It’s heading into the tenth week in Northwest College Rugby Conference (NCRC) play. And with about five weeks left in the regular season, it’s time to start taking a look at the weekend matchups and playoff picture.
First, we have a couple of matchups in line. We know Beaver and Duck rugby players will be battling it out in Corvallis tonight for the inaugural Civil War.
Also, in Cheney, Wash, the University of British Columbia (4-1) will begin a rigorous road tour against the Eastern Washington Eagles (1-2-1). The Eagles are coming off a tough loss to Oregon State last weekend in which they held the Beavers potent offense to just 17 points thanks in large part to a very narrow pitch and great defense.
Nevertheless, the Eagles will look to the physicality of their forward pack lead by flanker Eric Populus on the offensive and defensive attacks.
UBC, like Oregon State, is coming off a solid win last weekend and are looking to keep pressure on the Beavers. UBC is lead by flyhalf Eric Chau, tied for third place in league with eight scores, who continues to thrive under the pressure of backup Liam Murphy-Burke who also did well in UBC’s 32-5 win last weekend over Western.
Nevertheless, even with a more narrow pitch, UBC will look to counter Eastern’s physicality with the speed of their backs and taking advantage of point opportunities when appropriate.
As it stands now, the only team that could knock OSU out of first place is Washington State. UBC, because they are north of the border, has their own playoff format will make the cut this year. Moreover, WSU will need to win out, especially in their matchup against OSU in week 14, to keep the Beavers from defending their league championship.