Eleven DI club league games kick off this weekend, as teams in the middle of their leagues try to claw their way back up.
The biggest clash had to be undefeated Metropolis against 3-1 Palmer. This isn't a complete a must-win for Palmer if they harbor hopes of winning the Midwest, but it would really, really help them. Metropolis, playing at home and in superb form, look to be favored. (More on this game here.)
There's a battle of also-runners in the remainder of the Midwest. Someone has to emerge as a second challenger to Metropolis, and of Columbus or Kansas City can secure victories, they might make claim to being that team. The Chicago Griffins can turn the battleship around with a win over Columbus at home.
Chicago Lions (1-3-1) @ KC Blues (2-2)
Palmer (3-1) @ Metropolis (5-0)
Columbus (3-2) @ Chicago Griffins (2-2-1)
Milwaukee (2-3) @ Cincinnati (5-0)
In the West, they say there's going to be a game. That would be nice. Both teams involved have been ready to play before.
Denver Barbarians (0-0) @ Boulder (1-0)
IN the Mid-Atlantic, there are likely to be few surprises. Battered PAC might well lose on the road to a Pittsburgh team that is probably better than their 1-2 record might indicate. Meanwhile, the Maryland Exiles might see Baltimore-Chesapeake as a potential banana skin. But with Schulykill River idle, the Exiles of Maryland can officially secure 1st place with a victory.
Balt.-Chesapeake (2-2) @ Maryland Exiles (3-0)
Norfolk Blues (3-1) @ NOVA (0-4)
PAC (2-2) @ Pitt Harlequins (1-2)
In the Northeast, it is again a group of games without a ton of drama. NYAC should beat White Plains and while Middlesex v. Boston Irish Wolfhounds don't have wonderful records, both could use the boost a win provides.
Boston looks ahead to Mystic River after beating Old Blue to remain undefeated last weekend.
Boston scrumhalf and captain Sean Treacy said the team was thrilled with beating Old Blue, but has a more sober air about them now.
"Mystic has represented themselves quite well," said Treacy. "We are expecting a pretty tough game, and we really want to carry on from where we left off. We can't go out, beat Old Blue, and then the next week go out and play rubbish."
(More comments from Treacy here.)
Mystic (1-2) @ Boston (3-0)
White Plains (0-4) @ NYAC (3-0)
Middlesex (1-2) @ Wolfhounds (1-3)
And finally in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle hosts Langley in the Okanagan Spring Brewery men's league, which is the British Columbia league the club had to fight to stay in, despite being a BC RFU foudning club.
Seattle crushed United last week 92-0, and sit 3-0, as do the UBC Thunderbirds. Langley, at 1-2, will not be relishing the trip across the border to the Emerald City.
Seattle's B side plays in the Okanagan Division 2 with other B sides (plus Kelowna RFC's 1st side), and is a creditable 2-1.