The NYAC defeated Life University 38-12 Saturday in Pelham, NY in the Super League semifinals. NYAC will play in the final at the home ground of this evening's winner between San Francisco Golden Gate and Old Puget Sound Beach.
NYAC captain Mike Petri noted that lock James Denise had a strong game, indicative of the players who have come together for the New York team.
Denise scored a try and was active on defense, but turned the praise around and pointed at his team in general.
“The game was kind of how we’ve been doing it all season long,” he said. “Keeping the pressure on and eventually breaking them. I really love the whole team and how well we played together. It’s a really good feeling – we believe we can handle every situation.”
Denise said the NYAC club was determined not to take Life lightly, despite having beaten Life twice already.
“We didn’t need to change anything; we just needed to play for 80 minutes,” he said.
On the final play of the game, Life scrumhalf Brendan Thompson broke through and looked to be gone for a try. Fullback Chris Chapman chased him down, tackled him, and forced a knock-on.
“That really summed it up,” said Denise. “We didn’t have to hustle, but we did anyway. We were going to play for 80 minutes, no matter what the score.”