The Women’s Premier League competition has just three weeks left of the regular season, with the East and West’s top teams, Atlanta (+11 points) & Life West (+7 points), sitting temporarily comfortable atop their respective conferences. Atlanta & Life West may be ahead by a substantial margin on points, but it’s anyone’s game to steal each 2nd place standing, with three weeks to play. Expect the first weekend of October to provide thrills and chills as teams come out victorious while gaining much needed points, along with those who come away empty handed.
Kicking things off in the East are Top of the Conference table, Atlanta (5-1) hosting the visiting 2nd place Twin Cities Amazons (3-3). In their previous matchup in Minnesota (August 31st), there was a concern with Atlanta lasting the full 80 minutes due to only being able to travel with 17 players. With this obstacle in their way, they still came away with the victory, 45-22. The previous matchup, is a true testament to this Harlequins side who have battled each challenge, and have five consecutive wins to show for it. Twin Cities will be looking to not only avenge their earlier season loss to Atlanta, but also to rebound from last week’s close 2-point defeat to Beantown. With this great match between the 1st & 2nd pace conference teams, Twin Cities will be intending on throwing the ‘kitchen sink’ at Atlanta in hopes of toppling their rivals.
The other matchup in the East is the Sunday game with Chicago North Shore (1-4) hosting New York Rugby (2-3). The last time these teams faced-off was in Week 3, where New York came away with the convincing win. Chicago is riding a 4-game losing streak, after winning their first contest against Twin Cities. The North Shore club, in the last four matches, has scored a total of 32 points, only 1 point more than their first match’s total. Expect this fiery team to use their home field advantage to gain a much needed win, along with increasing points in the standings. New York had faced a tough opponent in Atlanta last week and lost 12-51, but are looking to turn to their other cheek this week and face a Chicago squad who is hungry for win #2.
Within the first contest of the West, the San Diego Surfers (2-3) will be traveling up the coast to face-off against, Top-of-the-Table, Life West Gladiatrix (5-1). These two teams recently met on September 7th in San Diego, but the Gladiatrix had taken the wind out of the Surfers’ sails with an impressive 40-16 victory. After last week’s 58-0 win against ORSU, San Diego is tuned-in to rematch Life West and steal a victory on the road, just as their challengers had done a month ago. The Gladiatrix on the other hand have been less consistent since losing to Glendale two weeks ago. It was especially apparent when they had only beat Berkeley by 1 point in their previous match, and scoring 15 points on the entire day. This matchup can be a sneaky outcome for the Surfers, but we’ll have to see if they can outlast a formidable Gladiatrix side.
The Match of the Week will include the Glendale Merlins (4-1) hosting the Berkeley All-Blues (3-3) in this Western battle for 2nd place within the conference. At first look, Glendale clearly has the superior record to Berkeley, but if you were to look closer, the Merlins are only +1 in total table points over the All-Blues. This game, with the potential of a bonus point either way, could seriously affect the remainder of the year for both clubs. The other reason this match is deemed the most notable of the week is because of the incredibly close score that occurred last time these clubs met. Glendale had squeezed by with 2-point victory on the road in the Bay Area, and the Merlins understand the potential of this All-Blues club that only lost to Life West by 1-point the previous week. Either expect a defensive battle or an absolute barn-burner in this battle for West’s 2nd best.
|Oct 5th||Atlanta Harlequins||2:00 pm EDT||Twin Cities Amazons|
|Life West Gladiatrix||1:00 pm PDT||San Diego Surfers|
|Glendale Merlins||7:00 pm MDT||Berkeley All Blues|
|Oct 6th||Chicago North Shore||12:00 pm CDT||New York Rugby|