The Berkeley All Blues have been preparing for a physical match-up against the Glendale Raptors in the #2 vs. #3 semi-final of the WPL National Championships this Friday, November 8th at 1:00pm in Cherry Hill, NJ. The All Blues defeated Glendale 39-6 in the finals of the WPL National Championships last year, but this will be the first time that they play Glendale this season, as the teams were out of conference.
Glendale this year is undefeated, whereas the All Blues finished the season at a respectable 4-2 record. To prepare for the game, the All Blues held a camp this weekend that included all day Saturday trainings to finetune aspects of the game, as well as held a video session to identify effective strategies against the Glendale squad. When asked how she felt about the team’s preparation for Friday, captain Phoebe Boone responded: “I think our game plan through the whole season has been to build, and I think we’re reaching our apex, so we’re well primed for the competition ahead of us.”
Head coach Adriaan Ferris was confident that playoffs experience was a key differentiator for the All Blues, but didn’t want the team to rest on their laurels. “The past is not the future. We can learn from what’s gone on before. We can apply ourselves differently. We’ve certainly learned from not just our losses, but also our wins. We’ve also learned from the training environment. Semi-final rugby is do or die, there is no tomorrow. We respect Glendale, and we’ll have to be on top of our game to make sure that we come out on top. It’s certainly not going to be easy, but that’s what sport is about. It gives us an opportunity to fight, and that’s what we’ll do on Friday.”
The other semi-final match-up to watch for the day is the Amazons vs. Beantown game, which will take place at 11:00 am, just prior to the Berkeley game.
All games will be livestreamed on the USAR Youtube Channel. For live updates, you can follow the @AllBluesRugby twitter account, or the hashtag #WPLRugby. For more details about game locations and times, visit Your Scrumhalf Connection.