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 leads 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, Ga., 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 semifinals 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!