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Written by Alex Goff    Saturday, 14 April 2012 16:06    PDF Print Write e-mail
Utah Brothers Club in for Playoffs
Clubs - Men's DI Clubs


According to a document forwarded to RUGBYMag.com, and confirmed through additional sources, the Utah Brothers rugby club has been given the OK to participate in the USA Rugby Men's DI club playoffs thanks to the ruling of an appelate panel.

This follows a long, vocal, and contentious debate between the Brothers - represented by Head Coach Tim Lewis - members of the Pacific Coast RFU, and USA Rugby.

The Brothers were formed in early March after the Utah Warriors Super League club was disqualified from RSL play due to a series of paperwork failures, including failure to register its players. The Brothers club was then created, registering players before the crucial March 15 deadline, and bringing in Lewis as coach.

Lewis inquired with the PCRFU what Utah had to do to be legal to compete in the PCRFU and Competitive Region 1. According to the appellate document, the PCRFU made a series of errors in providing information, key among them being a) telling the Provo club that a season of games against D1 and Super League teams was sufficient as a competitive season and b) not publishing anywhere their competition guidelines, leaving it up to clubs to figure things out on their own.

The Appellate document, authored by Jim Russell, chastised the PCRFU strongly for failure to be clear about their rules, failure to publish those rules, and failure to review those rules annually, as required by USA Rugby.

To quote from the document: "... the main basis CSC used to deny Utah Brothers eligibility for the 2012 Div I playoffs comes from a set of Rules which clearly refer only to conditions in effect only in 2010 and that have not been continued, approved, updated, or published in accordance to the USAR Bylaws."


This finding backs up Lewis's often vociferous (and not well received) complaints that he and his club were never provided with anything in writing to show what rules the club should follow.

As a result, the Brothers will be allowed to participate in the CR 1 playoffs, because they did play a league season (two matches against Provo, which they won) and have attempted to play a series of other competitive matches.

Following are the final paragraphs of the document, and they give a scathing indictment of how the PCRFU has operated in recent years, and also slams USA Rugby for its inability to define an acceptable club competition:


In summary, there were no publicly available USAR rules or guidelines to show Utah Brothers how it could play an appropriate schedule and become eligible for the Men’s Div I Playoffs; what Rules there were had not been adopted, approved, and published as required by the appropriate USAR Bylaw, and were nowhere to be found.  When Utah Brothers, and its fellow Div I Utah team, inquired on how to schedule and become eligible, they were told by appropriate officials to play 6 games of Div I or higher.  Utah Brothers tried very hard to accomplish such a schedule, and it would be wrong now to disqualify them because they relied on erroneous information which they could not check.

 

Ruling

Utah Brothers may not be disqualified from participating in the 2012 USAR National Championship Series Men’s Division I playoffs by CSC simply for failing to comply with the provisions of Section 3 of the 2009-10 USA Rugby Men’s Club Division I Competition Rules.

 

Special Concurrence

The following are my thoughts only, and are not reflective of any other members of the Appellate Panel, or of the Panel itself.

I concur that Section 3 of the Div I Rules cannot be used to disqualify Utah Brothers.  I am dismayed, however, that for whatever reason there apparently are no applicable rules for this playoff competition, that whatever Rules there were have not been updated and republished as required, and in this instant and complete Information Age the appropriate provision are nowhere to be found, such as the USAR website.  In addition, as happens all too often, people relied on custom, previous example, and sometimes vague and inexplicable provisions, which were again not current or available. The problems here were magnified by the late and rushed process that arose, which understandably led to unintended errors.  But I can find no provision within USAR, or anywhere else, that establishes deadlines by which matters such as this have to be resolved.  Haste does indeed make waste, made worse by the lack of current information.  I hope that in the near future, and carrying forward, the applicable provisions are timely reviewed, updated, and made available, so that such a mess does not recur.




 
Written by Alex Goff    Saturday, 14 April 2012 15:57    PDF Print Write e-mail
Utah Utes Clinch Playoff Berth
Colleges - Men's DI College


The University of Utah ran in three tries in the final 15 minutes of the game to snatch a 41-30 victory from Air Force and clinch a spot in the D1-A College playoffs Saturday in Colorado Springs.

Utah had played and beaten a tough Colorado squad Friday night and were coming into this game a little weary. Air Force certainly was ready, as a victory could have put them squarely in playoff contention, and at one point late it looked as if the Zoomies would pull it off.

The team traded penalty goals early on, and then tries from Winston harris and Tonata Lauti put Utah up 15-3. Air Force replied with a try and, after Don Pati scores for Utah, another to make it 22-15 Utah at halftime.

The Zoomies then took the lead, with a penalty and two tries putting them 30-22 up with the minutes frittering away.

"Air Force is a very good team, and we were a little undisciplined with the ball, doing some stupid things in our own end and giving up tries," said Utah Head Coach Blake Burdette. "We knew Air Force would come at us for 80 minutes and they did. But late in the game we just decided that if we were going to be the better team, we had to play like it."

