7NEWS highlights from April 6 OPSB match
Scrum half Shaun Davies 4/24
Back James Paterson 4/22
No. 8 Nic Johnson 4/2
Lock Casey Rock 3/19
Captain Zach Fenoglio 2/25
Raptor Men to wrap up 2012
- Published on Friday, November 2, 2012
- Written by Phillipa Snyman
The Raptors will be playing their last matches of the fall season this Saturday, Nov. 3. The DI team will be traveling to Provo, Utah to take on the Provo Steelers in their fourth league match, while the DII team will host the Denver Harlequins at noon on the turf pitch at Infinity Park.
As with the Denver Barbarians, the Provo Steelers have been incorporated into the Western Rugby Football Union North West Region DI league since the disbanding of the U.S. Rugby Super League earlier this year. This will be the first league encounter between the Raptors and the Steelers.
Raptors Head Coach Andre Snyman said, “We’ll need to stick to our game plan and structures if we are to compete with this formidable team from Provo,” said Snyman.
“It will be imperative for us to keep ball possession and our forwards will need to be quick to the breakdowns and shut down any attempt by the Steelers to gain forward momentum and get over the gain line,” added Snyman.
The Provo Steelers were founded in 1979 by a group of local islanders who attended and played for Brigham Young University. With a club steeped in tradition and history, the Raptors can expect a tough game of passionate rugby.
“We know that the Steelers have a very big and strong pack of forwards who are unusually mobile. Our forwards will need to man up and play with the same intensity and physicality as what we know the Steelers will bring to the pitch,” commented Snyman.
“Their backs are fast and formidable and we can’t afford to give them any space to unleash their speedsters,” continued Snyman.
The DI team will be without a number of their usual starting lineup. Stalwart prop Chad Slaby, and forward and captain Zach Fenoglio will be noticeably absent from the tight five, while loose forwards Mike Kenyon and Patrick Doyle have an injury and a prior commitment respectively. Missing from the backs will be DeWon Reed, Ata Malifa, Max Statler and Dustin Croy. Once again, Snyman will be relying on the depth chart available from the DII team to step up and adequately fill these vacant positions.
“I am confident that the players who will be traveling to Provo have the ability to compete against the Steelers and will rise to the challenge,” added Snyman.
The match between the Raptors and the Steelers will take place at 2 p.m. at Fort Utah Park in Provo.
The DII vs Denver Harlequins game will kick off at noon. The Harlequins have always brought a different level of intensity to the pitch when competing against the Raptors DII team and have proved to be a handful in all aspects of the game in past encounters.
Snyman is expecting a very physical game from the Harlequins and, as always, has prepared his team to absorb whatever they have thrown at them. As with the DI team, Snyman will be expecting his team to keep ball possession and take advantage of the opportunities created. An area where Snyman believes the DIIs will be tested is their defense and as a result believes that they will have to be well disciplined and make their one-on-one tackles.
“We have two months of no rugby coming up,” commented Snyman, “And I believe that the players would like to finish off the fall season on a high note. I expect that they’ll give their best this weekend and leave it all on the pitch — whether they’re playing DI or DII,” concluded Snyman.
The Raptors will commence training again on Feb. 5, 2013, and their first match of the spring season is scheduled for early March.
Halftime and full-time scores for the DI and DII games this Saturday will be posted to the Glendale Raptors Rugby Facebook page.