the development of the team.

    In New York, NYAC got the better of Old Blue, taking the win 41-25. USA National team head coach Eddie O’Sullivan was on hand to enjoy the proceedings. Playing with a strong wind in the first half, Old Blue moved out to a 15-10 halftime lead. NYAC’s Bruce McLane mentions NYAC lost backs Troy Hall and Tim Ryland to injury early on, but Old Blue experienced similar injuries to their team. Given the windy condition, NYAC decided to implement a simple game plan, focusing on territory and playing to their strengths, but it was Old Blue who had the better of the early exchanges, with John Hoehmann and Fitzjames Adams scoring tries. Steve Annuziato and Glenn Fox crossed for NYAC.

    NYAC began to take advantage of the wind in the second half, with Peter O’Brien marshalling a good game from the flyhalf position. NYAC reeled off 31 unanswered points, with Paul Jesseman, Seth Cohen, Brian Doyle, Tim LeNevez and BJ Hall all scoring tries, three of which were converted by O’Brien. Fortune favored NYAC on the day, with a few of the tries coming on kick block downs or from turnover ball. Old Blue got some reward for their continued efforts, with Elliot Rechtin finishing off a long break by Hoehmann to provide some highlights, but the spoils would go to NYAC on the day.

    In Chicago, the visiting Boston club knocked some of the wind out of the sails of the Chicago Lions by taking a 24-22 win. A thrilled Boston coach Mike Diamantopoulos reported a real back and forth type of game. Diamantopoulos was very happy with the set piece play, especially the scrums. Defense was also good, with a key focus on limiting the effectiveness of Lions center Matt Kelly. Boston used the wind advantage to move out to a 17-8 halftime lead, Duran Vota and Marcus McAllister were try scorers for Boston, conversions and a penalty added by Nick Elrick. With the strong wind promising a second half surge by the Lions, Boston made life harder for themselves by conceding a red card for persistent team infringements, second row Dave Prell taking the early shower before the first half was over.

    The Lions indeed mounted a challenge in the second half, scoring 14 points, but a try from Derick Wovumba was enough to put Boston over the top. “When you go on the road and put yourself under the pressure that we did against a really good team, we are happy with the win”, says Diamantopoulos. The standings now show three teams bunched at 2-1 in the East conference, with the bonus points becoming more valuable.

    In the West conference, the Dallas Harlequins entertained the Denver Barbarians, with the ‘Quins celebrating the 40th anniversary of the founding of the club. In front of a large local crowd, Dallas had several bright spots in the first half, notably Jimmy Jewison’s try, but Dallas also conceded a couple of soft tries that got Denver moving. Dallas defended pretty well in the second half, but Denver took full advantage of any miscues. The Denver onslaught got to be too much for the defense, and the scores started coming. Dallas countered with late scores through Travis Bonning and Tim McNeely, but the damage was done. The bonus point win will put Denver back into the playoff reckoning.

    In Seattle, Old Puget Sound Beach played host to San Francisco Golden Gate in another game of undefeated teams. SFGG overcame a slowish start to come up with the 34-14 victory. First half tries were scored by SFGG, with Saimone Lauaupaleau and Folau Moleloa crossing the try line. OPSB countered with three penalty kicks by fullback Evan Haigh. OPSB’s Tim Zern considered it a pretty even first half, with several unforced errors on both sides that probably cost teams some points. SFGG coach Paul Keeler agrees, lamenting a slow start, missed passes and trying to force the plays being common problems.

    In the second half, a rejuvenated SFGG team began to click, directed by the efficient play of scrumhalf Mose Timoteo. Number 8 Samuela Manoa was again very effective, contributing several hard runs and gain line breaks as the OPSB tackles started to fall off a little. SFGG winger Hector Quiles had a try, and hooker Mark Biller added two more. OPSB countered with a try through Filimoni Botitu, but it was to be SFGG’s day. OPSB have a pivotal game next week in Utah, while SFGG will host Denver in another mouth watering clash.
  18. yankee_rob

    yankee_rob Member

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    Week 4 - April 2, 2011
    Denver Barbarians 63 @ 22 Dallas Harlequins 3pm
    San Francisco Golden Gate 34 @ 14 Old Puget Sound Beach 3pm
    Boston Rugby 24 @ 22 Chicago Lions 1:30pm
    Life University 25 @ 16 Chicago Griffins 1pm
    Old Blue New York 25 @ 41 New York Athletic Club 1pm



    RED CONFERENCE
    SF Golden Gate 15
    Utah Warriors 10
    Old Puget Sound Beach 10
    Denver Barbarians 7
    Dallas Harlequins 0

