Rugby America

Rugby News & Views From an American Perspective

CPD Playoffs: Quarterfinal Time

by Ted Hardy

The slow week is about to kick into high gear as the College Premier Division embarks on the first round of playoffs in their inaugural season. The top two teams from each of the four conferences that comprise the CPD will do battle this weekend with their seasons on the line.

Unless you were the Rugby East Conference, the regular season in the CPD lacked much drama. That tone should change this weekend as there are four prime matchups on tap.

Saturday May 7th, 2011

Life University at Cal – The newcomer up against the perennial favorite. Life has the odds stacked against them as they face a cross-country trek to take on a Cal team that might be one of the best they’ve had in recent years. That is saying alot considering the talent that comes through the program. Cal was barely tested this season, so the theme to follow will be how well Life stacks up. An upset will require a monumental effort from the Running Eagles and their backrow duo of Cam Dolan and Garrett Lambert. Blaine Scully led the powerful and balanced Cal attack with eight tries this season.

Navy at BYU – BYU faces a similar task that Life faces. Taking on a team that has been preparing for this moment all season long. Navy certainly has the capability to test BYU, but will it be enough to take down the Cougars? BYU has rough rough-shot over every team they have faced this season. It will be interesting to see how they react if the game stays close through the first half. Navy hopes to get production out of Seamus Siefring, who led the team with six tries this season. BYU has three players in the Top 10 in tries this season, including the CPD’s Leading try scorer Ryan Roundy (19). Shaun Davies, who scored 151 points this season, was the beneficiary of the highest producing offense in the CPD.

St. Mary’s at Arkansas State – If you’re a fan of running rugby, you’re going to enjoy this game. Two teams that play a great style of rugby facing off in a must-win game. What more could you ask for? Arkansas State has the home field advantage and need to make life difficult from the onset of the game for the traveling Gaels. This could be one of the closer games played in the quarterfinals. Arkansas State’s Pat Sullivan was a force this season. The flyhalf scored 106 points this season (4th in the CPD). Michael Haley scored nine tries to lead the Gaels this season.

Sunday May 8th, 2011

Utah at Army – A Mother’s Day Special between Army and Utah. Utah was far from dominant this season while Army played through a series of playoff-like games. Army boasts the CPD’s second leading try scorer in Uiki Leatiqaqa who dropped 15 tries on oppenents this season. Utah counters with the elusive Don Pati who led the Utes attack all season. This should be another tight matchup. While both teams have productive backlines, this game may be won in the trenches.

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6 comments on “CPD Playoffs: Quarterfinal Time

  1. CPD Fan
    May 5, 2011

    Any idea why the Army-Utah game is on Sunday? I was planning on going when I assumed it was saturday, its a shame, should be a good game but gotta spend time with mom.

  2. rags
    May 6, 2011

    My guess is because the NRU boys HS & U19 and girls U19 championships were already scheduled to be there, and that Saturday is probably fully packed with games.

  3. CollegeRugger
    May 7, 2011

    Nice to see the Navy boys respect the challenge of the haka that the BYU team threw down today. The Arizona State team was instructed by their Head Coach Gary Lane to stand at the 10 meter line and not acknowledge the BYU doing the haka. Such a show of cowardice to accept a challenge and just plane bad sportsmanship. No wonder they lost 80-0. Coach Lane had a great chance to teach his team a life lesson about competition and accepting a challenge, but he didn’t. Not sure if rugby needs cynical coaches like Mr. Lane. Step down clown.

  4. CollegeRugger
    May 7, 2011

    ASU team stood at the 10 meter line with their back turned to the BYU side doing the haka.

    See – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAmRfbo4MWA – and watch their leader (Coach Gary Lane) teach them to be cowardice. WTF?

  5. metal
    May 7, 2011

    #1 I have no problem with ASU turning their backs, I would do one better, huddle up in-goal, I want my team concentrating on the match and their responsibilities not on the fancy dance moves of the other team.

    #2 If you don’t wear a Black jersey with a silver fern on it you tend to look cheesy doing the “haka”. Very few teams can pull it off (various Pacific Islander NTs, the Maori team from NZ and the All Blacks). I now am wondering how often the “haka” is done before club games in NZ?

    #3 At what point should the ref become involved? As a ref I would let the “haka” go as long as you didn’t hold up kick-off and as long as you didn’t cross the 50 meter line. BYU crossed that line, literally and figuratively. That was not a “haka” to fire up BYU that was an intimidation tactic, the real questions are, why? (no offense meant to ASU) and will they give the “haka” as much verve and bravado if Cal is across the 50 from them?

    Just wondering………

  6. cajunprop
    May 8, 2011

    Not saying we should do away with the hams, but speaking from a law pov BUY did a major no no when not just one player but the entire team crossed the half way line. The law made for this states that the performing team must stay behind the 50 and the other team must receive the challenge from behind the 10. As for a coaching perspective I would have my team face the challenge, why add fuel to the fire so to speak.

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This entry was posted on May 5, 2011 by in College Rugby, Collegiate Men, Rugby News.
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