RUNY looks to bounce back against the Sabercats this Saturday at 8PM
In the midst of a tough 5 game road trip the inevitable has finally happened. Our Roosters took their first L at the hands of the reigning champion Seattle Seawolves. For Coach Tolkin there were a lot of problems that contributed to RUNY finishing on the wrong side of a 33-21 scoreline. For starters 24 missed tackles especially for big line breaking gains were a repeat offence in the game and allowed Seattle to gain momentum. The Seawolves have proven to be a team thus far that once they get on a role they are hard to stop and RUNY’s falling off of tackles allowed the offence to get hot. In offence, RUNY had numerous chances that at their peak were slashed short by an unforced error or a drop.
However the Roosters return to NYC disappointed but determined. The mood amongst the camp being that the boys have to have a short memory in order to continue what was a strong start to the season. As team manager James English notes:
“We didn’t get result we would of liked last week but we’ve spent a lot of time in the film room, critiquing the areas of the game that went wrong. I think last weeks loss really focused the boys on what it’s gonna take to end this season as champions. All we can do now is move on and focus on the challenge to be found in Houston.”
The Sabercats are currently 1-2, winning their first game by a single point, losing a close fought match against the Legion by 3 and then a tough loss to the Arrows last week by 17. However the cat does have its claws. The Houston back three of Vici, Esdale and Pangelinan have proven to be devastating, racking up the teams top three in carry metres with a combined 424 meters gained. The Cats also have one of the best flankers in the league in Luke Beauchamp who is 4th on the team and 1st for the forwards in carry meters with 122 and the teams leading tackler. As with Seattle last week the Roosters will have to find a way to slow down their offense which suits their back three and avoid falling off tackles in close.
For the Roosters there were some bright spots with the back row of the scrum coming up big. Kyle Sumsion and Ross Deacon were named to the MLR ‘First XV of the Week’ and James Denise on debut led the team in tackles going 16/16 last week. Deacon who claimed man of the match and was exactly the force he needed to be in the absence of Nate Brakeley. Dominant running the ball with 112 meters and scoring a thumping crash ball try that gave RUNY a chance to get back into the game. As for Sumsion, the Webster dictionary just called and informed us that next to the word ‘consistency’ they’re just going to put a picture of the Rooster flanker. In the middle of a chaotic game, Sumsion was a calming presence, nailing all 13 of his tackles and serving as a reliable battering ram on crash balls when called upon.
Your RUNY Team:
Not afraid to change things up after a loss there are number of noticeable moves this week for Coach Tolkin. With Quill and Brakeley still in the USA camp, Alex Macdonald will continue in his role as starting lock and Denise will remain at openside flanker. Unfortunately for the Roosters last week standout Kyle Sumsion will be unavailable and will be replaced in the starting lineup by Matt Hughston. Matt Wirken will come in for Hughston in the reserves. The Butcher is back and will slide back into his starting role at hooker with Brown returning to the reserves with Chris Sullivan joining the bench with the potential to make his debut. In the backs last week’s right wing Mark O’Keeffe will start in his natural position of outside center, from 13 Foden will push to fullback, with fullback Chris Mattina returning to his week one position on the wing.
Players to Watch:
Working quietly but racking up big numbers has been lock Trevor Cassidy, who has been dominant on defense leading the team with 35 made in 3 games. Cassidy has also taken over the role of main lineout target in the absence of Brakeley and Quill. Sabercats captain Matt Trouville will be playing opposite Cassidy and has himself been the team’s main target in the lineout and, along with Beauchamp, a recurring ball carrier for Houston. It will be up to Cassidy to disrupt the Sabercat lineout and control our own as another of Coach Kees top targets in Sumsion becomes unavailable.
For our backs, a return to the position that made him famous is an exciting prospect for us Rooster Boosters as Ben Foden takes the field as fullback. After a stellar offensive performance last week in Seattle, the hope for Coach Tolkin will be that being in his more natural position will only benefit Foden’s game after he rewound Father Time last week. Foden did it all against the Seawolves with 3 line breaks, 2 tackle breaks and an average of 10 meters a carry for a total of 129 in what should have RUNY fans pumped heading into a game where there will be plenty of opportunities to turn up the tempo from the back.
As I’m sure you already know, ‘Pig n Whistle’ on 36th street this Saturday, starting up at 7PM an hour before kick off. With drink specials, giveaways and a mob of fellow Rooster boosters you’d be crazy to miss it. Live on SNY, ESPN+ and Facebook live for our Roosters abroad, tune in as RUNY looks to bounce back against Houston.
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