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Look at the Chicago Griffins Super League record and you see a 2-4 team -
not so hot.
But Head Coach Wez Parkes says the team really wasn't so bad, and in fact the numbers kind of bear that out.
The opened their season with a 22-21 loss to defending champs NYAC. A week later they lost 21-3 to the Chicago Lions - their one poor performance of the year, helped along by the fact that both of their starting props played hurt and couldn't finish the game. Then the Griffins lost again, this time 25-16 to Life, who finished the season undefeated.
It wasn't until their fourth match that the Griffs won, beating Old Blue 22-16. They then lost to the other East playoff team, Boston, 34-27, before hammering the Lions in the final match 41-19.
So four losses, but losses by margins of 1, 18, 9, and 7. Two wins, by margins of 6 and 22. Parkes was left wondering what might have happened if the season were twice as long.
"If you could bottle what we pout out there against the Lions you'd win every week," Parkes told RUGBYMag.com. "We finally had ourselves healthy and focused. It was good to end on a positive note."
Parkes said the club had added four new players and it took a few weeks for them to get into the swing of play - once again the argument that the Super League needs to get better rears its head."
"More time to train and to play would make a huge difference in getting our pattern down," said Parkes. "As it is we looked at each other and said, let's get something from today."
Andrew Suniula was the star of the game, scoring a try, two penalties and five conversions for 21 points. The center is in solid form going into the USA camp this week. But certainly the Griffins wish the form they showed last Saturday could be given the opportunity to repeat itself with a longer RSL season.
Meanwhile the Lions, who started the season 2-0, end up 3-3 and with one of those wins being a pretty uninspiring 12-10 win over NYAC, they were lucky to be 3-3.
"It was 24-19 with about ten minutes to go and then we lost it," said captain Matt Kelly. "We had some good opportunities but committed a lot of penalties. It was really a let-down. We felt we had a good team but we just didn't play well. At the same time, while we're unhappy with how everything ended, we feel optimistic. We get 50 guys at practice all the time. Our DI team has made the round of 16, which is pretty impressive, and we're recruiting really well. Young guys come here and have a chance to compete at Super League or DI level, and a lot of those young players on the DI side are pushing for Super League spots. We're still recruiting hard and we will come back better."