    BLUE CONFERENCE
    Life University 13
    Chicago Lions 10
    New York Athletic Club 10
    Boston 8
    Chicago Griffins 1
    Old Blue New York 1



    Week 5 - April 9, 2011
    Denver Barbarians @ San Francisco Golden Gate 3pm
    Old Puget Sound Beach @ Utah Warriors 7pm
    Chicago Lions @ Life University 1pm
    Boston Rugby @ New York Athletic Club 1pm
    Old Blue New York @ Chicago Griffins 1pm
  19. yankee_rob

    yankee_rob Member

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    Week 5 - April 9, 2011

    Denver Barbarians 24 @ 54 San Francisco Golden Gate 3pm
    Old Puget Sound Beach 18 @ 17 Utah Warriors 7pm
    Chicago Lions 17 @ 48 Life University 1pm
    Boston Rugby 35 @ 24 New York Athletic Club 1pm
    Old Blue New York 16 @ 22 Chicago Griffins 1pm


    RED CONFERENCE

    SF Golden Gate 15
    Old Puget Sound Beach 14
    Utah Warriors 11
    Denver Barbarians 7
    Dallas Harlequins 0

    BLUE CONFERENCE

    Life University 18
    Boston 14
    New York Athletic Club 11
    Chicago Lions 10
    Chicago Griffins 5
    Old Blue New York 2



    Week 6 - April 16, 2011

    Dallas Harlequins @ Denver Barbarians 1pm
    San Francisco Golden Gate @ Utah Warriors 7pm
    Chicago Griffins @ Boston Rugby 1pm
    Life University @ Old Blue New York 4:30pm
    New York Athletic Club @ Chicago Lions 1:30pm
  20. yankee_rob

    yankee_rob Member

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    Week 7 Recap
    Just one game in the Rugby Super League this week between Denver Barbarians and Old Puget Sound Beach, and the result clarifies the playoff ranking in the RSL West Conference. OPSB began the game knowing they had their destiny in their hands, and made no mistake with the bonus point win over Denver by a score of 41-33. The win means OPSB have secured second place and will travel to play San Francisco Golden Gate in the RSL semifinal May 14th.
    A dozen tries were scored in the entertaining game, with Denver opening the scoring with a converted try to take an early lead, before OPSB responded with a converted try of their own through Robert Fitzpatrick. Teammate Filimoni Botitu crossed for the first of his three tries on the day shortly after. Denver immediately replied with two more tries, before OPSB responded with two more of their own to take a 24-21 halftime lead.

    The second half continued at the furious pace, with OPSB stretching their lead to 34-21 before the hosts cut into the lead. Denver closed to within a point and was just a missed conversion away from taking the lead, trailing 33-34. Denver had another penalty opportunity as time was about to expire, but elected to go for a lineout which was subsequently repelled by OPSB. OPSB claimed another converted try from Ryan Bishop in injury time to make the final score 41-33. OPSB’s head coach Evan Haigh enjoyed the back and forth struggle with Denver, especially the “very fast venue where we were able to get our outside backs into some space and use our speed. We wanted to win it today and go through to the semi final and not have to do it at home next week”.

    All the tries were scored by the backs today for OPSB, including Filimoni Botitu’s hat trick. Indeed Botitu “gave us fits all day long, reeling off several long runs” reflects Denver’s Rob O’Connor. Denver’s try scorers included prop Josh Masek, number 8 Tommy Pasque and center Christian Sarmento.

    Although OPSB is in the semifinal against San Francisco Golden Gate on May 14th, Haigh knows they have a more immediate task at hand in that they host the Utah Warriors next weekend in the final regular season game. He notes Utah’s style is somewhat similar to SFGG which will help in his preparation for the semifinal, but he is acutely aware that Utah will relish another crack at OPSB, given that there was only a point in the difference between the teams in that game.

    The other game in the West conference has Dallas traveling to San Francisco. In the East, the Chicago Griffins play cross town rivals the Lions, while in New York, NYAC and Old Blue square off. Boston will host Life University in a battle for playoff home field advantage in the final high profile game of the regular season.



