For the second year running, the Philadelphia Fight and Boston 13s will clash for a chance to play in the USARL Championship Final in Jacksonville on August 29.
By Julian Clarkstone
There is a feeling of Déjà vu in the 2015 North Conference Final. The teams met once already this year back in round 3, with the Fight winning 46-30. The 13s have not lost a match since then, and Coach, Robin Peers, thinks his team can rectify that this weekend.
“We’re confident going into this match. We played well there in round 3 but just ran out of steam late on,” Peers stated.
The 13s have been is strong form, and have plenty to be confident about after last week’s 80-4 win against the Rhode Island Rebellion, which included five tries to winger Ryan Forgione. Other players who are key to the 13s chances are prop Marcos Fleggman and five-eighth Dustin Cooper.
“We recently moved Marcos to prop from second row and he was outstanding last weekend. As for Dustin he is obviously very influential, but the boys around him are coming on in leaps and bounds,” Peers said.
The Fight have been undefeated so far this season, but are completely aware of the threats that the 13s pose. Fight second rower, Trystan Sylk, believes his side will need to be particularly wary of the spine of the 13s.
“I don’t think it’s any secret that they have some quality imports in the decision making roles,” Sylk said.
The Fight will be relying on the same resilience that has kept them undefeated all season. Sylk believes a key to their success has been that the team plays for each other and places a strong emphasis on this. The importance of enjoyment in the team in so strong it has even been placed into their motto ‘All smiles all match’. Sylk responded firmly in the belief that Rhys Bowdich has inspired the rest of the team and leads the team from the front.
“Yes – Rhys has really stepped up over the past few after stepping into the role of captain for our post season,” Sylk added.
The Fight and 13s will clash this Saturday at 7pm in Conshohocken, and the home ground gives the Fight a real confidence boost, being referred to as their ‘14th man’. This weekend’s match looms as a thrilling prospect not only because the Championship Final that awaits the victor, but it is also a great chance for fans to go and see some great attacking rugby league, with the 13s and Fight being the highest point scorers across the 2015 USARL competition.