Preview – US Super League final

Belmont Shore and the Chicago Lions face-off on Saturday in San Diego, in the culmination to a five-match day of rugby to determine the US Divisional Champions at all levels.

Belmont Shore – last year’s Super League runner-up – blazed through the regular season undefeated. The Long Beach-based club then knocked off the Dallas Harlequins and San Francisco Golden Gate in the play-offs to reach the finals and earn a shot at redemption.

Belmont Shore boast five players slated for the United States’ World Cup squad, including three who played for the US in the Churchill Cup last weekend in England.

Full-back Francois Viljoen, lock Ben Wiedemer and prop Chris Osentowski return just in time for the Super League title match.

The Chicago Lions, meanwhile, welcome the return of prop John Vitale and fly-half Scott Peterson from England as well. The White Conference champions will be looking to pay Belmont back for handing them their only loss of 2007 back in Week 4.

The Lions went on to down 2006 champion Old Mission Beach Athletic Club (San Diego) in the quarter-finals and then earned their shot at the title in an electrifying three-point win over cross-town rivals the Chicago Griffins in the semis.

Both Belmont Shore and the Lions have plenty of talent and motivation. What may separate them is experience; while Belmont Shore hones in on what would be its fourth Super League championship, the Lions are playing for their first on Saturday.


365 Digital

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