This isn’t a must-win weekend for Metropolis as they host Palmer in Midwest DI club action, but it is a meaningful game.
If the Minneapolis team does beat their visits from Iowa, then Metropolis will be at least two games in the loss column ahead of any other team in the league. Victory will put them at least eight points above anyone else and, with the season less than half over, in a dominant position.
“I think one of the things we look at is that Milwaukee game,” said Nate Osborn, the Metropolis Head Coach and flyhalf, referring to Milwaukee almost-loss (19-16) in Week 2. “Milwaukee played really well, but, also, we didn’t play the way we can, and we came out of that game feeling like we didn’t want to be in the situation again. The team hasn’t been the same since.”
Since that time, Metropolis has defeated Cincinnati 61-0, Chicago Lions 54-31, and previously unbeaten Columbus 41-12.
“We are feeling really good,” said Osborn. “We know we can’t relax. We know we have to keep playing well, but we are playing well. We keep improving and the guys just have a great attitude. I think that’s it more than anything. Guys show up early for practice to work on things. The other night, they stayed late to work on their lineout and maul because they felt they didn’t have it right. The guys are just really dedicated.”
There are plenty of accolades to go around. Front-rower Patrick Latu has scored five tries in the last two games, including one on Saturday when he drifted back as if he were a No. 8, fielded a kick, and thundered back downfield for 50 meters or so to score.
Captain Wade McInroy has blossomed after moving from No. 8 to blindside flank, taking a little bit of the playing responsibility off his shoulders, and allowing him to lead a little more. Wings Sean Kelly and Matt Peterson are unsung heroes, said Osborn, while the midfield of Lemoto Filikitonga and Kavika Peniata will be players we will be hearing more about in the future.
Meanwhile, 3-1 Palmer has some work to do.
"We are a bit beat up from last week, but we're improving overall," said player-coach Luke Stringer. "Our first game, when we lost to the Chicago Griffins, was probably the worst game we've played in a long while. We have some very young players who are athletic, and they are learning. We are getting better each game and I am asking the guys to give that 5-10% better again this week. We feel that we can go up there and get a result. Metropolis is the form side in the Midwest, but we're playing better and better, and we feel we can get a result."