    Week 7, April 23, 2011 - (EASTER)
    Old Puget Sound Beach 41 @ 33 Denver Barbarians 4:30pm



    Week 6 - April 16, 2011
    Dallas Harlequins 10 @ 84 Denver Barbarians 1pm
    San Francisco Golden Gate 49 @ 29 Utah Warriors 7pm
    Chicago Griffins 27 @ 32 Boston Rugby 1pm
    Life University 34 @ 13 Old Blue New York 4:30pm
    New York Athletic Club 10 @ 12 Chicago Lions 1:30pm
  21. yankee_rob

    yankee_rob Member

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    RED CONFERENCE
    SF Golden Gate 25
    Old Puget Sound Beach 19
    Denver Barbarians 14
    Utah Warriors 12
    Dallas Harlequins 0


    BLUE CONFERENCE
    Life University 23
    Boston 19
    Chicago Lions 14
    New York Athletic Club 12
    Chicago Griffins 7
    Old Blue New York 2

    4 Points awarded to the winning team

    0 Points to the losing team

    2 Points to each team in the case of a tie

    1 Bonus Point to a team scoring 4 or more tries

    1 Bonus Point to a losing team keeping the score within 7 points




    Week 8 - April 30, 2011
    Dallas Harlequins @ San Francisco Golden Gate 3pm
    Utah Warriors @ Old Puget Sound Beach 3pm
    Chicago Griffins @ Chicago Lions 1:30pm
    Life University @ Boston Rugby 7pm
    New York Athletic Club @ Old Blue New York 1:30pm
  22. yankee_rob

    yankee_rob Member

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    Week 8 Recap

    The final five games of the regular season took place today, and lots of exciting rugby was played. Interestingly, four of the five road teams came up with the win this weekend. In a widely anticipated matchup in Seattle, the visiting Utah Warriors could not have had worse preparation for the game against Old Puget Sound Beach as their flight was cancelled and they had to scramble to make it to the kickoff in time. But make it they did, and they certainly came to play, racing out to a commanding lead before OPSB started clawing their way back into contention. John Van Der Giessen and Joe Lomu had single tries for Utah, and Mike Palefau added two more. Three conversions and a penalty rounded out the scoring for Utah. OPSB countered with tries from Filimoni Botitu, Alipate Tuilavuka and Matt Trouville to make proceedings interesting towards the end, but the locals were always playing catch-up in this one.
    Old Puget Sound’s representative Tim Zern reports Utah dominated the play in the loose, especially at the breakdown. He mentions Utah outhalf Jason Pye who directed traffic very well, but the star of the show was John Van Der Giessen. Starting at openside flanker, Van Der Giessen was extremely disruptive, dominating the game from an offensive and defensive viewpoint, and capped off the display with a fine individual try in the 29-2 win. Utah’s Jon Law agrees, calling Van Der Giessen “outstanding”. Law appreciated OPSB’s flexibility in delaying the kickoff, and despite the limited prep time, Utah played well, managing to improve on several aspects of the team’s play from previous weeks.

    In Chicago, the Griffins were leading at halftime by 24-19 despite playing against a strong wind in their game against the Lions. Two tries for Glenn Edwards and one from Viliami Fakatou paced the offense, while Andrew Suniula added the conversions. Taking advantage of the wind in the second half, the Griffins pulled away from their rivals, with Suniula again contributing lots of points to his side’s total. Griffins head coach Wez Parkes was impressed at the way his team finished up the season, playing up to their full potential.

    In New York, several injuries to NYAC’s players forced an unfamiliar starting lineup. Frank Gianchetta and Mike Durant saw extended playing time, and both responded with Gianchetta scoring three tries and Durant turning in a top performance on both sides of the ball. Two first half tries by Gianchetta as well as one from ever present Brian Doyle and Paul Jesseman paced NYAC to an early lead. Old Blue responded with a long break by Eliot Rechtin to leave the halftime score at 29-5. Old Blue number 8 John Hoehman continued his try scoring ways early in the second half, before NYAC replied through tries from Peter O’Brien, Mike Petri, Max Levine and Gianchetta’s third. Old Blue’s Peter Jordan had a late try to round out the scoring.

    In San Francisco, the visiting Dallas Harlequins came off second best in a one-sided affair, final score 97-7. Milemoto Pulu led the try scoring with four tries, followed by two each from Samisoni Pone, Damian Fatognia and Tevita Okusi. Samuela Manoa, Daniel LaPrevette, Folau Moleloa, Patrick Latu and Mose Timoteo each had a try. Volney Rouse added nine conversions, and Okusi also had two.

    The game with most at stake was the Life University and Boston clash, with the winner to get home field advantage in the semi final game between the two sides in two weeks. It was an absorbing clash, played at a high tempo pace that never relented. Boston got off to an great start, with Nick Elrich kicking a penalty immediately following the start of the game. Ten minutes later, Life took advantage of a Boston knock on by sending winger Steve Petzel over in the corner for an unconverted try. Shortly after, Life were awarded a penalty near the Boston line and center Paul Emerick, sensing a mismatch, took the quick tap and crashed over for a try. Five minutes later, it was Boston to take advantage of a knock on, with Elrich getting over the line for a try.

