New York Athletic Club visits rivals Boston this weekend, and this will be a chance for both teams to raise their game.
Boston Head Coach Mike Diamantopoulos said he wasn’t overjoyed with his team’s performance last weekend when they lost to Life University 52-16.
Having spent much of the last month training inside, and with two backline additions way too new to be dumped into the Elite Cup, Boston wasn’t at their best. But, as Diamantopoulos said, “we do have expectations. And not giving up penalties, getting to the breakdown, making tackles, and not allowing first-phase tries are things we expect anyone to do. We didn’t do that.”
The pack held on well enough, said the coach, but he expects the entire team to play better now they’ve had a little more time together.
NYAC, for their part, will be flying in Troy Hall from Oregon to help them out. Flanker James Denise is more concerned with how the team handles the breakdown.
“I like the contact part of the game, I enjoy it, and I think it’s important,” he said. “If we win rucks we can score.”
NYAC has been dealing with a few personnel changes, not least of which is Justin Hundley jumping in at scrumhalf for the injured Mike Petri.
“I have known Pip since I began playing, and he came out of retirement at the right time,” said Denise. “I think he could play almost any position and do it well.”
NYAC is working hard to get their set piece squared away, and they are painfully aware that Boston’s backline, if they execute, are dangerous. Still, based on recent form (NYAC beat Life in a friendly earlier this season), the New Yorkers have to be favored.
“All we’re concerned with is winning clean ball,” said Denise. “We do that, we’ll be OK.”