For Immediate Release
April 4, 2011
Rugby Super League: Week 4 Results
BOULDER, Colo. -- Life University (3-0) pulled away from the Blue Conference pack with a win over the Chicago Griffins (0-3). Also in the Blue Conference, New York Athletic Club (2-1) beat their fellow New Yorkers, Old Blue (0-3). The Chicago Lions (2-1) fell to Boston (2-1) in Chicago to round out the Blue Conference action for the weekend. In the Red Conference, perennial Super League powers Old Puget Sound Beach (2-1) and San Francisco Golden Gate (3-0) did battle on Treasure Island and Golden Gate handed OPSB their first loss of the season. The Denver Barbarians (1-2) traveled to Dallas to take on the Harlequins (0-4) and left with a much-needed win.
Week 5 - April 9, 2011
Denver Barbarians @ San Francisco Golden Gate, 3:00 p.m.
Old Puget Sound Beach @ Utah Warriors, 7:00 p.m.
Chicago Lions @ Life University, 1:00 p.m.
Boston Rugby @ New York Athletic Club, 1:00 p.m.
Old Blue New York @ Chicago Griffins, 1:00 p.m.
LIFE UNIVERSITY @ CHICAGO GRIFFINS
In the Blue Conference, Life University took 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,” Isaacson said, “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 said, “We had a lot of things to correct after last week, which we did to a large extent, but we still came second.”
Parkes mentioned a few defensive lapses that were costly and credits McMaster with pinning the Griffins deep in their own half 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. 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.
OLD BLUE @ NEW YORK ATHLETIC CLUB (NYAC)
In New York, NYAC got the better of Old Blue, taking the win 41-25. USA Eagles 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 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 marshaling 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 from charged down kicks or 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.
BOSTON @ CHICAGO
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. Boston’s 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”, said Diamantopoulos.
The standings now show three teams bunched at 2-1 in the East conference, with the bonus points becoming more valuable.
DENVER BARBARIANS @ DALLAS HARLEQUINS
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.
SAN FRANCISCO GOLDEN GATE (SFGG) @ OLD PUGET SOUND BEACH (OPSB)
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 both teams some points. SFGG coach Paul Keeler agreed, citing a slow start, missed passes and trying to force the plays as the common problems in the first forty.
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 Chris 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.
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.