What a massive weekend for rugby league in North America! The Colonial Cup between the Tomahawks and Wolverines on Saturday at 7pm and earlier in the day the Avalanche host the Bulldogs from British Columbia in Utah. It will be a tense battle either side of the border with the US teams keen to post a double victory over their northern rivals whom both have won the last meetings betwen the two teams.
American National Rugby League expansion team the Utah Avalanche is going into this weekend’s return cross-border club challenge against the British Columbia Bulldogs brimming with confidence after posting its first ever win as a franchise.
The Avalanche, who had lost their first three outings by big scores, put away the Salt Lake City Spartans 26-14 last weekend and are determined to take their winning form into Saturday’s game.
What was all the more encouraging for the Utah side is that they beat SLC without two of their key players in captain Aaron Thompson and Brian Jensen.
Josh Latu led the team in Thompson’s absence and did so from the front. He along with Teki Nau, John Latu, Kali Tavake, Chance Williams and Miki Moli all turned in solid performances that paved the way for the W.
Avalanche boss George Tupou says his team is buoyed about its chances against the Bulldogs.
“We know that we can give them a good game and have a good chance of winning the game,” said Tupou.
“We just have to control the ball and make sure of the tackles. The boys are all fired up and they don't want to lose this game, especially on American soil. Winning our first game last week gave the boys confidence and have lifted them up for this week.
“I know that it won’t be easy to beat the Bulldogs, but we will do all that we can to win this game. We’re expecting a good crowd to turn up to watch the game.”
The BC side won the opening encounter 48-12 three weeks ago. Prior to that, the Avalanche were beaten twice by the Provo Steelers.
The winner of the cross-border club challenge is determined on an aggregate points system meaning the Bulldogs take a 36-point cushion into Saturday's matchup.
The Tomahawks are hoping that the Avalanche can strike early on behalf of the US and claim a victory over the Bulldogs to set the stage for what is shaping to be a massive contest at Lamport Stadium in front of a huge home crowd cheering on the Wolverines.