Saturday 6-Pack 2-3-18

This week's matches reach from Division I all the way to Division IV.

True South Men's Division III: Battleship Rugby vs. Montgomery Yellowhammers:

The featured game for this weekend sees last year's regular season champion, Battleship, go up against the runner-up, Montgomery Yellow Hammers. While, any game that features one and two from the prior year is bound to be a heated affair, this one will pack a bit more punch to it . The extra spice comes from the fact that, despite the standings at the end of the year, Montgomery actually won the union and took Battleship's spot at the Southern Championship Playoffs.

Despite the story line, neither team was willing to concede that this game would be any different to their usual outings. Brad Hudson form Battleship stated, "We're preparing for them the say way we always prepare".  The Yellowhammers' president, Chris Ivey, took a similar approach denouncing the idea of it being a revenge game, but rather he thinks of it more as a chance to draw level, "...[this is] A match to get even in the matrix standings...with a club as established as Battleship... I think that reaching the postseason is more of a motivating factor."

"They have an explosive backline and a big pack."
Chris Ivey, Montgomery Yellowhammers

These teams have a sound understanding for what it takes to beat one another, as both conceded that Battleship's attacking prowess and the Yellowhammers' stalwartness in defense are keys to victory. Ivey admitting "We have to be sound defensively against an offense like Battleship's...They have an explosive backline and a big pack. Everyone has to do their jobs." Hudson added, "To win we'll need to dominate possession.  In our match this past Fall, we had quality possession deep in their territory many times. Solid defense and mistakes on our part kept us out of the try zone."

Both teams have also benefited from the addition of new faces to their rosters. Montgomery has had an influx of players join from the Maxwell Air Force Base. Ivey describing the latest additions as "great assets." Hudson has been pleased with his new additions as well, saying "We've had a good bit of player turnover since last spring. A few new faces that didn't travel to Montgomery, helped us beat Jackson in October."

If this game goes the way of the Yellowhammers it will, in all likelihood, seal the regular season championship up for them, while making it tougher for Battleship to sail their way into the finals.

Southern California Men's Division III: Santa Barbara Grunion vs. Beaumont Bluehawks:

Last year the Bluehawks won their division, while the Grunions came third. This weekend they square off. The Grunions have been off to a hot start this year, winning their first two matches and picking up a bonus point in each game. The Bluehawks sit in the same boat, and this match will likely produce the first loss for one of these teams this season.

Northern California Women's Division II: Life West Gladiatrix D2 vs. San Francisco Golden Gate:

This weekend sees San Francisco Golden Gate, last year's Division II National Runner-Up, play the reserve team of last year's Division I national champions, Life West. SFGG has already played the first team from Life West earlier in the season and fell, but a strong win against the Berkeley All Blues D2 team has them bouncing back and well within contention for the division title once again.

Texas Men's Division IV: Alliance Rugby D4 vs. Fort Worth Rugby D4:

Down in the Lone Star State, a local rivalry is ready to etch another chapter into its annals. Alliance is currently sitting atop of the Division IV heap, having only lost one game this year. However, that one loss came courtesy of Fort Worth, who currently sit in third position on the ladder. If Fort Worth doubles up on their victory, they could potentially take the top seeding away from Alliance.

Red River Women's Division I: Houston Athletic vs. Dallas Harlequins

This weekend will see the Red River Women's competition kick off. Dallas Harlequins and Houston Athletic finished within one spot of each other last year, with Houston Athletic gaining the upper hand. It will be interesting to see if there is any change in fortune this year for the Harlequins.

Florida Men's Division II: Tampa Bay Krewe vs. Orlando Rugby

In what some are labelling the 'war on I-4,' these two geographic rivals will square off against one another. Both teams sit at 1-0 to start the season and, given the historical strength of these two teams, the winner here will seemingly have the easiest path to the North Division's title.