Photo Credit: NY Freedom
The New York Freedom rugby league club is the unofficial winner of the Delaware Nines tournament.
The event was played in Wilmington, Delaware, on Saturday and five teams were represented including the Delaware Black Foxes, Philadelphia Fight, Brooklyn Kings, Boston 13s, and New York Freedom, as well as a few free agents from teams such as the DC Cavalry.
Due to some teams not having a full roster of players, they combined with others to get some game time.
In the end, three Nines games were played. Tournament organiser, Ian Ferguson with the Black Foxes says New York were the unofficial winners.
“New York probably had the best showing in the three games,” he says. “They’re well-coached and they had great athletes, so I would say them unofficially.”
Ferguson says the main idea was to get rugby league being played again in the US northeast, rather than focusing on declaring an official tournament winner.
“We made the best out of the situation,” he says. “I think it was a great opportunity.”
After the three Nines games had been played, all the teams then decided to play a shortened 13-a-side match of two, 20-minute halves.
Delaware merged with Philadelphia and Boston to form one team, while New York combined with Brooklyn for the other.
“One of the things I’ve learned over the years is that sometimes you just have to adapt to unforeseen circumstances and make the best you can out of it, and that’s exactly what we did,” adds Ferguson.
The next time these teams are due to play again this summer is in July in New York City at a 13-a-side Magic Round based on the concept developed by the English Super League and adopted by the NRL in Australia.
Delaware Nines scores:
Brooklyn 24-12 Delaware/Philadelphia
New York 24-0 Boston
New York 26-12 Delaware/Philadelphia
New York/Brooklyn 36-8 Delaware/Boston/Philadelphia