Here's a quick look at games in DI club rugby around the USA.
Southern California is slow. The Las Vegas Blackjacks and Belmont Shore will be busy playing the USA U20s as the Junior All Americans conclude their regional camp.
The only league game will be the San Diego Old Aztecs against Back Bay. Both teams are still in the hunt for 4th place in the league, but a loss here will certainly hurt their prospects.
In Northern California, it’s all to play for.
The Olympic Club plays the EPA Bulldogs in a game that means pretty much everything for both teams. The Sacramento Lions host Old Puget Sound Beach in a game that, if OPSB wins, virtually guarantees the Seattle team the #2 seed in the crossover players with Southern California.
SFGG looks to keep their undefeated record perfect with a game against the Bay Barbarians.
With the weird season in NorCal where OPSB plays 6 games, EPA Razorbacks and Bay Barbarians play 10, Sacramento Lions play 11, and Olympic Club and SFGG play 12, it will come down to winning percentage, along with head-to-head tiebreakers to decide where OPSB lands.
OPSB cannot be ranked 1st even if they win the season series against every team. But by beating Sacramento this weekend they can ensure they finish ahead of them and the EPA Bulldogs. Sacramento, with a loss, would still be on track for the #3 seed, while the Bulldogs would be on track for the #4 seed. Olympic Club will be penalized two wins this season due to two forfeits (their current 2-4 record includes two forfeit losses, but according to earlier reports from the league, will be counted as 0-6). They will need to pull off an upset over OPSB or SFGG, and/or they need the Bulldogs to falter in the latter weeks against the Bay Barbarians and the improving EPA Razorbacks.
In the West, it is most certainly heating up. The Kansas City Blues visit Provo in a key game for both.
“We’ve not been training much outside,” said KC Head Coach Scott Kram. “Provo is probably in the same situation.”
the use of the Sporting KC soccer team training facility has been a boost for the Blues, but they still had to dig themselves out of a big recent snowstorm.
The Blues arrive in Provo with some new faces. Fullback Lewis Mills joins the team from Ireland, while their forward pack has been bolstered by three arrivals from the UK. Those men will get a crash course in playing on the road in the West.
The forecast for Provo is snow and rain, so it will be cold and not particularly pleasant, which could hamper both teams’ desires to run the ball.
The winner of that game will most into 2nd place in the West-North.
In the West-South, aka Texas, the Austin Blacks look to stay undefeated as they face 2-5 Fort Worth. The Dallas Reds are favored against 1-6 Woodlands. The big game is HARC (3-4) against Austin Huns (also 3-4). The winner of that game will be in 4th, and in a playoff spot. The loser will suffer quite the setback.
The South is idle this week, and MARFU concludes in two weeks with a Norfolk v. Maryland Exiles game that potentially will have a major effect on the playoff seedings.