This is a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference final in Atlanta on Saturday afternoon. The Ratlers take on rugby in New York in a clash between the two sides, firmly focused on the postseason.
That July day it was ATL who were successful by the smallest margin, the late Alex Mogan trying to win at Lupo Family Field with one point. All of their previous encounters were close, and only one finished with a margin greater than a converted attempt.
ATL is looking to get rid of any potential psychological barriers that arise due to violations on the court, and “ratl-ed” from consecutive wins to start the campaign. Stephen Brett, however, has decided to upgrade his lineup with many changes to the team that won gold in New Orleans last weekend.
In this eastern final, Moen played a loosehead, but on Saturday started with a prostitute. Evan Mintner, one of New York’s two former players, closes, and Conor Cook and Ross Deacon fill the T-shirts with №6 and №8, respectively. Justin Bassan and Willy Hel are named on the bench, showing a 6-2 division between forwards and defenders.
This is another rotation in midfield, and Rowan Gows and Duncan van Shalkwick got a hit. Will Leonard is the second former man from New York in the center-center team, while Nolan Tuamaheloa gets his first ATL start on the flank. Te Rangatira Waitoki is sitting after hitting his knee against NOLA.
After the start of the season with a farewell week New York started his campaign with a tough win over SaberCats in windy Houston. Marty Will went for succession in his lineup, making only one change in the starting lineup.
Kara Pryor is a direct replacement for Paga Haini at No. 8, and Joe Basser, who is eligible in the back row, is making his MLR debut from the bench. Conor Buckley got rid of a header that caused him to leave the game against Houston early to put on his №9 shirt again, and Andy Ellis played a spare role.
Meanwhile, Chance Wenglewski is battling his former team in the front row of New York. Eagles props were sent to Big Apple in exchange for Mintern in September, and Leonard was sent to ATL in a separate step given the salary cap in October.
After heavy rain on Saturday afternoon in Atlanta, Atlanta is expected to have mild weather. This should give New York a chance to power its powerful back line, but they will have to deal with ATL’s knowingly stingy defense. Expect a close battle that can go either way, with a home advantage that will give the Ratlers favorites a label.
The start is scheduled for 3pm local time, noon across the Pacific. Live streaming is available worldwide on The Rugby Network.
1 Will Burke, 2 Alex Mogan, 3 John Sullivan, 4 Evan Mittern, 5 Johan Momsen, 6 Connor Cook, 7 Matt Heaton (co-captain), 8 Ross Deacon, 9 Rowan Gauss, 10 Duncan van Schalkwick, 11 Nolan Tuamohel, 12 Will Leonard, 13 Ryan Nell (co-captain), 14 Austin White, 15 Joaquin de la Vega Mendia
Substitutions: 16 Mark Jans van Ransburg, 17 Jonas Petrakopoulos, 18 Vikus Gronewald, 19 Justin Bassan, 20 Connor Keys, 21 Willie Hale, 22 Ryan Reese, 23 Kurt Coleman
RUGBY NEW YORK
1 Chance Wenglewski, 2 Dylan Fawcett, 3 Nick Mayhew, 4 Nate Brackley (Captain), 5 Charlie Hewitt, 6 Benjamin Banas, 7 Brendan O’Connor, 8 Kara Prairie, 8 Connor Buckley, 10 Sam Feed, 11 Sam Feeds, 11 12 Jason Emery, 13 Faasio Fuatai, 14 Andrew Coe, 15 Troy Lockier
Substitutions: 16 Caleb Geiger, 17 Zach Taulafo, 18 Wilton Rebola, 19 Will Tucker, 20 Joe Basser, 21 Andy Ellis, 22 Jack Hayton, 23 John Powers
Date: Saturday, February 19th
Venue: Silverbex Park, Atlanta
Start: 15:00 Local (12:00 Pacific)
Referee: Damian Schneider (Argentina)
Assistants: Cis Lopez (USA) and Dave Edwards (USA)
TMO: Chris Asmus (Canada)
Broadcasts: Rugby Network
24.07.2021 – Rugby ATL 10, Rugby United, New York 9 (Lupo Family Field)
06/13/2021 – Rugby United New York 31, Rugby ATL 24 (Belson Stadium)
11.04.2021 – Rugby ATL 17, Rugby United, New York 27 (Lupo Family Field)
23.02.2020 – Rugby ATL 19, Rugby United, New York 22 (Lupo Family Field)