    After a long period of territorial advantage, Brendan Moore scored for Boston, and the Elrich conversion pushed the score to 15-10 for Boston. Shortly after, a missed pass in Life’s midfield was pounced upon by Elrick who took it 50 meters for another score. His conversion brought the score to 22-10. Deep into the first half, Petzel scored again for the visitors, and the Aaron McMaster conversion left the score at 22-17.

    The second half was equally entertaining, starting with Mark Aylor scoring Life’s fourth try about five minutes in, recapturing the lead but more importantly securing the bonus point and guaranteeing home field advantage for the semifinal. Life extended the lead shortly after, with prop Seth Strauss running a great angle on a pop pass to crash over the tryline, McMaster again converting. Boston replied quickly, with Marcus McAllister evading several would-be tacklers to narrow the gap to 27-31. Life would have the final say however, with reserve Tui Osborne finishing off a long run to leave the final score at 36-27 in Life’s favor.
  23. yankee_rob

    yankee_rob Member

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    Week 8 - April 30, 2011

    Dallas Harlequins 7 @ 95 San Francisco Golden Gate 3pm
    Utah Warriors 29 @ 22 Old Puget Sound Beach 3pm
    Chicago Griffins 41 @ 19 Chicago Lions 1:30pm
    Life University 36 @ 27 Boston Rugby 7pm
    New York Athletic Club 51 @ 15 Old Blue New York 1:30pm



    RED CONFERENCE

    SF Golden Gate30
    Old Puget Sound BeacH 20
    Utah Warriors 17
    Denver Barbarians 14
    Dallas Harlequins 0


    BLUE CONFERENCE

    Life University 28
    Boston 20
    New York Athletic Club 17
    Chicago Lions 14
    Chicago Griffins 12
    Old Blue New York 2



    Week 9 - May 7, 2011

    BYE WEEKEND

    Week 10 - Semi-Finals - May 14, 2011

    Old Puget Sound Beach @ San Francisco Golden Gate
    Boston Rugby @ Life University
  24. yankee_rob

    yankee_rob Member

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    Semi Final Preview

    The 2011 Rugby Super League Semi Finals are here. There are two intriguing match-ups this weekend. In a departure from previous years, the top two teams in each conference meet to determine the finalists.
    San Francisco Golden Gate (SFGG) entertains Old Puget Sound Beach (OPSB) while Boston makes the trip to Life University in Atlanta.

    SFGG were always likely to figure in the post season, and they have not disappointed. Unbeaten in the regular season play, Gate has made no mistakes and are poised for a return to the Championship game. Were it not for some late NYAC heroics last year, SFGG might be going for a third championship in a row. Mile Pulu is back to full fitness, Volney Rouse is directing traffic from the half back position, and Samuela Manoa leading the forwards, SFGG poses a difficult challenge for OPSB

    The challenge will be eagerly awaited by OPSB who will be hoping for a better result than that of week 4 which saw SFGG win 34-14. OPSB have had time to improve on their deficiencies that were exposed by the Utah Warriors in their last game. Filimoni Botitu and Bobby Fitzpatrick are both capable of sticking from deep and can score tries from anywhere, they will look to intimidate their opposition with their speed.

    In Atlanta, Georgia, Life University takes on Boston for the third time this year. Life has won both so far, 30-18 in week 2 and 36-27 last week. Life has certainly answered any questions that have been asked of them. They have powered their way to a 6-0 season.

    Boston makes their second consecutive appearance in the RSL semi-finals and the team continues to improve. Yes, they have lost twice this season to Life, but the margins are shrinking and they feel they are getting closer. Indeed they were leading by double digits in the last game of the regular season against Life, but allowed Life back into the game. What's that cliché about it being hard to beat a team three times in one season? On Saturday we will see if it extends to the Boston and Life University match!
  25. yankee_rob

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    Semi Final Recap

    Life University and San Francisco Golden Gate will meet once more in the Rugby Super League Championship game, as Life defeated Boston 27-23 and San Francisco eliminated Old Puget Sound Beach 53-22 in the Conference deciders today.
    In Marietta, GA, Life University started strongly in their third meeting of the season against Boston, and were rewarded with a penalty kick in the fourth minute, duly converted by Aaron McMaster. Boston had a chance to reply within a minute, but the Boston effort fell short with the kick attempt. A sustained attack by Life was aided by a series of Boston penalties, and in the 10th minute number 8 Mark Aylor barged over for a try. McMaster added the chip kick conversion, and Life was ten points ahead after a promising start.

