WPL: Challenge Match 12/4/11 – Minnesota Valkyries vs Glendale Raptors / Match Details, Broadcast & Sybil’s Predictions

UPDATE 12/5/11: Get the results and watch the archived video here.

Welcome to the first ever WPL Challenge Match! According to the WPL Promotion and Relegation Policies the #1 (Chicago NS) and #2 (Glendale Raptors) D1 teams can challenge the #7 (DC Furies) and #8 (Minnesota Valkyries) WPL teams if they desire. I confirmed with Chicago NS that they will not be challenging the #7 team and so the only challenge match this year is between the Glendale Raptors and the Minnesota Valkyries.

The Raptors just finished second at the USA Rugby Division 1 Club Championships, losing to Chicago NS 5-13. The Minnesota Valkyries placed eigth at the USA Rugby Women’s Premier League Championships, losing to the DC Furies in a heart breaker of a match 17-22.

The challenge match is to be held in a “warm area” and a few teams put in bids. The “warm area” that was chosen was Austin, TX. Come watch this epic battle unfold in Austin, TX at the Huns Pitch on Dec 4, 2011 at 10:00am. The Hosts are Huns Rugby and Austin Valkyries.

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Broadcast
Good news! We will be able to *LIVE broadcast this event! You can view the match here or on the YSC Rugby Ustream channel. As always we are doing this for free and so we would highly support any donation you could give!

There are a few potential “complications” that we wanted to let you know ahead of time….

  • 70% chance of rain. If that happens we might not be able to broadcast, much less even get tape. Might cause it to be a delayed broadcast.
  • Internet; or lack thereof. We will be using a Mifi Hotspot and if the pipes are good, we will broadcast, if not it will be delayed broadcast.
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Predictions by Sybil
My track record for predictions is getting a bit better…still not quite where I would like it to be <my job occupation: Accountant – “numbers are my life”> but I can only go up right? This weekend the Glendale Raptors will face off with the Minnesota Valkyries for a spot in the Women’s Premier League. Lets start with a dissection of the Minnesota Valkyries.

The Valkyries were knocked out of Tier B last year at the WPL Championships by Berkeley (57-27) and this year they competed in the Red Conference with Twin Cities Amazons, San Diego Surfers and New York. In League Play they were unable to win a match and were outscored by their opponents by 296 points. To continue that trend, the Valkyries were beat twice at this year’s Championships in a nail biter, back-and-forth match against Keystone (43-38) and on day 2 in another close match, they lost to the DC Furies (22-17). This hasn’t always been the Valkyries style, but it looks like due to some retired players and new blood the team has struggled this year.

The Glendale Raptors (birds of prey, not dinosaurs!) have been on the opposite end of the spectrum, winning all year long starting with an undefeated run in CR2 League Play. The CR2 includes Chicago NS (29-8), Chicago, Austin Valkyries (32-12), St. Louis Sabres (Sabres forfeit), Black Ice (99-0) and Detroit (71-12). Perhaps the magic of the Mile High Training Facility at the base of the Mount Olympus, ahem, I mean Glendale, CO is working in their favor? Of course you can’t count out the star power they have acquired this year, including Jillion Potter, named the Most Valuable Player even though Glendale lost at the D1 Championships.

Now to the actual predictions, this one is really tough as I know the Valkyries aren’t going to make it easy. Last year, ORSU voluntarily stepped down from the WPL and the Valkyries could have done the same, but they must want to continue to compete in the WPL. Some might say that after Glendale lost the D1 Championship to Chicago NS… why are they challenging? Are they really ready for the WPL or are they just striking while the iron is hot?

I believe that the Valkyries are better prepared for this challenge match mentally and with their two VERY close losses at Championships, they will be hungry for a win. Glendale will be prepared as well and blessed by the Gods, but they will falter. Not to mention, both teams have been training/playing since August…that is a long season only to be extended for another month to prepare for this challenge match.

Prediction: Minnesota Valkyries by one try for the win!

 

EDITOR NOTE: Sybil is not affiliated with the YSC Team, she is only a Guest Blogger who is bringing some new perspectives to the site. If you have any thoughts or concerns, we would urge you to comment below or please contact her at sybil@scrumhalfconnection.com. Thanks!

