Men's DI College

Written by Alex Goff    Wednesday, 12 March 2014 14:20    PDF Print Write e-mail
Iona Joins Rugby East - More to Come?
Colleges - Men's DI College

Iona College, who recently announced that Bruce McLane will be their new Head Coach, is joining the Rugby East Conference with Kutztown, Penn State, and Wheeling Jesuit.

The New York State private Christian Brothers school will compete for a fall championship, and play 7s in the spring.

This in itself is of interest, but there are rumblings that this move could be part of a larger movement. Cold-weather states have long pushed for a move to fall rugby, and this season saw a split, with some schools competing for an ACRC championship.

With that success, and schools like Iona moving into higher-profile conferences, and with the Varsity Cup establishing a privately-run spring 15s championship, we could see an even bigger shift to the fall.

Written by Alex Goff    Monday, 10 March 2014 21:46    PDF Print Write e-mail
Navy Impressive in Defeat of Kutztown
Colleges - Men's DI College

The US Naval Academy (ranked #10 by recorded and impressive result Saturday as they beat #6 Kutztown 38-3 in a non-conference game.

McAuliffe notched 18 for Navy. Ed Hagerty photo.Flanker Spencer Wilson and center Sam Gedeon scored tries, while fullback Ron Helms scored two for the Midshipmen. Flyhalf Jack McAuliffe hit four penalties and three conversions for 18 points.

Kutztown kept it close for the first half, but when their leader, All American lock Mike Laurenson went off injured, that took the wind out of their sails.

This result follows Navy's 70-point defeat of Dartmouth.

"I don't think we were that much better than Dartmouth and I didn't think we were that much better than Kutztown," said Navy Head Coach Mike Flanagan, sporting a newly-shaved head after he lost his locks in a fundraiser for a children's cancer charity. "We had a very difficult first half against them but Laurensen is a very good player and their leader and his leaving hurt them."

Navy is looking to peak for the Varsity Cup, and is progressing well.

"We've discovered some hardness to our game," said Flanagan. "We got a little more physical and we're playing a little harder. We've got guys who can make tackles. We will find out how we're doing when we play Penn State in two weeks, and then we're excited to play Army April 5. But we're looking at the Varsity Cup as our 15s national championship. We want to be able to compete at the best level at the right time."

Written by RUGBYMag Staff    Sunday, 09 March 2014 21:52    PDF Print Write e-mail
Air Force Pips CSU
Colleges - Men's DI College #20 Air Force edged Colorado State 31-26 Saturday in DIA Western Conference action in Colorado Springs.

Both teams were greeted by five inches of fresh powder on the day, but due to the hardworking facilities workers and some enterprising young men with shovels, they managed to get the pitch cleared and the game started only 17 minutes after the scheduled kickoff time.

The CSU Rams opened the account with a well-constructed try with multiple phase play and slick backline skills, allowing wing Eric Pettis to score in the corner for a 5-0 lead.

Air Force came right back and scored off a turnover, and this was indicative of how this game progressed. There was solid defense from both teams in tough conditions, and this created handling errors for both sides. At halftime the teams were tied at 17-17.

Leading a solid forward effort for the Rams was prop Steve Karass, who opened the scoring in the second half, exploding onto the ball at pace to score under the sticks. CSU seemed to surprise Air Force. Although Air force had a definite size advantage, the Rams more than held their own in the set piece, even stealing a couple of scrum put-ins. The Rams were disruptive defensively at lineout time and were steady in winning their own lineout, creating a platform for the Ram backs to work.

With the Rams leading Air Force 26-24 with five minutes to play, it was ultimately the superior conditioning of the cadets that won the day. With a few injury replacements at key positions and mistakes creeping into the Rams play, a crunching tackle at midfield knocking the ball loose for the Zoomies to score a converted try to finish the game 31-26.

Written by RUGBYMag Staff    Sunday, 09 March 2014 19:56    PDF Print Write e-mail
Cal Thumps Cal Poly
Colleges - Men's DI College

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - No. 2 California beat No. 13 Cal Poly 95-14 Sunday at the Cal Poly Sports Complex.

Captain Seamus Kelly and sophomore fullback Harry Adolphus both had hat tricks and wing Josh Tucker scored five tries as the Golden Bears (14-0, 5-0 PAC) put in a strong performance against the Mustangs.

Seamus Kelly scored three tries for Cal. Abel Barrientes photo.Cal Poly (3-4) scored two tries, in the 15th minute from winger Matt Long and the 77th minute from replacement wing Derek Morefield, respectively. But Cal started and finished strong, scoring 76 unanswered points between the Mustangs' two tries.

The Starting XV for Cal on Sunday was absent several notable names from both its backline, including Russell Webb, Jared Braun and Jake Anderson; and forwards, who were without starter Patrick Coleman and Chris Fry. But Cal's lineup stayed steady to exit the Central Coast with a decisive victory.

The Bears finished with 15 tries by seven players. Adolphus ended the day with 35 points scored with 10-of-15 conversion kicking to go with his three tries.

