The sun shone brightly onto the YSC Sports arena on Saturday June 2, as it did on a strong Fight outfit as they opened their season in style with a 78-4 victory over the Rhode Island Rebellion.
Aussie import Chase Mason, usually a fullback, started the game at lock & proved a whirlwind as he got over the line with a 7 try heist plus 3 conversions for a personal tally of 34 points in his opening game for the Philadelphia Fight. RIR showed some good form in the opening quarter to post a try & hold the Fight to 10 points at the end of the first stanza with some strong defense. Unfortunately, it ended there for the Rebellion.
Captain Johnny Weber, also from Australia, played a commanding role to lead his troops putting on another 68 points in the remaining 3 quarters. The attack was led by grinding efforts by props James Coleman, a 5 season stalwart of the Fight & new comer, Aussie Kane Fuller. Both were strong in attack & defense. They were aptly supported by their hooker, Dave Wilmore, who posted his first 4 pointer for the season. Weber converted 3 tries for a total of 6 points.
Daniel Gabrielli returned to the Fight after a bad knee injury last year to score a try playing in the second-row. Centre, John Evangelista split the RIR defense several times to score 2 tries. Fullback, Patrick Quirk, showed some excellent form to also post a try along with half-back Rich Henson, & Marcus Respes, who started from the bench along with Gabrielli.
Other Games for Round 1:
DC Slayers vs. Jacksonville Axemen
The Axemen were impressive in their first outing defeating a spirited Slayers at home in Washington DC. The Axemen came out firing and were quick to dictate the pace of the game early on. In hot and humid conditions, the Slayers were in the game for the first quarter but it didn’t last as quick play the ball from the Axemen saw them break through a number of holes and run riot or the remaining of the game. Strong performances by Cade Pollard who bagged 3 tries along with Matt Keeley making his debut for the Axemen.
Final score: Axemen 48 defeated DC Slayers 18.
Baltimore Blues vs. New Haven Warriors
A new era or Rugby League began in Baltimore this past weekend as the Blues took to the field for the first time backed by a small a parochial crowd. The Warriors also fielding a new look team wasted no time sending a message that they are still a force scoring quickly and often. Their experience was the difference and they controlled the match from beginning to end despite a number of efforts from a tiring Blues team. While the Blues were held scoreless, all is not lost as it was evident a number of their players displayed some real athletic talent coming close to try line on a number of occasions. With the first game out the way, the Baltimore Blues should quickly realize what’s required to become a competitive outfit and will benefit next time they take the field.
Final score: Warriors 48 defeated Blues 0
Oneida FC vs. Boston 13s
The ‘Battle of the Charles’ between the local teams Boston and Oneida took place on a gloomy, rainy day in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Playing out of the premier facility at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Oneida FC had the 13s under pressure early. After 5 minutes they broke the deadlock to lead 4-0. After weathering the early OFC storm, the 13s hit back to level with an uncoverted try, and followed up with a slew of further scores to lead 28-4 at the half-time interval.
The 13s, looking much stronger than in 2011, again exerted their dominance in the second half and eventually ran out 68-8 winners. Players of note for the Cambridge team were Dan Green, who played most of the game at Full Back, and forwards Mike Warner, Brad Walker and Cody Patrick; all of whom playing their first rugby league games. For the 13s the standout was Casey King, a semi-pro Free Safety who crossed for 4 tries on his rugby league debut. Tam Tran had a good game out of hooker, and import Rey Berkin was lively at full back. Former USA Rugby u20s player Trever McKenzie also impressed at half-back, controlling the game well and putting in an inspiring defensive showcase of American-bred talent. Oneida have a tough trip to Jacksonville next week but should be stronger for their first hit out. The 13s have a trip to New Haven to play the 2011 grand finalists but will be hoping to keep up their 100% record.
Final score: Boston 13s 68 defeated Oneida 8