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.
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 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!