Metropolis stayed undefeated in the Midwest Saturday, beating Palmer 34-21 in Minneapolis.
The Dragons jumped out to a 16-3 lead in the opening quarter of the game, punching in two tries and slotting two penalties.
“We really worked hard all week on knowing it was going to be a must-win game for us, and we kind of lost our heads where we gave some dumb penalties,” said Metropolis coach Nate Osborne. “They got some good field position and scored a couple of good tries.”
Metropolis stormed back to take the lead going into halftime, 17-16, following a pair of converted tries, and they would outscore Palmer 31-5 in the game’s final 60 minutes.
“It never really felt like the game was out of reach, even when they got 16 points on us,” said Osborne. “It felt like we just were letting them in the game more than we were getting beat.”
With the win, Metropolis has completed the almost unheard of sweep of Palmer in the regular season. Not since 2008 has a team beaten the Dragons twice in one regular season.
“I just feel like we’re playing really good rugby. I thought we were playing really well when we made it to the spring last year, and we’re probably playing 60, 80-percent better since then,” said Osborne. “We have a great bunch of young guys, great bunch of a couple of older guys, mature guys, and we’ve just got a really fun team right now.”
One key aspect of the game, and perhaps with ramifications for the league on down the road, was the performance of the Metropolis subs. They ran on and did extremely well, holding off a furious Palmer charge as the Dragons tried to get one more try, which would have earned them a bonus point for four tries, and a bonus point for a close loss.
"We had seven subs who came on who we know are as good as the guys starting," said Osborne. "And they prevented Palmer from getting those bonus points, and I think that could be crucial."
Next week, Palmer hosts the Milwaukee Barbarians and Metropolis welcomes the Chicago Griffins.