Fresh off a great win over the SLC Spartans, the Utah Avalanche will be primed to take on the BC Bulldogs in the return game of the Cross Border Challenge next weekend.
The Avalanche and British Columbia Bulldogs are scheduled to lock horns for the second time in three weeks when they meet to determine who wins the first annual rugby league cross-border club Challenge.
The game, to be played Saturday, September 8 in Utah, will represent the first time an international representative rugby league club game will be played in the USA.
Canada Rugby League development manager Paul O’Keefe says the BC Bulldogs know they will be taking on a stronger Avalanche team than the one they faced on August 21 in British Columbia.
“They have a full strength squad with all their players now available,” O’Keefe told WeAreRugby. “Unfortunately for the BC Bulldogs, some late withdrawals due to workcommitments means there will be several players missing so the depth of talent will be on display.
“Also, Canada Wolverine winger Jared Curry will be in Toronto representing Canada [in the Colonial Cup] so this is giving plenty of players the opportunity to impress which they have been waiting for.”
The Avalanche, an American National Rugby League expansion team, need to win by 37 points in order to claim the cross-border challenge after going down 48-12 in the first game and they know it’ll be a big ask, especially as the Bulldogs will have their tails up come Saturday.
"Our goal is to improve our completion rate with the ball and to stick to our game plan for 80 minutes,” said BC head coach Andy Blackburn. “If we can do this we have the team to bring home a win.
“We are going into this game with a very different backline, but the forwards will have thejob to move the ball down the field and we have a lot of confidence in the selected players. There will be lots of new combinations so we will keep the game plan simple."