Riggers travel to watch Rush

TY PILSON -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 1:15 PM ET

A little extra information never hurt anyone.

Instead of staying home Friday night and taking in the game on the tube, the Calgary Roughnecks -- with coaches and GM Kurt Silcott in tow -- travelled to Edmonton to scout their newest rival.

The Edmonton Rush, which opened its inaugural National Lacrosse League season Friday night losing 10-9 to the San Jose Stealth, will be in the Saddledome Friday (7:30 p.m., Sportsnet) to face the Riggers in their season opener.

Eager to get a first-hand look at their provincial rivals, who they'll play a total of four times this season, Roughnecks defender Taylor Wray said getting to watch the real thing trumps game tape any day.

"Tape really doesn't do a team justice," said Wray, an Edmonton native. "You really can't tell how fast somebody is or how they play until you see them live. All kinds of little things. What their tendencies are, what specific players do in different situations. It really makes a big difference to see that live."

The Roughnecks sizable contingent of fly-in players from the West Coast jetted into Edmonton and the whole team took a bus back to Calgary following the tilt before their final practices yesterday and today in advance of Friday's opener.

"Everybody had a job they were held accountable for while they watched the game," explained Wray. "We want to be prepared for these guys."

Calgary is one of the last teams to see action in what will be Week 3 of the NLL season and Silcott said while that situation isn't ideal, they made the best of it with the trip to Edmonton.

"One, we got to do a little bonding and two, we got a look at our competition," said Silcott.

"We're in the unfortunate position where we play a team that has already got a game under their belt so we thought we'd make the best of it and go see them play and get a feel for their speed and how they play as a team."

Roughnecks captain Tracey Kelusky -- who led the club last year with 45 tallies and finished third in league goal scoring -- said while spending time together as a team at the game and on the bus ride back was beneficial, it was secondary to the scouting.

"It was good to spend time with the fellas and watch a little lacrosse but it was a business trip," said Kelusky. "We were there to watch these guys and get ready for next Friday. Now we know their strengths and their weaknesses.

"They're a good team, they're young and their emotions are running high. They played a seasoned team into overtime."


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