The Southeast Thistles are 2-2 through their first four games but have shown they can be a top team in the league.

Coming off an outstanding 40-0 victory over the rival Assassins on June 29th made for a picture perfect home opener for the Thistles. A lively crowd was entertained from start to finish as the Thistles showed off their offensive prowess and hard-hitting defence. 

The Assassins struggled to gain ground and the Thistles did an excellent job of limiting possession with quick defensive play and aggressive tackling. With the defence playing at an elite level, the Thistles forced several turnovers and then converted off them. They built a sizable lead that the Winnipeg team just couldn't ever overcome. 

The only chance that the rival club had to score was held up by Thistle half-back Simeli Naivalu. The Assassins had managed to make their across the Thistles goal line, but could not touch the ball down inside the goal area to score. 

Thistles captain Matt Evans was quite pleased with the effort the club gave but thought there was room for improvement. "All in all a great effort, but we ran into some discipline issues that cost us yardage and we have a couple players that will have to sit a game due to receiving red cards. We have yet to put a clean 80 minutes together, but it's exciting to see the club playing so good and have room for improvement. You can't be satisfied just because you won."

A short 5-day break ended with a Wednesday night game at A.D. Penner Park. The Wanderers, having just 17 total points scored against them in four games scratched and clawed with the Thistles for a 29-10 victory to improve their record to 5-0. Les Whatford, one of the club's founders and most senior member of the team didn't think the club and anything to hang their head about. "We put up more points in one game than all their opponents combined thus far. Not to mention we were missing six key members for the game. It would've been interesting to see what would've happened if we would have had our full squad."

Three of the Southeast Thistles had played over that past weekend for team Manitoba against Saskatchewan. Matt Evans, Simeli Naivalu were all showing signs of fatigue after playing multiple games in one week and Manoa Masi had to sit the Thistle game out after sustaining an injury over the weekend in the provincial matches.

Two suspended players, injuries and other commitments left the Thistles with a shorter bench than in previous games which can be the difference in keeping up high-level of play throughout the game.

The Thistles look to get above .500 this Saturday at 12:30 pm at A.D. Penner Park against the Brandon Barbarians. The only other rural-based team has struggled so far this year, as they are in the start of a rebuild and have a younger inexperienced squad.

Coach Pita Hoyt doesn't want to take them lightly though, "You can't take anything for granted in rugby. You relax for a minute and you get pounced on and it's hard to recover."

Club president Jesse Franklin is hoping for a good number of fans for the game, "They travel a good distance to come to play here, it means a lot when people come out and show their support. Every time we have played in Brandon there is always a good crowd. It's nice when a community gets behind local sports."

Next two Thistle home games are Saturday, July 14th at 12:30 pm and Friday, July 20th at 7:15 pm.