This Saturday in Philadelphia at 3pm, two of the oldest clubs in the USA Rugby League battle it out for the inaugural USARL Champions.
Each team has traveled a different path to reach this stage but both are united as one of eight foundation clubs in the new formed USA Rugby League. Win or lose, all teams will be represented to celebrate an incredible year that has seen the game transformed through record crowds, quality and number of games played and fans following around the world.
The New Haven Warriors are eager to make amends on their 2nd half loss in the 2010 Championship Final to the Jacksonville Axemen. With their first stage complete by handing the Axemen their first loss on home soil in three years, their next and final challenge for 2011 is as equally daunting. Since forming in 2006, the Warriors have had an impressive record and won the AMNRL Championship in 2008 and went undefeated in 2010 aside from the loss in the Grand Final. Despite a slow start to this year’s competition, the Warriors still hold the reputation of a highly skilled and physical team and have found form at the right time of year.
As for Philadelphia, a victory would see their first and only trophy since being formed in 1998. Irregardless of the score, the Fight have had an impressive year both on and off the field building a solid brand that has resulted in becoming one of the most recognized and followed rugby league clubs in the country. This journey has been one of many challenges going back and number of years when former USA Tomahawk, Ryan McGough took over the struggling club when it was all but done and unable to field a team. Following the Jacksonville blueprint, McGough realized the only way to build a following was to offer a product that would build a fan base and give them something to look forward to. With the help of a new board, committed sponsors, the Philadelphia Vixen Cheerleaders, a steady and growing supporter base, The Fight have fulfilled the requirements to satisfy their loyal fan base… all but one!
On a side-by-side comparison, the Warriors are a far more seasoned team, with several players having more than 20 yrs experience of playing Rugby League. The Philadelphia Fight are fit, young, fast and are well supported by a number of key imports that can easily guide them away from the damaging defense line of the Warriors pack. The last time these teams met was in Round 6 where a depleted Philadelphia team scored in the dying minutes to seal victory and remain ahead of the Warriors on points.
Players to watch for Warriors:
Taurean Sheehan – Hooker (Australia), Andrew “Susie” Maroney – 2nd row, lock (Australia) and Wesley Haughton (USA) playing in the Front Row.
Players to watch for Fight:
Jared Frymoyer – Wing (USA), Joel Week – Halfback (Australia) and Kevin Wiggins – Lock (USA) playing the best Rugby League of his career.
The game promises to be the highlight of an already impressive year.
Saturday August 27th 2011
3pm Championship Kick-off
Gates open at 12pm with pre-game match and activities
Stadium Location and Directions
A. A. Garthwaite Staduim – Fight’s Home Pitch
Harry St and E 11th Ave
Conshohocken PA 19428