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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Gulf Coast Teams To Contest Robert Markel Cup


A number of Gulf Coast teams will play for the Robert Markel Cup this fall to see who is the best in the area. It's the second year of the competition and will feature New Orleans teams Krew of Gretna, Crescent City Blues, and the Pontchartrain Po-Boys along with Baton Rouge, Gulf Coast Rugby from Biloxi, Mississippi, and Battleship from Mobile, Alabama.

Each team will play a home and away schedule against the other five starting on September 2nd and concluding on December 9th. The teams will then have a final week on December 16th to determine the club winner. The tournament will provide these teams with an opportunity to get important matches outside of league play. It's probably also a good window for players to advertise themselves to the New Orleans MLR outfit.


Wolfpack Play To A Draw, Still Have Promotion Lead


After dominating the regular season the Toronto Wolfpack have now suffered two rare results in three matches in the Super 8s. After losing their first League 1 game of the season to open the Super 8s the team rebounded with a win. However, they suffered another setback last weekend with a 26-26 draw with the Keighley Cougars. The Wolfpack held a lead late but a last-minute penalty from the Cougars resulted in the draw.

Even with the result the Wolfpack have a two point lead in the promotion race. The Barrow Raiders are currently second. Workington Town had been tied with Barrow but lost over the weekend. The Wolfpack had a five point lead in the standings at the start of the Super 8s. With four rounds to go the Wolfpack can seal promotion if they beat Barrow in week six.

Also of note for the Wolfpack is a profile on the USARL website of Ryan Burroughs. The American has been a regular fixture for Toronto this season although he didn't play last week. 

Atlanta, New York Advance To USARL Final


The USARL final is set and it will be no surprise that it pits two undefeated teams against one another. The New York Knights were easily the top team in the North Conference this year going unbeaten in the regular season and then in the playoffs. They won the conference with a 46-24 win over Brooklyn, who were the second best team in the North Conference. The South Conference went to the Atlanta Rhinos who beat the Tampa Mayhem 32-24. The Rhino also went unbeaten on the season although they did have one draw. New York will be favorites in the final but anything can happen.

The final will take place on August 26th but the USARL doesn't really wrap up at that point. On September 9th the North Conference All-Stars will take on the South Conference All-Stars. That match is being used as a selection vehicle for the Hawks prior to the World Cup.

Scores

Atlanta Rhinos 32-24 Tampa Mayhem
New York Knights 46-24 Brooklyn Kings

Final (August 26th)

Atlanta vs New York

Video: Chasing Eagles--Kimber Rozier

Opening Kick


Opening Kick is a segment devoted to bringing you all Eagles and U.S.A. Rugby news in one location. It is brought to you everyday by Rugby Marketplace, your independent rugby store

National Teams/MLR/ODAs:

The Women Eagles have named their starters for tomorrow's big match against England.

A spot in the semi-finals awaits if things go their way.  ICYMI here are highlights of their last match.

The Austin Huns have ended their affiliation with the Austin MLR team that will now be known as Austin Elite Rugby.

Tony Lamborn highlights the Americans playing in the Mitre 10 Cup.

The Red, White, and Black Eye podcast is out talking about all things Eagles.

The Newcastle Falcons are looking forward to their upcoming trip to Philadelphia.

Also, if you missed the match highlights of the Saracens-USA Islanders match is now up.

Take the jump to read more.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Eagles Name Starters To Face England


The Women Eagles have only made a few changes as they get ready for their pool showdown against England on Thursday. The team has only made a couple of changes in the forwards with Katy Augustyn and Alycia Washington regaining starting spots. The backs have had more changes but with nearly every back having been with the Eagles 7s this last year there should be a lot of continuity.

As we've written about, the Eagles have a chance to make the semi-finals if things go their way. The ideal scenario would be a win over England but if they can pull off some bonus points and the right combination of things in other matches they will have succeeded. The match against England is set for Thursday at 9:30 a.m. et/6:30 a.m. pt.

Forwards: Catie Benson, Katy Augustyn, Tiffany Faaee (C), Stacey Bridges, Alycia Washington, Sara Parsons, Kate Zackary, Jordan Gray

Backs: Deven Owsiany, Kimber Rozier, Kristen Thomas, Alev Kelter, Nicole Heavirland, Naya Tapper, Cheta Emba

Bench: Sam Pankey, Hope Rogers, Nick James, Abby Gustaitis, Kristine Sommer, Kayla Canett-Oca, Sylvia Braaten, Jess Wooden

How The Eagles Can Make The RWC Semi-finals


Through two rounds the Eagles have put themselves in a great spot to make the semi-finals of the Women's World Cup. With three pools each pool winner advances to the semi-finals along with the second best team among the three pools. Right now that Eagles sit in that spot. They have 10 points alongside fellow Pool B side England, Pool A leader New Zealand, and Pool C leader France.

The main challengers to the Eagles are Canada, who have 9 points in Pool A, and Ireland, who have 8 points in Pool C. In each pool the top two teams will play each other on the last day which could be big for the Eagles. Here is how things could play out:

The Eagles beat England and control their own destiny. This would be a big upset. England are favorites in the match and the Eagles would do well to hang around.

Take the jump to read more.