Pati scampered in for a score and then two more late tries put Utah ahead to stay.

Burdette, who played his best 15 both Friday and Saturday knew it would be tough one way or the other.

"We got away with it," said the coach. "The guys were tired and we had a couple of injuries, but that's rugby. We were a little fortunate to win both games, but now we will regroup and get after Wyoming next week."

With the victory, Utah moves to 5-1, and now cannot be caught for 2nd in the West. They can conceivably still be 1st, but that would require BYU to lose to Colorado next week.


Latest D1-A West Standings (x-clinched playoffs)

Western W L T Pf Pa Pd BT BL Pts
BYU - x
6 0 0 430 80 350 6 0 30
Utah - x
5 1 0 310 112 198 6 0 26
Colorado 3 3 0 288 200 88 6 1 19
Air Force 3 2 0 214 192 22 4 0 16
Arizona 2 4 0 142 262 -120 3 1 12
Wyoming 2 3 0 136 238 -102 3 0 11
Arizona State 1 4 0 94 255 -161 2 0 6
Colorado State 0 5 0 73 308 -235 1 0 1



 
Written by Pat Clifton    Saturday, 14 April 2012 14:13    PDF Print Write e-mail
Dartmouth, Princeton Advance to Ivy Final
Colleges - Men's DI College


It’s down to Dartmouth and Princeton for the Ivy League’s bid to the Sweet 16, as Saturday the Big Green trounced Harvard 51-7 and Princeton squeaked past Brown 22-20.

The scoreline indicates Dartmouth beat the Crimson with ease, but the regular season Dartmouth champs had trouble holding onto the ball early.

“To Harvard’s credit, they did a good job of setting the structure of the game, initially, with their forwards,” said Dartmouth’s Paul Jarvis. “But we were able to adapt pretty well, do a better job of making our tackles, repositioning, and then once we did turnover the ball, playing most of the game down in their half.”

In their fall meeting, Dartmouth beat Princeton 53-21. The winner of Saturday's final will advance to the Hanover, N.H. (Dartmouth's home) region of the Sweet 16.

 
Written by Pat Clifton    Saturday, 14 April 2012 15:03    PDF Print Write e-mail
DI-AA Bubble Report: Midday Saturday
Colleges - Men's DI College


The College Competitions Committee has narrowed down its potential at-large bid recipients, but not declared who is on the short list. If this weekend's conference playoffs go the way the committee expects, the at-large berths could be announced as early as tomorrow.

However, it seems as though the Pacific Mountain West runner-up will certainly be taking one at-large bid in the Palo Alto, Calif. region. That leaves two bids left -- one in Palo Alto and one in Knoxville, Tenn.

With Florida already guaranteed at least second in the Southeastern Collegiate Rugby Conference, and Tennessee expected to beat Alabama in the other SCRC final, it would appear the Knoxville at-large would go to the SCRC runner-up.

Those still holding out hope for an at-large berth are Santa Clara (first in NorCal), Bowling Green (second in Mideast), Clemson (will finish second in the Atlantic Coast Rugby League with a win over Virginia next week), the runner-up in the South Independent (Central Florida, Florida State or Kennesaw) and the runner-up in the Empire Conference (Stony Brook, St. Bonaventure or Iona).

All those teams’ bubbles could burst if Princeton upsets Dartmouth Sunday in the Ivy League final, as it’s highly unlikely the Big Green wouldn’t receive an at-large bid. It’s not entirely impossible for Princeton to get an at-large bid, either, as the Tigers’ only loss in the fall Ivy play was to Dartmouth. If they play closer than expected, the Competitions Committee could be swayed.

So, if you’re Clemson, Bowling Green, Santa Clara or the second-place finishers in the SIRC or Empire, root for a big Dartmouth win.  

 
Written by Alex Goff    Saturday, 14 April 2012 01:29    PDF Print Write e-mail
UCD Opens MBA Championships with Win
International - International News


Defending champions University College Dublin - Smurfit opened their account at the MBA/Graduate Schools World Championships with a 33-5 defeat of hosts Duke University - Fuqua.

Smurfit has won the championship the last nine times. For much of the contest, Duke maintained long periods of possessions and although their pack was significantly larger, Smurfit’s defense never buckled and Duke had little to show for their efforts.

The two teams' playing styles were most evident in set piece, where Smurfit won nearly every lineout with perfectly timed pods, while Duke dominated the scrum.

As the game wore on though, the experience and ball handling skills of the Irish won out and the men from Smurfit ran in several tries from well-worked backline moves.

In the end, the Blue Devils held their heads high for a respectable performance against a team of players hailing from a country where rugby is fully embraced, with a last minute try as a little sweetener. But all eyes are on Smurfit now as they chase down their 10th title record.



 


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