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19 thoughts on “WPL: Challenge Match 12/4/11 – Minnesota Valkyries vs Glendale Raptors / Match Details, Broadcast & Sybil’s Predictions

    • Since #1 forfeited their chance at a challenge match, #2 (Glendale) gets to take that challenge. Wouldn’t make sense for Valkyries to get the bye.

      Hope it’s streamed! I bet a bunch of WPL starters would be watching…would be fun to see their chatter since they’re usually the ones playing!

    • If North Shore had challenged as well, they would play 8 (MN) and Glendale would play 7 (DC).  Since North Shore declined to challenge Glendale plays 8.

    • That’s correct – as posted here http://www.scrumhalfconnection.com/2010/09/22/wpl-promotionrelegation/. But if NS is declining to challenge, then the DI #2 team (Glendale) would indeed end up challenging the WPL #8 team…so the end result is the same.

    • Technically and according to the WPL relegation/promotion policies, yes – D1 #1 challenges WPL #8 and D1 #2 challenges WPL #7.  But since North Shore does not wish to challenge, then Glendale will challenge MN Valkyries.

  1. Rugger1, since #1 North Shore decided they did not want to enter into WPL and therefore play in a challenge match, only one game will occur…and that’s with the #8 seed in the WPL and whomever got second place. 

  2. Per WPL rules the #1 division 1 team (NorthShore) is to challenge the #8 WPL team (Valks) and the #2 division 1 teaam (Glendale) is to challenge the #7 WPL team (Furies). However, with Northshore not challenging, Glendale now challenges #8 in their place.

  3. Anyone who has followed Glendale at all this year, either as a fan or opponent, will have to disagree with this prediction. Glendale has more than one star player, I would have to say that they are stacked with talent… And because of THAT they have the edge. If you watched their game against NS, Glendale came out flat and never recovered. Glendale is a foot on the pedal, dont stop until you hit the wall sort of team… Something that the Valks have not seen in a while. The majority of the WPL teams have a more tempered pace to their game, not the case for Glendale. The raptors are not affraid of pushing until they get the penalty… I predict raptors over valks (24-14).

    • I can’t disagree with your logic, but don’t you think the Valkyries have a proven record of a high caliber team over the years? Just because they have a few new players that aren’t wet behind the ears doesn’t mean you can discount their experience as well.

      My comment about Potter encompassed all of their talent, Potter was just singled out.

      Thx.

      • I think the Valks have a great record (year after year) to fall back on, but I think comparing apples to apples (aka this season) the Raptors have shown that they have the talent and the depth to take this one. With the both teams, you are looking at teams in transition, unfortunately for the Valks they are on the downswing… while the Raptors are on the up. Using the logic of a proven record, the Surfers should have had a tougher year… instead they are sitting in the top half of the WPL.  I think many players and fans are hoping for the Valks seasoned record to shine through, but I think the Raptors are poised to take it… They have the player talent (which is just as seasoned as the Valks), they have great coaching, they are familiar with the field (they played in Austin early in the season) and they have the bench to go all out for 80 mins.  I think their game against NS in the finals was a fluke… I dont expect them to make the same mistake twice.

        • I firmly believe that the Raptors should win this game, but having coached against Barb Fugate-led teams for more than a decade, I learned that you cannot count out her teams.  Her ability to prepare a team – and improve a team – over time has been proven repeatedly.  I predict a tight game, with a 3 point differential, but I am hoping for a Tebow-esque finish from the Raptors …

        • I definitely considered the Raptors winning record this year in my prediction. I guess it comes down to a long season and who will perform this weekend. The Raptors will definitely be hungry after a poor performance against NS. BUT the Valkyries have a lot to prove as well so its almost a coin toss at this point!

  4. Should be an exciting, close match, with both teams hungry (for different reasons). Glendale does have a good shot, but I wouldn’t count the Valks out – they are still a really quality side with a lot of talent of their own. And they have more on the line. Think I agree with Sybil on this one…

  5. Regarding Sybils comment about the Raptors playing the Challenge matchs even though they didn’t win the D1 Championshp:

    According to WPL rules, declare your intent to challenge or accept a challenge BEFORE the actual National Championship.  So prior to going to Virginia Beach, North Shore, Glendale, and the four WPL teams had to commit to play or accept a challenge.  Waiting until after the championship to make that decision was not an option.

    The teams sign a binding agreement in writing, so the match is on regardless…

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