Another Eastern Conference classic beckons when Rugby New York (#3) meets Rugby ATL (#2) in the first round of the playoffs at Silverbacks Park under the lights on Saturday night.
A GROWING RIVALRY
New York and Atlanta are back at it in the business end of the competition. Last year, Rugby ATL knocked out Rugby New York 10-9 in a close encounter to claim the MLR Eastern Conference. They meet again in the finals this Saturday (8:30PM ET) when New York travels down to Atlanta.
As far as this season goes, the two teams enter this match having split the season series 1-1, uniquely, both teams claimed their victory away from home. The first encounter was an action packed game with a number of spectacular tries, New York taking home the win, 36-31. Check out the highlights here. The second match was a more lob-sided encounter with Atlanta dominating the game from the outset, 38-3.
HOW NEW YORK GOT HERE
Eleven wins for New York ties their franchise record set in 2019, and their 56 points is a franchise record. This season was an improvement of last year’s 10-6 record and 53 points.
Catch up on the 2022 Rugby New York season here.
New York is coming off an important win in their regular-season finale. In a hard-fought defensive battle, New York took down the Eastern Conference leaders, New England. Read the match report here.
PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR
Antonio Kiri Kiri was a tackling machine last week, and won an important turnover at a crucial point in the game. Since joining Rugby New York in the back end of the season, he's been a key cog in the back row. He's definitely one to watch.
Ed Fidow looks to make his return to the field after being out in last week’s win. In his first MLR season, Fidow was the league leader in tries scored with 12. The offensive weapon has a knack for easily beating the first defender and has been a key part of the New York backfield.
Nate Brakeley also looks to make his return to the field after missing last week’s game. Brakeley has helped lead the team all year and looks to guide New York to their first-ever playoff victory.
HOW TO WATCH
The game will be aired on Fox Sports 2 (Domestically) and the Rugby Network (International) this Saturday at 8:30 p.m.
By Jason Piccolomini
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