Of the clubs that made a statement this past weekend, certainly Metropolis and Milwaukee were among them.
Both, in fact, made a statement stemming from a game a week ago where they played each other. In that game, Metropolis won, but won on a last-second try. The Minneapolis squad, that is fast becoming a hotbed of young talent, left the contest chastised as they had almost lost.
Milwaukee, instead, came out of that game encouraged that maybe their 51-18 thrashing at the hands of Columbus to start the season was an aberration.
So flash forward to this weekend. Metropolis hosts a tough-minded Cincinnati team and smacks them around to the tune of 61-0.
“It was a bad weekend to play us,” said Metropolis Head Coach Nate Osborne. “We know every now and then we’ll have a bad game, but we’re not going to have two in a row, and certainly not at home. Cincinnati is a good team, but we just played really well.”
Setting the tone is an imposing group of Metropolis forwards. Former USA U19 player Patrick Latu is impressing everyone with his athleticism and speed, and he partners well with former Sale Sharks prop Charlie Baleirara in the front row.
Behind them, young Nick Barrett and the experienced and capped lock Graham Harriman have also begun working together well.
“I think when people see Nick playing alongside Graham and how they work together, they will be impressed,” said Osborn. “They’ve got each other’s back, and they pick each other up throughout the game. Graham has really been a great addition for us, but you’ll see how Nick sticks right with him. They are a huge part of what we’re able to do.”
With the Metropolis forwards thundering ahead, and working the offloads, they are very difficult to defend. On Saturday, they were nigh impossible to stop.
Milwaukee almost did stop them, and that game reminded the Barbarians why they wanted to be in the Midwest DI league to begin with.
“I think we put Columbus behind us,” said Milwaukee coach pat Sharpe. “We didn’t start the season well and we were missing some of our personnel. When we got that personnel back, we started to play better.
And so they did. With scrumhalf Jeremy Petfalski scoring two tries and wing Trevor Herget scoring one (Nick Vigder kicked two conversions), they upset the Chicago Griffins 19-13, and put themselves right back in the mix in the Midwest.
“This was a much better defensive effort,” said Sharpe. “There’s always room for improvement, but we did so much better in our defensive alignment and our individual tackling. We learned from that Columbus game and corrected mistakes. Now we go out to Kansas City with a lot of confidence.”
And players, as Milwaukee will take three full sides to KC.
Meanwhile Metropolis visits the Chicago Lions in what might become a must-win for the Windy City team. They will have to bring their best defense, especially around the fringes, as Metropolis is a power that won’t go away.