Tuesday, July 17, 2018

USA Rugby League Recap

By Elie Mpovie

We’re now entering the business end of USA Rugby League National Premiership. Five matches were played over the weekend with the Northern Virginia Eagles on a bye.

The weekend would start the most anticipated match in the North Conference as undefeated Brooklyn Kings and Philadelphia Fight would square off, with both teams sending players to the national team in the fall for World Cup qualifying and the Americas’ Cup. Brooklyn would go on to hand the Fight their first loss of the season with 34-18 score line, Brooklyn enters the playoffs unbeaten with a bye, the number one seed in the Northern Conference and perhaps their first USA Rugby League minor premiership.

Staying in the North, in order to make the Premiership Finals you have to win games, that hasn’t been the case for Boston 13s this year. They’d face the Delaware Black Foxes who have won a couples games this season. Boston’s will and want to win would be the greater difference as they’d come away with a 36-14 win both teams sit at 1-4 and are considered out of playoff contention.

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The Wombats of White Plains are one of the sleeper teams we’ll need to start paying attention to especially when they faced the New York Knights. The Knights were last season’s minor premiers and Grand Final runners-up. That kind of team didn’t show up as the Wombats were just too good on the day beating the Knights 46-28. Wombats are in third with a 3-2 record with the Knights fourth and a 2-3 record.

To the South we go as the Jacksonville Axemen who are also unbeaten face the Tampa Bay Mayhem. Tampa Bay having one of their best season in club history, managed to put up a great fight but the Axemen remained unbeaten with a 54-28 victory cementing their spot in the playoffs and staying the in the hunt for the overall minor premiership with Brooklyn.

The last match of week five, saw the defending champions Atlanta Rhinos move to second in the Southern Conference with a 74-0 win against an underprepared Southwest Florida Copperheads. The Copperheads showed some improvement for a new club, with fantastic attacking chances but the Rhinos proved to be too much.

So here’s a quick take on the overall league table….

Brooklyn Kings (6-0) 12 Points
Jacksonville Axemen (4-0) 8 Points
Philadelphia Fight (4-1) 8 Points
White Plains Wombats (3-2) 6 Points
Atlanta Rhinos (2-2) 4 Points
Tampa Bay Mayhem (2-2) 4 Points
New York Knights (2-3) 4 Points
Delaware Black Foxes (1-4) 2 Points
Boston Thirteens (1-4) 2 Points
Northern Virginia Eagles (1-4) 2 Points
Southwest Florida Copperheads (0-4) 0 Points

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