Old Blue is one of four clubs that will field a DI and DIII team in the club playoffs. For a club celebrating its 50th anniversary this season, this won't be too much of a hardship; they are getting over 70 players at training.
So they have depth, but do they have front-line quality? Facing Life University they will need to bring their classic, hard-nosed approach to forward play, led by lock Trevor Cassidy, who is having a solid season.
But it will be in the backs where Old Blue needs to make big plays. Adam Siddall has already earned a USA look, and he is a superb goal kicker, but the guy to look for is Luke Hume. OBNY has been closed-mouthed about whether Hume will play, but it is likely he will, and he is a game-changer for them.
Meanwhile Life is riding high after their demolition of NYAC in the Elite Cup. Life could play a 2nd-tier team in DI, if the rules allowed college players to jump between divisions. They don't, so this will be Life's top squad. Their front row has been outstanding this year and their lineout is clicking. With one of the top halfback combos in the game, and backs with USA experience, they are beautifully poised to advance.
When Old Blue and Life met April 6 in Marietta, Ga. for Elite Cup pool play, the Running Eagles edged Old Blue 25-21.
Opposite those two teams are Boston and Palmer. Palmer is led by Luke Stringer, who is their coach, their best attacker, and their goal kicker. Obviously, he has to be contained, but Palmer's forwards are what have made them this year.
For their part, Boston has struggled a little this season. That doesn't mean they can't play. It just means they need their best players - Liam Murphy, Duran Vota, and flyhalf Rich Lobb - to be great ...and to not get hurt.
The USA team will ask for their Eagle camp players for Sunday's games. That affects all of these teams save Palmer. No one has so much depth they can absorb those losses without worry.