Saturday May 18th will see the 3rd annual USA Rugby League Nines Tournament with two time defending champions the New Zealand Police Fencibles returning to defend their crown.
The NZ Police won the first two USARL 9′s tournaments and are keen to make sure they take home a 3rd. The Kiwi’s are currently touring British Columbia Canada and playing in the BCRL 9′s tournament this weekend, so the police are ramping up to come into Philadelphia primed and ready to take on not just the USA sides, but two from Australia and one from Jamaica.
NZ Tour Manager Tony Feasey adds; “The Auckland Metro Rugby League team; the Fencibles are back in Philadelphia to defend their USARL 9’s title. Coached by former Mangere East old boy Bryan Laumatia, they hope to play a fast, open and entertaining style of rugby league. We feel honored to be invited back to Philadelphia by the USARL to compete in their tournament. Despite winning the last 2 years in a row, we do not consider ourselves favorites and will not be taking any team lightly.
Although we are an amateur team made up mostly of police officers we do not view ourselves as an exclusive side. Despite their background in rugby union – we have 3 ‘civilians’ who have expressed an interest in the Police as a career and therefore they have been invited to travel with us. Before arriving in Philadelphia we have competed in the inaugural BCRL invitational 9’s being held near the picturesque town of Whistler. We are fortunate to be in a unique position as Police officers and rugby league players. Our goal is to help promote rugby league and at the same time show people our pride and professionalism not only as rugby league players but as policemen of a wider brotherhood.
Whilst in Whistler the team attended a local High School and held a training session using the opportunity to interact with the locals and introduce them to the great game of rugby league. We also hope to do something similar in Philadelphia as well as undertake professional development by interacting with the local police.”
The 9 teams set to compete are:
- The New Zealand Police
- The New England Australia Echidnas (an Australian Aboriginal side)
- Northwest Barbarians (an Australian Aboriginal side)
- Duhaney Park Red Sharks – Jamaica
- Bucks County Sharks (AMNRL)
- The Valley Forge Casino Philadelphia Fight (USARL)
- Washington DC Slayers (USARL)
- Rhode Island Rebellion (USARL)
- AYRLA Under 23 Amercians (USARL)
The King Limo USARL 9′s draw is as follows:
- Group A – DC Slayers (DCS); Rhode Island Rebellion (RIR); New England Australia Echidnas (AE)
- Group B – Duhaney Park Red Sharks (DRS); Bucks County Shark (BCS); North West Australia Barbarians (NWB)
- Group C – Philadelphia Fight (PF); NZ Police (NZP); AYRLA U23 Americans (AYR23)
10:00am A1: DCS vs AE
10:30am B1: DRS vs BCS
11:00am C1: PF vs NZP
11:30am A2: RIR vs DCS
12:00pm B2: DRS vs NWB
12:30pm C2: NZP vs AYR23
01:00pm A3: RIR vs AE
01:30pm B3: NWB vs BCS
02:00pm C3: PF vs AYR23
2pts win, 1pt additional if win is +13, 1pt to loser is point spread is within 1-12. The team with the least amount of points is out, and/or points differential if bottom teams are tied for last. Teams are seeded based on their points victories of 1-8.
2:30 to 4:30pm – Quarter Finals: 1v8, 2v7, 3v6, 4v5
4:30pm – Semi Final: Winner 1v8 vs Winner 3v6
5:00pm – Semi Final: Winner 2v7 vs Winner 4v5
5:30pm – 3rd Place: Loser of both Semi Finals
6:00pm – Championship: Winner of both Semi Finals
It is going to be an exciting day, so make sure to get out to A.A. Garthwaite Stadium and have a few beers, eat a few Hillbilly BBQ sandwiches, have a shot of Jagermeister with the Jager girls, see the Fight Vixens perform and of course watch some world class Rugby League action!