Written by Pat Clifton    Monday, 16 April 2012 00:28    PDF Print Write e-mail
Seawolves Going Dancing as Empire Champs
Colleges - Men's DI College

Stony Brook knocked off St. Bonaventure 34-20 Sunday to win the inaugural Empire Conference title and the program’s first-ever bid to the DI-AA Sweet 16.

The game was close throughout, and was tied 20-20 in the last quarter. The tide turned when Stony Brook charged down a St. Bonaventure clearance kick off of a lineout, recovered the ball and scored.

Minutes later, with St. Bonaventure desperately scrambling to level the score, Stony Brook’s fly half shot a gap between St. Bonaventure’s No. 10 and inside center for the death nail.

Stony Brook did well playing the territorial game Sunday, kicking deep and having their speedy wings get in the face of Stony Brooks wings and fullback.

“They put our deep three players under pressure with a lot of high kicks, and they got it done,” said St. Bonaventure coach Clarence Picard.

“We played their game against them,” said Stony Brook coach Jerry Mirro. “We kicked deep, and we just dominated the lineouts.

“We played so much better today than yesterday. Yesterday we were looking for that extra yard, and it caused knock-ons and forward passes. I’ll tell you something, (St. Bonaventure is) a good team --  physical. Can’t take anything away from them. Our fitness won the game, no doubt about it, and it showed the last 10 minutes of the game.”

Inside center Sean Rafferty led the Seawolves in tries with two, and Mirro was quick to compliment his forward pack.

“Their rucking and loose play was phenomenal,” he said.

The win sees Stony Brook through to the Hanover, NH regional, where they’ll face Dartmouth, Northeastern or Shippensburg in the opening round on April 28. 

Written by Pat Clifton    Monday, 16 April 2012 00:09    PDF Print Write e-mail
Florida Ousts Vols for SCRC Title
Colleges - Men's DI College

Florida earned its way into the Sweet 16 Sunday with a 22-14 win over Tennessee. It was the Gators’ first win over the Volunteers in years.

Florida, playing with the wind, camped out inside Tennessee’s 22 for the opening quarter of the game, and wing Josh Nicdau dotted down the game’s first try after the Gators had knocked on the door sufficiently.

In the 23rd minute, Brett Stubbs dotted down Florida’s second try, this one converted, to give the Gators a 12-0 lead.

Tennessee scored toward the end of the first half to draw within a try before intermission

When the teams flipped sides at half, Tennessee took the wind advantage and controlled the territory. The Vols were rewarded with a converted try to take a 14-12 lead, but used a lot of energy to get the lead.

“Obviously, when you play from behind it takes a lot of energy,” said Tennessee coach Marty Bradley. “We fought our way back, but we just couldn’t hold it.”

Florida regained the lead for good with a second try from Nicdau. The big Gator forwards crashed the ball hard enough to draw in extra Tennessee defenders, at which point Florida spun it wide to the wing and take a 17-14 advantage. Florida punched in one more late to seal the victory.

“It was huge. The boys are real happy about it,” said Florida coach Ken Simmons (a Tennessee grad) on winning the inaugural Southeastern Collegiate Rugby Conference championship. “There was just so much heart out there. Both teams wanted it so bad.”

Tennessee, who will likely receive an at-large bid to join Florida in the Knoxville, Tenn. regional, would love to meet the Vols in the playoffs.

“I’d love to play those guys again, because it was a solid match,” said Bradley. We were in that game. That game was decided in the last seven minutes today. Florida’s a damn good team, so our kids want more rugby. They felt like they could have won that game today, and they could have.”

Written by Pat Clifton    Sunday, 15 April 2012 19:34    PDF Print Write e-mail
DI-AA Bids all Decided?
Colleges - Men's DI College

The automatic bids are decided, with seven teams clinching their berths this weekend. Dartmouth, San Diego State, Stony Brook, Florida and Florida State did so by winning conference playoffs, and Missouri and Maryland did so by winning their league tables.

The question of the three at-large bids still remains, but will likely be answered this evening, as there are now less than two weeks before the Round of 16 kicks off, and the at-large teams need to make their travel arrangements.

A source tells RUGBYMag that the bids will go to Santa Clara, UCSB and Tennessee. That would put UCSB and Santa Clara in the Palo Alto regional and Tennessee at home in Knoxville.

St. Bonaventure, despite putting together a quality resume, won't get a bid. Coach Clarence Picard told the committee it wasn't in the best interest of his club to make a very expensive cross-country trip to the Palo Alto regional on short notice, which is where the Bonnies would have to go if Tennessee indeed ends up in Knoxville, essentially taking them out of the running.

After the at-large bids are determined, the regions will be seeded by the College Competitions Committee, but those decisions could be made later.

The rounds of 16 and eight will be played at the regional sites April 28-29, and the semifinals and finals May 18-19 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.

Hanover, NH
Dartmouth (Ivy League)
Northeastern (East Coast)
Shippensburg (Eastern Penn.)
Stony Brook (Empire)

Cottage Grove, Wisc.

Wisconsin (Midwest)
Missouri (Heart of America)
Davenport (Mideast)
Texas (Southwest)

Palo Alto, Calif.
Oregon State (Northwest)
San Diego State (Pacific Mountain West)

Knoxville, Tenn.
Florida (Southeastern)
Florida State (South Independent)
Maryland (Atlantic Coast)

Written by Pat Clifton    Sunday, 15 April 2012 23:19    PDF Print Write e-mail
DII Playoff Field Set
Colleges - Men's DII College

The final five spots for the DII Sweet 16 was decided this weekend, with Salisbury, Towson, Sewanee, UNC-Wilmington and East Carolina advancing to the postseason.

The Rounds of 16 and 8 are April 28-29, and the semifinals and finals are May 18-19 in Sandy, Utah.

Dixie final
Sewanee 38-21 Lee

South final
East Carolina 33-24 West Florida

Southern Conf. final
UNC-Wilmington 21-20 Appalachian State

MARFU final
Salisbury 30-26 Towson

Written by Alex Goff    Sunday, 15 April 2012 17:56    PDF Print Write e-mail
D1-A Rankings April 15 2012
RUGBYmag Premier - Rankings - RUGBYMag Premier

This was actually a difficult ranking to finalize, as there are several questions to ponder:


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