After a bye week New York rugby club gets back into the thick of league play, as the 3-0 NY team takes on 3-1 Monmouth and a week late currently 3-0 Old Blue.
Two big players for NY: scrumhalf CJ Cortalano and No. 8 Trevor Cassidy. Photos © Edward Brydon
It will be a stern test for a team that lock and recent Man of the Match Jamie Bouloux said will show that the club is getting better.
“I’m really enjoying playing at New York,” Bouloux told RUGBYMag.com. “The structure we’ve got in place now … I think they’re really doing a good job of coaching us through and drilling us.”
The English-born Bouloux has scored some key tries in low-scoring matches for New York, but said the best of the team’s offensive efforts is yet to come.
“We’re gaining more confidence and that starts at the 9-10 positions. Badger (Denehy, flyhalf) and CJ (Cortalano, scrumhalf) mesh really well and are becoming more vocal. They get us organized and that’s allowed us to play more phase ball.”
They could stand to score a few more points. New York’s winning scores have been 16-7, 15-8, and 17-0, a scoring rate less than half that of Old Blue or Monmouth.
“If you look at the league, we might be 3-0, but Monmouth has all these bonus points, which could make a big difference,” Bouloux said. Even with Monmouth having dropped a surprise loss to White Plains, “all it takes for them to beat Old Blue and we have a bad game they’re in contention for first place. On our side the defense has been fantastic. We have had some lapses, but we also want to start adding some more points and that comes from confidence in the formations and structures we have in place.”
Bouloux said he’s seen moments of genius from both backs and forwards. Now they need more.
“When things go wrong, playing together is important, and to do that you need communication and fitness,” he added. And … familiarity. “Everyone knowing each other’s names – it seems like a small thing but it’s really important. It helps you work as a unit.”
Bouloux, whose family is Scottish and England, has also played with NYAC in the Super League and said New York isn’t at that level yet.
“We played NYAC this fall and the scoreline showed we’re not on the same level,” he said. “They have a fantastic organization over there. But we’re getting better. We’re lucky to be in New York and we’re able to get international guys. But we have a really strong US contingent and that contingent is playing some outstanding rugby right now.”
They will all have to in order to overtake Monmouth and Old Blue in the next two weekends.
“We know going undefeated won’t be easy but we have the weapons to do that,” he said. “This next weekend is going to be a real challenge for us.”