Rugby News & Views From an American Perspective
The USA Rugby Super League has released their 2011 schedule. The RSL, founded in 1996, serves as the highest level of club rugby in the United States.
The league has placed themselves in a tough situation for 2011 that could have been adverted. By declining Glendale’s application for 2011, the Western Conference is left with an uneven number of teams thus requiring creative scheduling to give each team six games. The exodus of OMBAC, PAC, Charlotte, and the Boston Irish Wolfhounds in the offseason left the league with only ten teams before the newly formed Utah Warriors joined the mix.
The Chicago Lions and Chicago Griffins are, once again, on the move as the two teams from the Windy City shift to the Eastern Conference after a two year stint in the West.
The schedule consists of a six game season for each Super League team. The season kicks off March 12th with a doubleheader weekend that includes the Utah Warriors playing their first game ever as they take on the Denver Barbarians. The other opening weekend matchup has last year’s Runner-up, San Francisco Golden Gate, hitting the road to take on the Dallas Harlequins.
Reigning champions, New York Athletic Club, open up their season at home on March 19th against the Chicago Griffins.
With a short, six game schedule every weekend in the Super League will produce important matchups. The loss of four teams during the offseason that combined to go 4-20 in 2010 leaves an even tougher road for the remaining Super League teams. Of the returning Super League teams, only one posted a sub .500 record in 2010. That team being the Chicago Lions who are more than capable of bouncing back in a big way.
With fewer teams in the Super League for 2011, the league has opted to shorten their playoffs to include the top two teams from each conference.
The 2011 USA Rugby Super League season culminates on May 21st with the championship game. Time and location for the final is yet to be announced.
|WEST Conference (RED)||EAST Conference (BLUE)|
|Dallas Harlequins||Boston Rugby|
|Denver Barbarians||Chicago Griffins|
|Old Puget Sound Beach||Chicago Lions|
|San Francisco Golden Gate||Life University|
|Utah Warriors||New York Athletic Club|
|Old Blue New York|
|Week 1 – March 12, 2011|
|San Francisco Golden Gate||@||Dallas Harlequins|
|Utah Warriors||@||Denver Barbarians|
|Week 2 – March 19, 2011|
|Dallas Harlequins||@||Utah Warriors|
|Denver Barbarians||@||Old Puget Sound Beach|
|Chicago Lions||@||Old Blue New York|
|Boston Rugby||@||Life University|
|Chicago Griffins||@||New York Athletic Club|
|Week 3 – March 26, 2011|
|Old Puget Sound Beach||@||Dallas Harlequins|
|Utah Warriors||@||San Francisco Golden Gate|
|Chicago Lions||@||Chicago Griffins|
|Old Blue New York||@||Boston Rugby|
|New York Athletic Club||@||Life University|
|Week 4 – April 2, 2011|
|Denver Barbarians||@||Dallas Harlequins|
|San Francisco Golden Gate||@||Old Puget Sound Beach|
|Boston Rugby||@||Chicago Lions|
|Life University||@||Chicago Griffins|
|Old Blue New York||@||New York Athletic Club|
|Week 5 – April 9, 2011|
|Denver Barbarians||@||San Francisco Golden Gate|
|Old Puget Sound Beach||@||Utah Warriors|
|Chicago Lions||@||Life University|
|Boston Rugby||@||New York Athletic Club|
|Old Blue New York||@||Chicago Griffins|
|Week 6 – April 16, 2011|
|Dallas Harlequins||@||Denver Barbarians|
|San Francisco Golden Gate||@||Utah Warriors|
|Chicago Griffins||@||Boston Rugby|
|Life University||@||Old Blue New York|
|New York Athletic Club||@||Chicago Lions|
|Week 7, April 23, 2011 – (EASTER)|
|Old Puget Sound Beach||@||Denver Barbarians|
|Week 8 – April 30, 2011|
|Dallas Harlequins||@||San Francisco Golden Gate|
|Utah Warriors||@||Old Puget Sound Beach|
|Chicago Griffins||@||Chicago Lions|
|Life University||@||Boston Rugby|
|New York Athletic Club||@||Old Blue New York|
|Week 9 – May 7, 2011|
|Week 10 – Semi-Finals – May 14, 2011|
|Week 11 – RSL Final – May 21, 2011|