In the kick-off weekend for the newly formed MAC conference, the Northern Illinois Huskies were one of the fortunate teams with 31-12 win over Ohio. A great start to the season, but it’s time to move onto this weekend, a showdown with MAC power Bowling Green.
Head coach Kris Osterloh says there were a lot of things to like about last weekend’s performance and hopes to duplicate those results against the Falcons.
“We played a very clean game of rugby, very few penalties and that’s one thing we will need every week against these teams,” Osterloh said. “The game was very physical and our forwards did a great job in that area.”
Osterloh added that he likes how balanced his team is and how the players feed off each other.
“When you a lot of balance on your team it opens up a lot of things on the pitch,” he explained. “I think the scoring favored the backs by one try, that’s pretty good.”
With the big team coming to town, the Huskies and Osterloh need everyone ounce of the positive things to show up Saturday. More importantly, they need to shore up some of the problem areas they had against Ohio.
“We need to get more organized on the defense side of the ball and offensively with our set pieces to keep the ball moving,” Osterloh said. “Defensively we did a good job last weekend, but we are expecting a good team with balance to come into town.”
In order to do that, Osterloh has made a couple of things very clear in practice that will be key in winning this weekend.
“First and foremost is our conditioning and being able to keep up with the competition. We need to be sharp offensively and make sure to not make silly mistakes like knock-ons and bad passes in our set pieces. Defensively, we have to communicate throughout the match and make sure there are no holes to prevent the easy scores.”
Should they do all that consistently, Osterloh has no doubt that his team has the talent to stick with the powerful Falcons.