South Edges North in All-Star Game

The SOUTH has prevailed by the narrowest of margins against the NORTH in an entertaining and competitive USA Rugby League All-Star game (Photo: Gene Thorpe).
South Edges North in All-Star Game

Played at AA Garthwaite Stadium, the home of the Philadelphia Fight, in Conshohocken, PA, Sunday, and despite less than ideal conditions, the USARL’s showcase event lived up to all the pregame expectations with the SOUTH edging the NORTH 28-26.

There was action aplenty, including a glut of tries resulting from attacking football, big hits on defense and excitement galore from the opening kickoff through to the final whistle.

The match was in the balance for the majority of the 80 minutes with the visitors eventually managing to outlast the hosts to clinch the victory.

Both head coaches saw it as a good game that produced just what they were looking for in terms of picking a USA Hawks train-on squad for the forthcoming 2021 Rugby League World Cup Americas region qualifiers.

SOUTH coach Sean Rutgerson says he was able to gauge the abilities of potential player pool selections.

“The game turned out really good, the guys had a real go and it was a great game. In poor conditions they play a good standard of footy and we need this game to get better every year. And I look forward to next year’s game.”

The NORTH’s try-scorers included Matt Walsh (2), Karim Singleton, Randy Porter, CJ Cortalano and Tristan Sylk.

However, the news wasn’t so good for NORTH player Alex Foster, who suffered a broken leg. The injury is likely to keep him out of calculations for the Hawks’ squad.

NORTH coach Brent Richardson says it was a quality game in tough conditions.

“Players from both sides really stepped up, with no one looking out of place at a higher level. Rutgo and I have some selection headaches as we shift focus to World Cup qualifiers.”

The win by the SOUTH follows their 38-32 triumph in the corresponding game in 2016.

The 2017 All-Star game, which had been scheduled to be played in Tampa, was cancelled due to Hurricane Irma sweeping across parts of Florida.