HERRIMAN, Utah – The Utah Warriors travel to the East Coast this Saturday, June 19, to take on Rugby United New York at Cochrane Stadium in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Saturday’s match will mark the third time that Utah and RUNY have faced off, and the first time since 2019, with New York leading the series 2-0.
Led by fly-half Dan Hollinshead, and coming off of a 31-24 victory over Rugby ATL in Week 13, RUNY enters the match with a record of 8-3 as they currently sit in second-place in Major League Rugby’s Eastern Division with 39 table points.
“RUNY is a great team and have some very good players that can break a game open if you give them the space to do so,” said Warriors Head Coach Shawn Pittman. “The challenging thing with RUNY is they have so many players that have a bit of x-factor about them and we have to defend really well to allow us a chance to win.”
Utah enters the match in second-place in MLR’s Western Conference with a 7-5 record and 41 table points. The second-highest total points scoring offense in Major League Rugby, the Warriors hope they can continue their offensive mastery against a physical New York defense.
“RUNY is a defensive team that wants to win with physicality and put in big shots,” said Warriors Assistant Shaun Davies. “If we’re able to play smart and change the point of contact with speed, we’ll be able to keep them on their back foot as much as possible. If we’re able to do all of this while playing in the right areas, I think we’ll give ourselves a good shot of playing well on attack this weekend.”
Pittman believes that it will require a full team effort in order to come away with a victory in a match between two of the top teams in Major League Rugby.
“This is going to need to be a team performance this week and the forwards as a group will need to lead the charge,” said Pittman. “Overall, we’ll need all hands on deck if we want to get this win on the road.”
Davies hopes the Warriors can avoid finding themselves in an early hole after back-to-back slow starts for Utah.
“These last couple games we’ve put ourselves in the perfect position to start strong but then let the opposition out with turnovers which then leads to them getting early points,” said Davies. “In the early moments of the game this weekend we need to be more clinical and take advantage of field position. If we’re able to do this and put the pressure on RUNY early we won’t have to make a dramatic comeback like we’ve seen the past two games.”
Utah Warriors vs. Rugby United New York
Date: Saturday, June 19
Time: 12:30 p.m. (MDT)
Where: Jersey City, New Jersey
Broadcast: CBS Sports Network
Radio: 700 AM and 960 AM