Men's DI Clubs

Written by Alex Goff    Sunday, 23 February 2014 15:09    PDF Print Write e-mail
New Orleans Wins Two to Move Up
Clubs - Men's DI Clubs

New Orleans won two games over the weekend to leapfrog the idle Dallas Reds into 1st place in the Red River DI club conference.

New Orleans used 33 players in the two games, both played on Saturday, to defeat Fort Worth 84-7 and Woodlands 56-12.

Meanwhile, HARC edged the Griffins in Frisco, Texas 19-16 to stay in the hunt. And also still in shouting distance are the Austin Blacks, who beat the Dallas Harlequins 27-5.

Red River W L T Pf Pa Pd BT BL Pts
New Orleans 8 1 1 478 131 347 8 1 43
Dallas Reds 7 0 1 399 69 330 7 0 37
HARC 7 1 0 279 162 117 5 0 33
Austin Blacks 4 2 1 252 122 130 4 0 22
Austin Huns 4 5 0 305 234 71 5 0 21
Dallas Harlequins 3 4 0 135 142 -7 3 0 15
Griffins 2 5 1 152 247 -95 2 1 13
Fort Worth 1 8 0 49 431 -382 0 0 4
The Woodlands 0 10 0 63 476 -413 1 0 1

Written by Alex Goff    Sunday, 23 February 2014 14:31    PDF Print Write e-mail
LA Gains Separation in SoCal DI
Clubs - Men's DI Clubs

Los Angeles handled their sternest test of this young DI club season with a 29-20 victory over the San Diego Old Aztecs Saturday.

Adrian Ojeda led LA with a player-of-the-game performance, as his club improved to 4-0. Three teams went into the weekend at 2-1, hoping to gain some ground on Los Angeles. The Old Aztecs lost to LA, Belmont Shore was beaten by Santa Monica, and OMBAC was beaten by Las Vegas. All three are now 2-2, and at least nine points behind Los Angeles.

Three teams in the Southern California DI league are also playing in the Pacific Rugby Premiership – those teams put their 1st teams in the PRP and 2nd teams in SoCal DI games. What that means is, as the PRP league progresses, those clubs will, thanks to injury and other factors that test a club’s depth (e.g. the fly), likely be pulling more and more players from the lower divisions.

This will work in the favor of the DI-only clubs as time goes on. Las Vegas is an example, as the improving club went into this weekend 0-3, but beat OMBAC’s 2nds handily Saturday.

With six games left in the regular season in Southern California, there’s a very good chance that the top three will all be non-PRP teams.

Southern California W L T Pf Pa Pd BT BL Pts
Los Angeles 4 0 0 111 56 55 4 0 20
Belmont Shore 2 2 0 118 100 18 3 0 11
San Diego Old Aztecs 2 2 0 158 74 84 2 0 10
OMBAC 2 2 0 107 125 -18 2 0 10
Santa Monica 1 3 0 87 162 -75 2 0 6
Las Vegas 1 3 0 78 142 -64 1 0 5

Written by Alex Goff    Saturday, 22 February 2014 02:05    PDF Print Write e-mail
HARC Working Their Way Up Red River
Clubs - Men's DI Clubs

With all the talk about the Dallas Reds and New Orleans leading the Red River DI Conference, it's easy to miss the fact that the Houston Athletic Rugby Club is lurking in 3rd place, with a game in hand over those other two.

This weekend, HARC takes on a tough Griffins team out of Frisco, Texas. The Griffins are 2-4-1 but HARC Head Coach Jason Van Wyk said the long trip to Frisco isn't easy.

"It's a big game for us away," said Van Wyk. "It's a long journey, but of course everyone has to do it. I take my hat off to all players in the USA who make these kinds of trips."

HARC has been bolstered by some player additions, notably former All Americans Hunter Leland and Dean Gericke. They have electrified the backline. But it's what has happened up front and in the players' heads that has really made things change.

"We've always been strong up front, and the backs have been bolstered, and our forwards are working well as a unit," said Van Wyk. "But the guys have now learned they can play against the best and beat them. The guys are now fired up."

HARC will be without Gericke this weekend, as he is at the USA domestic camp. But Van Wyk says that's just part of doing business.

"Every weekend we're down one or two players so it's

dififcult, but we're used to it," he said. "Our DII team is playing well (they are 5-0), and that's really good for team depth."

Written by Alex Goff    Wednesday, 19 February 2014 23:03    PDF Print Write e-mail
LA Runs to 3-0
Clubs - Men's DI Clubs

After beating Las Vegas 28-15 on Saturday the Los Angeles Rugby Club leads the Southern California DI league with a 3-0 record, setting up a nice clash with the 2-1 San Diego Old Aztecs on Saturday.

LA likes to run it. PLS Photography.With the Pacific Rugby Premiership teams from the region playing mostly their 2nd-team players, the door is open for the clubs not in the PRP, and LA is taking advantage, having beaten Santa Monica and Belmont Shore.

With those victories under their belt, Los Angeles actually felt a little miffed at their performance against Las Vegas.

“We started out a little slow,” said LA’s Chris Sweeney. “Vegas has undergone a lot of change, but they are playing better and I think everyone agreed they put in a good performance. We made an errant pass that put us down a try early, but we shook that off.”

Los Angeles merged with the SoCal Blues in DIII over the offseason. What that succeeded in accomplishing was increasing the club’s overall depth, with some of the DIII players moving their way up.

Leading the way so far for LA is No. 8 Talalelei Gafa, a former South Bay Rhino player who is just difficult to contain. Josh Calistro is a multi-tooled back who has played fullback and flyhalf, and now handles scrumhalf.

But, overall, said Sweeney, “defense has been our strong suit. We’ve given up no more than 15 points in our first three games and I think while we have some other things we’re proud of, the character of this team is our defense.”

Offensive, LA likes to move the ball.

“We’re small, so we work on our fitness and we try to get the ball out wide,” said Sweeney. “We know we’re not going to overpower bigger packs, so our strength is our speed and our fitness. We love the quick tap on penalties and we’re always trying to go.”

Go, perhaps all the way to 1st place.

Written by RUGBYMag Staff    Wednesday, 19 February 2014 20:34    PDF Print Write e-mail
USA Rugby's Club, College Championship Info
Clubs - Men's DI Clubs

Stanford University and Madison, Wisc. will host USA Rugby’s spring college and club championship weekends, respectively. Stanford’s Steuber Stadium will be the home for the final men’s DI-A, men’s DI-AA, women’s DI and women’s DII weekends May 9-11. DI-A is the only division that will see just its championship game played at Stanford, as the other divisions will play semifinals there, too.

The college rounds of 16 and eight will be spread across five locations – Stanford, Bowling Green, Ohio, Knoxville, Tenn., State College, Pa., and Atlanta, Ga.

Per the club restructure, the Round of 16 has been eliminated, and the quarterfinals and semifinals will be coupled together May 17-18. The women’s DI and DII club playoffs have been moved back to the spring after years of being played in the fall and will be run in conjunction with the men’s playoffs. The eastern teams will be at Pittsburgh’s Founder’s Field, and the western teams will be at Spring Trail Park in suburban Dallas.

For the first time since 2007, the men’s club final weekend will be somewhere other than Glendale’s Infinity Park. The men’s and women’s championship contenders will converge on Madison’s historic Breese Stevens Field for their finals May 31-June 1.


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