Showdown in Finland as unbeaten Helsinki Roosters face unbeaten Wasa Royals

In the first true showdown of the young season in Finland’s Maple League, the undefeated and defending champion Helsinki Roosters (2-0) will take on the also unbeaten Wasa Royals (2-0) tonight, May 29.

The Roosters and Royals two wins have come against the same two teams. Helsinki beat the Turku Trojans 39-3 and the Seinäjoki Crocodiles 50-12. The Royals downed the Trojans 31-2 and the Crocodiles 40-8.

As close as it gets.

In the only meeting between the two teams in 2016, the Roosters defeated Wasa 28-14. Helsinki went on to win the Finnish championship and the Royals were eliminated in the semifinals by the Crocodiles.

Since then Wasa has definitely reinforced adding quarterback Justin Sottilare, who guided the Crocodiles to the Maple League final in both 2016 and 2015. Meanwhile, Helsinki signed Germany’s top quarterback Brandon Connette, to replace Mic Brown.

Connette leads the league with 621 yards passing and nine touchdowns while Sottilare is second with 514 yards and five touchdowns.

Roosters receivers Bernard Luster (17 catches/308 yards/5 touchdowns), Timothy Thomas (11/115/3) and Miro Kadmiry (18/101/1) are among the top five receivers in the league while RJ Long of the Royals is sandwiched between them with 14 receptions for 199 yards after two games.

Royals running back Tom Suoste has rushed for 207 yards and three touchdowns while Helsinki has relied on a corps of backs including Kari Pajarinen, Jaycen Taylor along with Connette himself who has 10 carries for 80 yards.

Wasa linebacker Chris Young leads the league in tackles with 19 solo while Ilya Redin of the Roosters tops his team with seven.

With the seven-team Maple League already turning into a four team race after only a couple of games in a 12 game season, this game is already crucial for both teams.

The game is available on Pay Per View in Finland Watch the game live here. Follow the instructions in Finnish.

 

AFI
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