It’s week #2 in the New England DI league and already things are getting a little wild.
South Shore, which finished the 2010 fall league season 0-6, defeated defending Northeast champs Mystic River 32-24.
That game in itself has put clubs on notice that last year isn’t this year, and you better be ready for anyone.
“That was our first league match of the season, and also our first time having our best 15 playing together,” said South Shore Head Coach Matt Pomella. “[Mystic is] a great club and always a solid team. I was very happy with how we played, but of course there are always things to fix and improve.”
Pomella wasn’t happy with the number of penalties his team gave up. Down 17-5 at halftime Pomella urged his squad to stay on the right side of the ref, and they scored 27 points in the second period.
South Shore was led by openside flanker Brandon Eustace, who “played some game-changing defense,” enthused Pomella. “He really stopped Mystic River's momentum at the end of the first half.”
Up ahead are the Boston Irish Wolfhounds, coached by former South Shore coach David Gonzales. The ‘Hounds were 30-19 winners over Amoskeag, but the New Hampshire-ites are still in a rebuilding phase and it’s not clear what that says about BIW.
“They are another top team and a bit of a rivalry match for us,” said Pomella. “I know my guys can’t wait for it. This match always seems to be a hard, thumping, bruising match. More often than not, it comes down to who wants it more in the 80th minute. I think and hope that if we stay healthy and play within our system, we will have a good shot.”
Boston Rugby Club, which thumped New Haven 82-12 last week, get the weekend off. New Haven hopes to rebound against in-state rivals Hartford; the Wanderers were idle last week. And Mystic River and Amoskeag will both try to rebound from opening weekend losses.
Mystic is still expected to be strong, but Hartford remains an unknown quantity, New Haven’s big loss can’t be properly evaluated until they get deeper into the season, and South Shore and the Wolfhounds are also looking solid. It’s anybody’s league right now.
New England DI club matches this weekend
Amoskeag @ Mystic River
South Shore @ BIWRFC
Hartford @ New Haven