The Bucks County Sharks have stamped their dominance over the Northern Raiders in the Atlantic Conference of the AMNRL, beating them for the second time this season and picking up a bonus point for scoring four tries. The Sharks toppled the Raiders by 18 points (36-18) and now sit in first position on the leader’s board after round four. The Sharks shot out of the gates early in front of a highly intrigued crowd at Rockland State Park as the game was played during the Hudson Valley Rugby Union Tens tournament. The boys from Bucks County scored 30 unanswered points in the first three quarters of the game. Instead of letting the Sharks close out the game in the last quarter, the Raiders found their rhythm and ran in three quick tries, two to Leslie Alovili and one to Kevin Lynch. The Sharks needed some inspiration to stem the flow of Raiders points; they found it in Samoan stalwart and the man they call “Ice”, Vaisa Korisetta. “It could have been the long day, could have been the humid weather, but we needed a spark and Vaisa Korisetta put a shot on one of their Aussies that changed the entire momentum of the game,” said senior Sharkie, Phil Shipos. “Ice perfectly timed a long ball and literally knocked the kid out cold. One of the best shots I've ever seen,” Shipos added. Korisetta had a huge game, scoring two tries and proving his ability as a punishing defender.
The Raiders had a lot of positives to come from the game, Kevin Lynch impressed with his running game and bagged a try. Leslie Alovili is showing he is one of the most consistently impressive players in the AMNRL, he furthered his try tally by two. Newcomer Fred Vero was let loose for the first on a rugby league field and certainly didn’t look out of place. The 245 pound MMA fighter was outstanding in defense. Raiders GM Joel Venables said he was very pleased to see Vero make such a successful debut. “Though he had his share of penalties, Fred led us in tackles in his first game ever and added six carries for 70 yards,” Venables said. The return of John Chewens from the Army was a huge lift for the Raiders. He rushed for 200 yards, finding the form that made him a Northeast Collegiate All-Star in 2008. Venables added that Rob Ploth was yet again a formidable asset for the men in green, “He continued his hard running and has helped lead us into the second half of the season. The Raiders are finding their new identity and are ready to come out strong for the second half of season,” Venables said. The Raiders and Sharks have played one more game than the rest of the competition, with fellow frontrunners, the Connecticut Wildcats and New York Knights to face off next weekend and challenge the Sharks for top spot.
The Aston Bulls posted their first win of the season by downing the Delaware Vipers 22-16 at Bonner High School Football Stadium on Friday night. With both teams desperate for a win to stay in touch with the top half of the standings, it was the Bulls that kept their season alive, leaving the Vipers anchored to the bottom of the ladder.
The Pacific Conference kicked off in the beautiful setting of Kapiolani Park in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Saturday with Marist victorious over the Islanders, 38-34. With just three players on the pitch with rugby league experience, the game was an awesome spectacle as the two teams traded the lead right until the end. Malu Sake was dangerous in attack for the Islanders, as was Toli Veni for Marist, both scoring tries for their respective teams. A diverse mix of talent including: USA Tomahawk Kelly McGill; former American Football players Josh Rice and Jason Rego; playing alongside enthusiastic Hawaiian youngsters will hope to grow the game of rugby league in Hawaii.
Next week will see all teams in the Atlantic Cup take a break for the July 4 Holiday weekend.