As we reached halfway of the regular season before playoffs, it was all to fight for this weekend as fatigue had been creeping in the dressing rooms of the teams.
First up we had the Toronto Arrows hosting Old Glory DC. Toronto hit the ball running as they ran Old Glory rugged in the opening 10 minutes to lead with 10 points after scoring a penalty and a converted try. Old Glory quickly regained their composure and also got on the scoresheet with an unconverted try on the 16th minutes, the rest of the half was the Arrows consolidating their dominance as they scored two more tries to go into the half leading 22-10. The Arrows began the 2nd half with a show of versatility and vision from the midfield, a beautiful grubber kick from Sam Malcolm was collected by Mitch Voralek on the wing who was superb all match with ball in hand and was deservedly man of the match. Old Glory immediately replied with a try and then set to look to stage a comeback, capitalizing on errors from the back three to score another try. Old Glory gained momentum in the last 10 minutes as they scored another try on the 76th minute but it wasn’t to be, as the Arrows held on to win 32-27. It was a intense display of rugby and the Arrows surely rubber-stamped their quest to qualify for this year’s playoffs.
In our 2nd match of the weekend, the New England Freejacks looking to extend their winning record of 5 wins to 6 wins on the trot as they hosted the Seattle Seawolves on a wet and windy late afternoon at the Veterans Memorial in Quinsy. Both teams struggled with ball in hand in the opening stages but it was New England that crossed the line first with a dazzlingly worked out try from good handling in the midfield that resulted in winger Balekana bustling through the advantage line to score. New England carried on with another well worked try that was created by the fullback, Fife and finished off by flanker, McDowall. Seattle gathered themselves and replied with a try right on the stroke of halftime to put some point of the board. In the second half, New England struggled to score but kept ball on hand, their patience was eventually rewarded with a try after a brilliant display of quick resulted in Balekana dotting down his second of the night. Seattle with 15 minutes to go responded with a try of their own but New England consolidated their lead with a penalty to lead by 9 points. It was all to play for in the last 10 minutes but infringements and lack of discipline costed the Seawolves who fought valiantly to score a try in the 81st minute but it wasn’t enough as New England won 24-22. Seattle had plenty of opportunities throughout the match but failed to capitalize, we can be sure they’ll be looking to work on this are of the game in the following weeks.
The final match of the weekend was a highly anticipated affair between the in form LA Giltins and Rugby New York, a tussle of the two coasts. The LA Giltins blitzed Rugby New York with a six-try shutout for the club’s fourth straight win on Sunday afternoon. A dominant performance from the first whistle, Ney York never stuck into the match and were left to rue their dreadful defending and superlative errors. With ball in hand it seems it will be difficult for teams to stop the Giltins. They have registered the highest number of meters gained in the league so far. New York will have to go back to the drawing board as we head to the final weeks of the tournament.
In the other matches of the weekend, the Houston Sabercats overcame a courageous Dallas 31-6 as they bounced back with a good win after their hard loss last weekend against Austin. The Dallas Jackals remain winless and it unlikely that this dreadful statistic will change. Atlanta went down to New Orleans to face the NOLA Gold and came back with a decisive 34-17 win to stay on the toes of the New England Freejacks on the Eastern Conference Log standings.