Rugby News & Views From an American Perspective
by Ted Hardy, Editor, Rugby America
In this week’s installment of Rugby America’s weekly roundup of college rugby action we have a bevy of coverage from all around and in multiple division. Results from this past weekend of play in the Atlantic Coast and College Premier have already been covered, so here we’re focusing on everything else.
Northwest Collegiate Rugby Conference (DI)
In the NCRC, Washington State (3-1) continued to pressure the conference leaders with a sound 24-0 shutout of Central Washington (2-4).
The Florida Gators got back in the win column after suffering an eye-opening tie against South Carolina last weekend. The Gators beat the University of Georgia 31-8 and are just a couple wins away from locking up the South DI championship. Their upcoming match with Florida State is one of the most anticipated games on the upcoming college rugby calendar.
Southern California (DI)
Loyola Marymount took it to USC with a 61-7 drubbing. Loyola ran in 9 tries in the dominating effort, with three coming from Man of the Match Josh Calistro. Gianluca Keeler converted eight of the Lions nine tries scored in the game.
The University of South Florida took home the South Men’s DII Championship with a 29-11 win over Eastern Carolina. USF reached the final with a 27-5 win over Middle Tennessee State while ECU reached the championship with a 22-9 win over Vanderbilt.
Lee University took home the South Women’s DII title with a 17-10 decision over UNC-Charlotte. Here’s the part where you’re left scratching your head… by winning the title, Lee University now gets a regional date in San Diego, California.
Where is runner-up Charlotte headed? Florida. How’s that for fair?
There isn’t a whole lot to say about forcing a small program with limited funding to travel across the country for a regional event. If you haven’t already, read this article and ask yourself if you think the money could be better spent elsewhere.
Out West, another title was decided. St. Louis University took down Rice 23-12 to win the West DII title. St. Louis defeated Arkansas 34-21 to reach the final while Rice beat Colorado College 27-7 to move on.
Rugby Northeast (DII)
The teams of the new Division II conferece… Rugby Northeast are shaking off the frost and getting back into the swing of things. Some of which are preparing for a run at nationals. One of which, Bentley, had a doubleheader this weekend. Bentley defeated Babson 28-5 and then turned around and roughed up Bryant 52-5. Bentley is the Northeast’s #3 seed going into the playoffs.
In other Rugby Northeast action, American International narrowly got by Springfield 25-24 in a hotly contested match.
It wasn’t a College Premier match, but Notre Dame and Ohio State lacked horns in a non-conference matchup this past weekend at the famed Cincinnati Moeller High School football stadium. After a week of taking Rookie Rugby to schools in the area and introducing thousands of area children to rugby, fans were treated to a great curtain raiser between Moeller HS and St. Xavier HS. Both schools now recognize rugby as a varsity sport and could become HS rugby powers in the coming years.
Following Moeller’s win over Xavier, Notre Dame defeated Ohio State 36-8 in what will hopefully become a yearly event between the two famed institutions.