The West gets going in more earnest Saturday. Glendale and the Highlanders kicked off the league opener last weekend, and the Raptors began their title defense with a 77-3 win.
They’ll try to move to 2-0 when they host the Kansas City Blues at Infinity Park Saturday. If last year’s matches between these teams are any indication, the Raptors should win big.
The Blues have made some notable additions, though, especially at flyhalf, where recently graduated Kansas State standout Joe D’Agostino steps in. Ryan Chapman will be in Denver Saturday and may make his return to the pitch as a Raptor against Kansas City.
Boulder and the Denver Barbarians clash in the other West matchup. Again, if last year’s matches are an indication, the Barbos should win in a walk. Unless something unexpected happens this weekend or the Barbarians drop out of the Super League, the West-North looks like it’s Glendale’s to lose.
In the Midwest, three of the four games would have to be upsets to really change the playoff picture. The favorites, Palmer, Lions and Buffalo, are a combined 9-3. The underdogs, Columbus, Blaze and Milkwaukee Westside Harlequins, are a combined 2-10.
Buffalo and the Lions have the most to lose, as they’re in the hunt for a top-two finish in their respective divisions.
The game of the week in the Midwest is in the East, where Cincinnati and Detroit, both 3-1, battle for first place. If Cincinnati wins, they’ll stay in the pole position. If Detroit wins, depending on bonus point considerations, they would either move into first place alone or with Buffalo.
The game’s in Cincinnati, where the Wolfhounds are 2-0 with a 63-point aggregate margin of victory. The Tradesmen are 1-1 on the road, with their lone win coming by a single converted try against 1-3 Columbus.
The season is still very young in the MetNY. Monmouth, New York Rugby Club and Old Blue are undefeated, while Long Island, Morris and the Village Lions are winless.
The Lions are idle, so they’ll have to wait at least another week to get their first win. Morris, who lost big to White Plains, doesn’t seemingly have much of a chance against NYRC, who beat White Plains last week.
Long Island, on the other hand, figures to be competitive at season’s end, and if that’s going to be reality, falling to 0-2 against Old Blue Saturday won’t help.
The Mid-Atlantic, due to an excessive amount of rain, has gotten off to slow start. We’re supposed to be heading into week four, and Baltimore-Chesapeake hasn’t played a single game.
Weather permitting, Baltimore-Chesapeake will play at Media Saturday.
Media has played two games, but sits at 0-2, so that match should feature a pair of teams more than eager to score a win. It also pits opposite strengths against on another.
“In the past, Baltimore’s been very good with their forwards, both close off the rucks and also getting out into the backline, so we’ve done a lot of work this week of just being able to recognize the attack of the team and filling in the gaps,” said Owen Jones of Media.
“We’ve felt in the past, and the same this year, our backline has always been our strength. We’ve added a lot of young forwards this year, and we think we can get the ball out to the backs and move it on any team. We moved it on Norfolk, but we just had a couple of handling errors, but once we get a couple more practices under our belt, once we play together a little more, things are going to start to sure up, and I think the score’s going to reflect that.”
In New England, the Boston Irish Wolfhounds and Boston RFC attempt to create separation from the pack as they take on 1-1 New Haven and 1-1 South Shore, respectively.