Despite the scoreline the New England Immortals put up one hell of a fight for the Marines. This was the first hit up for many of the New England based players and on a freezing night, literally it was almost at freezing, and the 100 or so fans that braved the arrival of a late winter saw a very skillful and entertaining match from both team.
The Immortals concept is similarly based on the State of Origin that is played elsewhere. But rather than individual states there are defined regions in the United States that people use. New England encompasses everything north of New York, thus in the USARL this means the Rhode Island Rebellion, Boston 13s, New Haven Warriors and Oneida FC have representatives. This is a team for American born and bred players. Players that were either born in the New England region or have played and developed their skills in one of the New England teams. A similar team is also being developed for the other four East Coast teams, Baltimore Blues, Washington D.C. Slayers, Philadelphia Fight and Jacksonville Axemen.
It was always going to be a tough game for the New England team. Playing against a seasoned, battle hardened (no pun intended) team that has been together for a long time and also comes from a country that is a powerhouse in the sport, they showed their steel by putting in some amazingly big hits! The Marines had their set plays in tune and had the opening points within 4 minutes of the start through Matthew Callan. Though they had to grind it out as they had to with all their points.
Despite the scoreline at half time, 40-6, the Marines had to work hard for. The Immortals put up great resistance, unfortunately there were lapses in concentration that allowed the Marines to either barge over or make breaks through the lines. Despite all that on the half time bell the Immortals were able to get a try through the Warriors Brian Lee from a Shain Singleton kick. After half time it was a different New England team.
Despite an early try to the Marines in the opening, the Immortals muscled up in defence and were able to hold them out for over 20 minutes and in that time also score another try. Shain Singleton being involved again by getting the 4 points. In the last 15 minutes it was the Brits that were able to convert their opportunities to points, however the Immortals had their own chances. In no less than 4 occasions did the New England team get over the time only to be denied through defence or a mistake. The best opportunity of these came towards the end where Jesse Pearce went over in the corner but hit foot touched the side line.
Talking to Robin Peers after the game he was proud of the guys and can see the concept of the Immortals and a State of Origin type series taking off in the USA. The Marines player/coach Richie Guy was really surprised and impressed with the intensity of the Immortals players. They really enjoyed the game and the tour so far has been a great success with a win against the DC Slayers in Washington, who also will have their own tour this weekend in Jamaica.
All in all, despite a cold night, it was a great game of rugby league and a great start to the USARL season.
1. Cam Correia (Rhode Island Rebellion), 2. Brian Lee (New Haven Warriors), 3. Eric Gonslaves (RIR), 4. Jon Mixon (Boston 13s), 5. Tannozzini (RIR), 6. Shain Singleton (RIR), 7. Derek Trehan (RIR), 8. Matthew Callan (NHW), 9. Brian Schacht (NHW), 10. Steve Crandall (RIR), 11. Tim Prata (B13), 12. Fred Jacobs (RIR), 13. Brad Crandall (RIR), 14. Jose Montanez (RIR), 15. Brian Amaral (RIR), 16. Anthony Nardollio (RIR), 18. Jesse Pearce (Oneida FC), 19. Jose Roucken (NHW) 20. Greg Richer (OFC), 21. Jeremy Rinn (RIR), 22. Dan Green (OFC), 23. Tam Tran (B13), 24. Matt Troila-Kelliher (B13)
Try: Lee (NHW), Singleton (RIR)
Goals: Trehan (RIR) (2)
1. Mne. Greg Mills, 2. Mne. Tom Pike, 3. Mne. Kayle Stannard, 4. Cpt. Steve Riley, 5. Mne. Brendon Agnew, 6. Mne. Richard Cadywold, 7. Mne. Richard Blackburn, 8. Lt. Cpt. Kris Kirk, 9. Sgt. Richie Guy (Head Coach), 10. Mne. Kai Stevens, 11. Mne. Tom So, 12. Cpt. Craig Mould (c), 13. Mne. Aaron Johnson, 14. Mne. Stretch Smith, 15. Mne. Joe Nakavuluvu, 16. Mne. Mike Brewer, 17. Mne. Jack Cooper, 18. Mne. Richie McGlade, 19. Mne. Dean Kirk, 20. Mne. Mike Thurlow, 21. Mne. Josh Tauribo, 22. Mne. Luke Davies, 24. Mne. Lee Causby; Sgt. Ben Mardle (Team Manager), Sgt. Lee Rossiter (Assistant Coach)
Try: K Kirk, Riley(2), Mills (2),Cadywold (2), Stevens, Smith, Mould (2), Nakavuluvu
Goals: Cadywold (10)
Mik Shammas (NAMOA)
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