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Pearl City Eyes 4-0 Start

Friday Sep 18, 2009 in Amateur Competitions Division I Clubs

image for this article
(Roland Suniula is one of the USA internationals that leads Pearl City, and the club will need to learn to do without for a while.  Ian Muir photo.)



Pearl City has laid their cards on the table. While seven of the nine Midwest DI clubs have played only one or two games, Pearl City, like their Iowa counterparts Palmer, have played three.

Before anyone else has really gotten started, they know what the Black Bears are about.

Not that it helps anyone, because Pearl City is 3-0, with a bonus point for four tries in each game, and looking for more of the same.

“We really didn’t have a preseason; it was one week of practice and we’re playing the Milwaukee Westside Harlequins,” said Pearl City’s Roy Carver. “So we’re still putting things together. We have a few new guys and they’re still getting used to the pattern.”

Coach Adam Friend has worked hard to keep it simple and straightforward. Even if some of those “new guys” are players like Eagle prop Mate Moeiakiola and USA back (capped in 7s and played in non-cap games in XVs) Tai Enosa.

“What they all have to remember is stick with what Friendy tells them and they’ll be fine,” Carver said.

Pearl City looks ahead now to their four league game of the season, this time against the Chicago Lions. They do so having a short week of practice. They played, and beat, Palmer on Monday in a game delayed by Palmer School of Chiropractic exams. Carver said Tuesday’s practice wasn’t all that different from a normal practice, but some players were held out due to minor aches and injuries.

“We’ don’t know exactly what to expect with the Lions,” said Carver. “This is a development league for them, but the agreement they have with the Midwest is they can field seven of their Super League players, so you never know. We’re just going to go at it as if we are playing the Chicago Lions Super League team.”

The Lions are 1-1 and haven’t been dominant. They gain nothing by giving Super League regulars the most playing time, and so are trying to develop younger athletes. Pearl City is, for the most part, a more finished product with several more experienced players. Enosa, although only 20, has been on the IRB 7s circuit. Same can be said of Shalom Suniula. Roland Suniula isn’t that much older, but has USA experience in both XVs and 7s and continues to improve. All three of those, along with Moeiakiola, will be absent for the Americans Rugby Championships in October, making these early league games all the more important.

“That’s going to be a tough time for us,” said Carver. “We will be without four players, plus Taylor Welch is injured so that hurts us as well.”

All the more reason to rely on the likes of Keiko Misipeka in the backs. Friend likes to have a fluid decision-making process in the backline, meaning he doesn’t rely on just his flyhalf to make those decisions. His inside center (often Roland Suniula these days) acts as a classic 2nd five-eighth, a second flyhalf who can slot in at first receiver and run the offense if the #10 is indisposed.

As time goes on, Friend will need more players able to do that.

Also on tap in the Midwest, Metropolis hosts the Harlequins, and could set themselves up to be a very nice 2-1 after three weeks, while the Milwaukee club is still hoping for its first win.

In the Eastern Conference, the two teams at 1-0, Detroit Tradesmen and Cincinnati, meet in Porkopolis. Away wins are hard to come by in this league and the Tradesmen will cherish theirs if they get it. But the Wolfhounds are tough, tough at home, and they are the ones with an improbably away victory in the bank.

Neither team's season will be over if they lose. Meanwhile 0-1 Buffalo and Indianapolis might not feel so sanguine about slipping to 0-2. That would put them in an unpleasantly deep hole.


September 19th Midwest DI Games

Detroit Tradesmen at Cincinnati Wolfhounds

Buffalo at Indianapolis Impalas

 

Chicago Lions at Pearl City

Milwaukee Westside Harlequins at Metropolis




Midwest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

West Conf.

W

L

T

Pf

Pa

Pd

BPts

Pts

Pearl City

3

0

0

154

28

126

3

15

Chicago Lions

1

1

0

60

41

19

1

5

Metropolis

1

1

0

44

52

-8

1

5

Palmer

1

2

0

58

99

-41

1

5

Mil WS H

0

2

0

13

109

-96

0

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

East Conf.

W

L

T

Pf

Pa

Pd

BPts

Pts

Detroit

1

0

0

27

14

13

1

5

Cincinnati

1

0

0

33

27

6

0

4

Buffalo

0

1

0

27

33

-6

1

1

Indianapolis

0

1

0

14

27

-13

0

0




- Alex Goff

Goff on Rugby | More articles in “Division I Clubs” | More articles in “Amateur Competitions”