Two of the top teams battle it out this weekend in what could be a preview of this years semi-finals match-up.
Boston 13s verses Jacksonville Axemen
What a difference a year makes. Last year, last placed Boston traveled and suffered another heavy loss to the Axemen by a margin of 52 points to 10. Fast-forward twelve months and a new look Boston team has improved tremendously both on and off the field. Now in equal 1st place, both teams are vying for semi-final home field rights along with the last year’s champs Philadelphia Fight.
On Saturday, a new look Boston outfit will be regularly tested by a seasoned Axemen outfit that know how to win on the road. For the Axemen, expect a massive game from a fired up Matt Clark that just sweated on a Judiciary Committee decision and will be well crazed from the scent of OFC across the river. His barn storming runs directed up the middle of the field will quickly test the stamina of the 13s fittest, forward pack. Coupled by the elusive runs by halfback Matt Keely, who can easily exploit the simplest of gaps, expect the 13s to have their defense tested for this first time this year.
If Boston can hold the ball, they have a talented group of players that can move the ball around the field. Hometown fans should keep an eye on former NRL player Dustin Cooper whose side step could keep would be tacklers on the back foot after one too many air swings. If Cooper can make a few breaks, expect new comer and Rugby Union convert Trevor McKenzie to follow closely behind. At just 22, this all American Center/Second Rower has 13s management salivating with his support play and speed.
13s CEO Mikhael Shammas commented, “They’ve (Axemen) been a winning team for around about 5 years now and since they were formed. It gives our 13s boys a chance to play against them; one of the best teams in the nation.”
What ever the result, fans will get to see some the nations most talented players on display in what should be an epic battle for first place.
The game kicks off this Saturday 3pm at M.I.T. Steinbrenner Stadium and will be streamed live following on from Oneida FC vs Baltimore Blues at 1pm.