    Closing in on the half hour mark, from inside Life’s half of the field, Benny Mateialona, Tui Osborne and Pat Denahy made significant yardage, and supporting winger Clint Whitler crossed to take Life out to a 17-0 advantage, McMaster again adding the conversion. It was a double blow for Boston, as center Marcus McAllister took a knock during the play and was unable to continue.

    Boston started getting the better of the territory battle, and significantly were electing to take scrums when awarded penalties and free kicks to take advantage of pressure they were exerting on the Life scrum. Boston were rewarded shortly after with number 8 Brendan Moore crashing over following a 5 meter scrum. Elrick converted to make the score 17-7.

    Shortly after, a clearing kick by Life was gathered in by Boston left winger Duran Vota who set off on a long winding run deep into Life territory. He was finally dragged down, but the ball was quickly recycled and Boston's other winger Kyle Marshall scored in the corner to leave the halftime score 17-12 to Life.

    The second half began with Life furiously defending their goal-line against a Boston onslaught, Boston again electing scrums over penalty kicks. After a series of pick and go moves, Boston outhalf Nick Elrick slotted a drop goal to bring the visitors within two points, at 17-15. Ten minutes later, a promising Life attack was negated by a penalty, and after gaining good ground through a series of phases of play, Boston scored again near the left sideline to take their first lead of the game at 20-17, Marshall again getting the try.

    As the game entered the final fifteen minutes, Life reclaimed the lead with an unconverted try by Brendan Thomson following a series of scrums and rucks close to the Boston line. Elrick quickly pushed Boston ahead with a penalty, Boston with the 23-22 advantage as the game entered the last five minutes. Life spent much of the final few minutes in the Boston 22, and they were rewarded with a Steve Petzel try. With less than two minutes on the clock, there would be no further scoring, and Life will make the trip back to the Super League final in a week’s time.

    In contrast to the wildly entertaining game of last week, this game was marred by countless knock-ons and turnovers. Life coach James Isaacson, noting it would be little consolation to Boston, thought Boston deserved better than to lose this game. “Many of our players simply didn’t show up today” he said after the game, noting “we won’t win anything next week if we play like that again”.

    The West Conference final was played under ideal conditions at Ray Sheerin Field, on Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay. Old Puget Sound Beach took the game to SFGG for the opening 10 minutes capitalizing on strong running from USARFU Eagle center Alipate Tuilevuka and adept kicking by fullback/Coach Evan Haigh. Haigh converted the first penalty kick of the afternoon to give Beach their first , and only, lead of the game after only 6 minutes had gone.

    SFGG Coach Paul Keeler has been heard to lament his side’s penchant for slow starts, often finding themselves behind in the early going. Today, OPSB’s lead was short lived. At the halfway mark of the first half, Number 10 Volney Rouse broke the Beach defense to score the first of his 2 tries on a feed from recycled ball by hard charging tight head prop Stan Laulaupaleau to take the lead at 5 – 3.

    Moments later, an elegant feed from Center Mile Pulu put Winger Tavita Okusi away to touch down the first of his 2 tries of the day. Before the buzz died, Flanker Danny LaPrevotte added a try in the corner to culminate a furious forward attack from a lineout and the half ended with the score 22 – 3.

    Keeler’s half time talk must have conveyed his desire to up the pressure on the talented Beach side, because the forward came out on fire. The opening kick to start the second half was stolen by Gate, who drove to the line and sent Stan Laulaupaleau in through several tackles tor the try under the posts, converted by Rouse.

    Beach pressed the issue, and minutes later freed Haigh to score and convert to bring the score to 29 – 10.

    There followed repeated breaks by centers Mile Pulu and Samisone Pone lead to long runs deep into Beach territory by Wing Jeff Van Meter, the last of which created a line-out on the 20 meter markwhich SFGG kept in the forwards in a rolling maul skillfully directed by Mose Timoteo to the try line. The back dispersed, thinning the defense and Number 8 Samu Manoa, on his way to England under contract to North Hampton, pushed over for the score to open the flood gates. By the end, Rouse, Pulu and Hector Quiles touchd down to give SFGG 53 points. Speedy Beach winger Filimoni Boitu scored two late tries to have the game end 53 – 22. The RSL Championship game will be held in Marietta, GA, on May 21st.

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