The American National Rugby League Atlantic Conference moves into Week 2 of the new season this weekend and the Game of the Week is a replay of last year’s Grand Final.
WeAreRugby is pleased to once again bring you in-depth coverage of the AMNRL that you just won’t get anywhere else and as part of that we’re happy to resume our Game of the Week previews in which we highlight the match of the round.
This week there is no question that the 2011 AMNRL Grand Final replay between the New York Knights and Connecticut Wildcats is the focal game.
It will be the first chance for redemption that the Cats have had since going down 38-4 to the Knights in last year’s AMNRL championship decider. It has been a long offseason for Connecticut, whose players have had a lot of time to think about what might have been since last August.
Both teams are coming off opening day victories and both will be keen to continue to build momentum.
The champion Knights picked up from where they left off last summer by pitching a shutout against expansion team Northern Virginia (NOVA) Eagles. Some familiar names were among New York’s standouts including skipper Gareth Baxendale, Fitzjames Adams, Emanuele Cipriani and Andrew Moody, the man who started the Knights’ second half points run against the Cats in the 2011 title decider.
New York dominated the Eagles on both sides of the ball and from the get go signaled their intent for the 2012 season.
On the other hand, the Wildcats had a slightly tougher assignment in dealing with the newly renamed Pennsylvania Bulls.
It was a back and forth encounter for much of the contest until Connecticut finally cut loose to post a 20-point win.
In the corresponding game last year, the Cats edged the Knights 42-40 in an absolute thriller, a game that turned out to be New York’s only loss on the season.
In other Round 2 matchups, the Northern Raiders and Bucks County Sharks meet up in a return rubber from last week’s 30-point victory for the Raiders and the Bulls host NOVA.
And don’t forget to check back right here over the weekend to get caught up on who won, who lost and who’s looking good early on.