A big weekend of rugby league action is coming your way with Round 3 of the AMNRL Atlantic Conference, as well as some tasty international hook-ups.
In the AMNRL, the Game of the Week is the fixture between the Connecticut Wildcats and Northern Raiders to be played at the New York Military Academy.
Both teams have 1-1 records early in Season XV, but the Cats (7 points) are lying in second place in the standings having earned three bonus points to one for the Raiders (5 points).
Connecticut opened the new season with a 38-18 win against the Pennsylvania Bulls before narrowly dropping last week’s contest with the first place New York Knights 26-22. The Raiders, meanwhile, racked up more than 50 points against the Bucks County Sharks on opening day before going down 28-8 to those same Sharks in last week’s return rubber.
In their one regular season meeting in 2011, the Wildcats emerged victorious over the Raiders 56-6 and the Connecticut side dished out a repeat dose in the semifinals winningthat one 34-20.
All the stats would seemingly point to a Wildcats win Saturday, but we’re talking rugby league here and that means anything can happen on the day.
Guys to watch for Connecticut include Mike Gouward, who’s coming off a hat-trick of tries last week, Mike Mulvihill and veteran USA Tomahawk Curtis Cunz. For the Raiders, keep an eye on Australian import Mick Esdale, who has been on a tear since arriving stateside, Brian McCall and local New Jersey boy Ryan Sodano.
In other Round 3 matchups The Knights host the PA Bulls in Manhattan and the Sharks are at home to expansion team Northern Virginia (NOVA) Eagles. The Bulls will be hoping to push the Knights similar to the Wildcats effort in round two. Having recruited well in the off season, the new look Bulls will be a force to be reckoned with in the latter rounds of the competition as the new combinations start to jive. The Knights are a formidable opposition for any club but the clashes with the Bulls over the years have always been tough physical enounters. The Sharks will look to continue the form from last weekends victory over the Raiders whilst the Eagles continue to rebuild under the guidance of Christian Seaman. The Sharks will need to keep an eye of Ed Fua and Phill Dorn with the Eagles. Both played strongly against the Bulls last week and are powerful on offense and defense.