Rugby News & Views From an American Perspective
After an exciting weekend of playoff action, the field has been trimmed all the way from the RSL to Division III. Four clubs remain in contention in the Super League, DI, and DII while two clubs are left to play in DIII. Boy, my predictions were off this weekend too. I got one of four RSL Quarterfinal predictions correct. Good for the teams that made me eat some crow.
Let’s take a look at it.
#7 San Francisco Golden Gate at #1 NYAC
NYAC showed everyone exactly why they are the #1 seed and dispatched of a very good SFGG side at their new Travers Island facility. NYAC jumped out to a 19-0 lead behind the boot of Luke Milton before SFGG came back late in the second half with two converted tries. The comeback was too little too late for SFGG as the final whistle blew and NYAC picked up a big 19-14 win. With the top seed, NYAC will host Denver next week.
#5 Denver Barbarians at # 4 Charlotte
It’s been a great run for Charlotte this season, but Denver ended their run with a solid 39-24 road win. Denver stormed out to a 32-0 halftime lead, but Charlotte didn’t go down without a fight and drew the score much closer in the second half. John Van der Giessen and Mark Bokhoven scored two tries apiece for Denver while Link Wilfley added 14 points of his own with four conversions and two penalties. Denver will be on the road once again next week as they return to the East Coast and a date with NYAC for a trip to the finals.
#6 Boston Irish Wolfhounds at #3 Belmont Shore
Belmont Shore used a big game from their backs to convincingly defeat the Boston Irish Wolfhounds 36-8. There really weren’t any surprises as Belmont Shore took care of business to advance in the RSL Playoffs. The win sets up a rematch of last year’s RSL Finals as the Chicago Lions will be on the road to take on Belmont Shore in the semifinals.
#8 Chicago Lions at #2 Boston
After giving up and early try, the Chicago Lions came back to run rough shot over Boston by a score of 49-15. It was an unexpected end to a breakout season for Boston. The Lions now travel to California to take on their old rivals, Belmont Shore. The win should be a huge boost for the Lions, who just made it into the playoffs. It’ll be hard for the Lions to stay under the radar though as everyone is well aware of what they are capable of doing on the pitch.
So, we’re now down to four USA Rugby Super League clubs left.
The Men’s Club Championships were also decided this weekend in Texas. Here are the clubs that will be headed to Glendale in a couple weeks to decide the DI, II, and III National Champions.
DI: Olympic Club, Life, Pearl City, and Glendale
DII: Red Mountain, Detroit Tradesmen, Brandywine, and Wisconsin
DIII: Michiana and Reno
The Midwest is well represented with five of the fourteen remaining clubs hailing from the territory.
Congrats to all of the clubs moving on this weekend!