RUNY GETS READY FOR 2ND HOME GAME AGAINST 4TH PLACE GLENDALE
The Roosters had a big one last Friday Night in Coney Island and were able to pull out a phenomenal last second try through John Quill to go ahead 24-21 over fellow MLR newcomers the Toronto Arrows. But winners never celebrate too long and our Roosters are already looking ahead to the next challenge entering the jungle, the Glendale Raptors. The win puts RUNY in the top 4 and hunting for pole position at the top of the table.
The Glendale Raptors sit in 4th right behind RUNY in 3rd with a record of 3-2-2. With one game over RUNY Glendale are able to tie RUNY in competition points with 23 but sit below us due to our better win percentage. In their games thus far Glendale have proven to be a playoff caliber team, shutting out Toronto at home, orchestrating a massive second half comeback against Utah to tie, and losing only by a margin to table toppers Seattle and NOLA. Not to mention the capacity the Raptors have shown to score big, quickly. With 3 players, the most of any team, sitting in the top 8 for tries scored, Glendale knows how to get 5 points.
The Roosters will have to keep an eye on league leading try scorer John Ryberg who has scored 6 times this year. Ryberg with the ball in hand is hard to stop when he gets momentum, turning 63 carries into 771 meters gained. But more importantly Ryberg is hard to bring down he has a troublesome 13 line breaks and 16 tackle breaks. This means our boys in Blue and Orange will have to come up quickly from the line when the ball is moved out to ensure that Ryberg can’t get any momentum.
Last week’s game was a showcase of the might of Coach Kees Lensings forward pack. All 4 of RUNY’s tries were punched over by forwards and entering the 22 saw our Roosters turn to mauls, crash balls and pick and go options on offense. As recognition for their work 3 of our forwards were named to the MLR ‘First XV of the Week’ prop James Rochford, hooker Dylan Fawsitt and flanker John Quill. They combined for a massive 38 tackles 3 tries and 240 minutes of work, not to mention their efforts that don’t show up on the stats. All 3 repeatedly being the first to protect the tackled man at the breakdown and constantly getting behind teammates for the crash and maul options. Although the game ended with a W meaning for smiles and jubilation on our end following the final whistle, Toronto pushed us with an extremely hard fought physical game. With some sloppy areas allowing the Arrows to lead into the final 10 minutes by more than one score Coach Tolkin will be sure to praise the boys efforts but quicker to highlight where we can sharpen up.
Your RUNY Team:
For RUNY we have two major replacements in the middle of the park. Cathal Marsh and Will Leonard who will both be sidelined to help them recuperate before the second half of the season begins. Chris Mattina, who played a large portion of last week’s game at fly half, will start in place of Marsh, whilst Mike St. Claire, who was in the reserves last week and contributed a large number of solid minutes will start at inside center. Connor Wallace-Sims who was a last minute decision to sit out last week is back for his home debut, whilst Luke Hume his replacement, returns to the opposite wing to cover for Mattina’s move inward. Looking to the reserves Alex Macdonald gets his first chance to debut at home, whilst Harry Bennett gets his chance to be capped as he comes in as a replacement fly half with Quentin Pradere, also getting his chance to be capped as a utility back.
Players to Watch:
With Cathal Marsh having been such a huge part of the successful RUNY campaign thus far it will be important for Chris Mattina to have a good game against Glendale. Mattina has been deadly on the edge but last game when Marsh came off the game was given to the forwards who won it for RUNY. Against Glendale, the Roosters can’t play offensively strictly through the forwards and will have to let Mattina be the general with ball in hand. He will also have to have a strong offensive game, shutting down Malifa and ensuring Glendale doesn’t feel comfortable moving the ball to their dangerous wings.
After an electric first home game be sure to not miss RUNY’s follow up to the opening night show. Sunday at 2PM with an expected high of 60 degrees the beautiful day calls for a trip with the family to MCU Park. With face painting and the playground open this is a great chance to get the kids out to meet your Roosters. We loved seeing all your faces last week and want the same energy humming around MCU against Glendale. The game will also be live on CBS as the ‘Game of the Week.’
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