April 7, 2018
This Saturday the Glendale Raptors will visit Travers Island, New York for a friendly exhibition match against the New York Athletic Club. Ramping up excitement for the debut of Major League Rugby on April 21, the Raptors will use this match as a final test of their preseason prowess. Coming off a victory against New Orleans Gold in early March, and an impressive win against the Utah Warriors last weekend, the Raptors’ long history and deep talent has been on display preceding the MLR season launch.
Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah was the setting for Glendale’s most recent win, a decisive performance in front of an electric crowd. Raptors Assistant Coach Ted Browner was complimentary, but realistic, when asked about preparation for New York following the victory: “There were places we struggled in the first two games and we’ll get to see the improvements we’ve made on Saturday,” he said. “We want to continue to improve in the areas we’ve been working on, to see from the team that we’re building and continuing to go in the right direction.”
Because the Saturday match in New York is a friendly, it offers Raptors Head Coach David Williams a final look at his team in competition, without the pressure of facing an in-league opponent. Asked about the chance to see the progress his squad has made leading into the launch of MLR, Williams was optimistic about the chance to play: “NYAC will offer a great opportunity for Glendale to keep growing as a team. We’ll get to keep working on our shape on both sides of the ball, allowing players more game time leading into the season opener against Austin.”