Rugby United New York faces the Glendale Raptors at MCU Park in Brooklyn on Sunday, March 24. Kickoff is at 2 pm EDT and tickets are available. The match may be viewed on CBS Sports Network.
The Glendale Raptors will be holding a watch party at Old Chicago.
Rugby United New York Head Coach Mike Tolkin has made two changes in his starters with Cathal Marsh nursing an injury and Will Leonard rested. Chris Mattina moves to flyhalf, with Mike St. Claire and Connor Wallace-Sims at inside center and wing, respectively.
In the reserves, Alex MacDonald rejoins the match day 23 at lock after a week off. Both Harry Bennett and Quentin Pradere could make their 2019 debuts at flyhalf/fullback and center, respectively.
Glendale Raptors Head Coach David Williams has made six changes in his starters. In the forwards, Canada international loosehead prop joins the team and gains the start. Marco Fepulea’i, William Munro, and Peter Dahl return to starting roles at tighthead prop, lock, and No.8, respectively.
In the backs, veteran Chad London is at center with Nick Johnson on the wing.
The match features two teams with sights set on winning the 2019 MLR shield. RUNY has a 5-1 record and the Raptors are 3-2-2, with both teams having 23 points in the standings. Both teams score points and concede fewer.
Glendale has the edge in territory percentage, 57.71 to 51.33, in linebreaks 61-22, and in tackles broken, which helps the team in being an offensive threat.
RUNY has the edge in turnovers won 20-11 and in committing fewer handling errors 36-69. In set pieces, RUNY has an edge in scrums won 95.74 to 86.79 for Glendale, while the Raptors have won 93-67 lineouts. The Raptors have played one more match.
Both teams have two of the top 8 try scorer with Glendale’s John Ryberg topping the league with 6, and Chad Gough having 3. RUNY’s Dylan Fawsitt has 4 and Connor Wallace-Sims has 3.
Both teams have kickers that are capable of slotting kicks. RUNY has Chris Mattina, with Harry Bennett an excellent kicker in the reserves. The Raptors Will Magie assumes that role with Robbie Petzer having handled the kicking duties in Magie’s absence. Both teams tend to kick fewer penalty goals and try to attack from lineouts in close in an effort to score tries.
RUNY uses quick ball out wide to create linebreaks. The Raptors have powerful runners and swing the ball wide and use crash balls to open a more expansive attack.
The team that wins this match will commit fewer errors, have greater control of the set pieces, and keep the pressure on their opponent going through multiple phases. The match should be close and exciting for the fans.
Squads with Player Article Links
Rugby United New York: 1 James Rochford 2 Dylan Fawsitt 3 Paddy Ryan 4 Nate Brakeley 5 Trevor Cassidy 6 John Quill 7 James Denise 8 Ross Deacon 9 Mike Petri (C) 10 Chris Mattina 11 Connor Wallace-Sims 12 Mike St. Claire 13 Mark O’Keeffe 14 Luke Hume15 Ben Foden16 Mike Brown17 Anthony Parry 18 Callum Mackintosh19 Alex MacDonald 20 Matt Hughston 21 Marcus Walsh 22 Harry Bennett 23 Quentin Pradere + Head Coach Mike Tolkin
Glendale Raptors: 1 Noah Barker 2 Zach Fenoglio 3 Marco Fepulea’i 4 William Munro 5 Luke White (VC) 6 Brendan Daly 7 Hanco Germishuys 8 Peter Dahl 9 Shaun Davies (C) 10 Will Magie 11 Harley Davidson 12 Chad London13 Mika Kruse 14 Nick Johnson 15 Dylan Taikato-Simpson 16 Chad Gough 17 Blake Rogers 18 Max Lum 19 Kody O’Neil 20 Malon Al-Jiboori 21 Carlo De Nysschen 22 Ata Malifa 23 Robbie Petzer