Next up for the Bears is their chance to win their second straight PAC Rugby Conference title when they gave the Utah Utes next Saturday, March 15, on the road.

After that, Cal will be back in Strawberry Canyon for Monday Night Rugby on March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, against perennial Ivy champion Dartmouth College at 6:30 p.m. Their last regular-season home match is followed by the “World Cup” decider at 1 p.m. Sunday, March 23, against the British Columbia Thunderbirds in Vancouver, Canada. Cal concludes its regular season Saturday, April 5, in Moraga against the top-ranked Gaels at 1 p.m.

The postseason will begin for the Bears in the Super Regional round of the Varsity Cup National Championships on Saturday, April 19, in Westwood, where Cal will face the winner of the previous weekend's first-round clash between UCLA and Oklahoma (see bracket here). Should the Rugby Bears advance, they will host an April 26 semifinal against Utah, Air Force or Central Washington on Witter Rugby Field.

The final of the Varsity Cup National Championships takes place Saturday, May 3, in Rio Tinto Stadium outside of Salt Lake City and will be televised live on NBC Sports Network. For tickets and other information, visit

Following the finale of their 15s season, the Bears will return to Philadelphia May 31-June 1 for the Collegiate Rugby Championship 7s, also to be broadcast by NBC Sports Network and NBC.

For CRC tickets, please make all purchases via

Cal 95
Tries: Adolphus 3, Kelly 3, Boyer, Tucker 5, Barrientes, Hendrickson, Milne
Convs: Adolphus 10

Cal Poly 14
Tries: Long, Morefield
Convs: McGrillen, Mitchell

Written by Pat Clifton    Saturday, 08 March 2014 20:05    PDF Print Write e-mail
Arkansas State Ekes Out Win
Colleges - Men's DI College

Arkansas State avoided a home upset at the hands of Davenport Saturday, scoring a late converted try to win 15-10 in the DIA Mid-South.

ASU scored in the opening few minutes and the last eight, while Davenport controlled the run of play most of the rest of the game.

The Red Wolves opening try by lock Zack Allen came after a big run from Shaun Potgieter put them in the attacking end. The conversion attempt was missed, putting ASU up 5-0.

It took Davenport four trips to the try zone to get on the board. The Panthers knocked-on around the goal line twice and were held up once before No. 8 Dominique Bailey finally touched the ball down. The conversion was missed, and Davenport and Arkansas State were knotted at 5-5 going into intermission.

Bailey was a menace with ball-in-hand all day, and he was given a great platform to run by the tight five. Anchored by tighthead prop Angus MacLellan and hooker Gabe Sochanek, Davenport’s scrum was dominant. ASU struggled to defend Bailey’s runs from the base or get go-forward on its own put-ins.

The Panthers left numerous scores on the board in the meat of the game, and it would come back to bite them. All-everything flyhalf JP Eloff tore is ACL and MCL in January, and the Panthers severely missed his trusty boot, as several opportunities to kick for points went unutilized.

Arkansas State nearly scored the tying try on a counterattack. Outside center Gavin Brown had burst up the touch line and past all but one defender, but the pass to put inside center Michael Baska away was a half-second too late.

Brown looked like he had once again scored the tying try near the 80th minute, when he danced through a hole and into pay dirt, but the score was called back for obstruction.

ASU did finally get the leveling try in the 82nd minute when flyhalf Cody Crawford forced his way into the try zone from short distance.

“We swung it to the right, and I saw there was an opening at the left side of the ruck,” said Cody Crawford, recalling his try. “I called for the ball, and there was a man in front of me. I had to bounce through him and put it down.”

Crawford then lined up the go-ahead conversion and casually put it through the sticks to give ASU the 12-10 lead with just over five minutes to play.

Davenport strung together a few phases and worked the ball into the attacking end, but a penalty on MacLellan for holding onto the ball saw possession go back to Arkansas State. The Red Wolves reversed field, and Crawford nailed a penalty to extend the lead to 15-0 with a couple of minutes left.

Davenport couldn’t muster another offensive, and the Red Wolves escaped with a win that looked to be in doubt for much of the day.

“It was a grind,” said Crawford of the game. “They’re a great team, we’re a great team, and it’s just a matter of who’s going to step it up and play throughout the whole 80 minutes.”

Arkansas State, like Davenport, saw its highly regarded flyhalf go down for the season before it began. Zinzan Elan-Putick is out with a broken hand, and Crawford, a fifth-year senior who spelled now-departed All American Pat Sullivan for four years, responded well when his number was called – scoring the game-winning try and conversion.

“I’ve been on the b-side for the last four years, stepping in once in a while for a-side, but this year I was backup for the a-side flyhalf,” said Crawford. “He went down, so I had to step in, and it felt great.”

The result improves Arkansas State to 2-1 in the Mid-South and drops Davenport to 0-1.

Updated Mid-South Standings

Mid-South W L T Pf Pa Pd BT BL Pts
LIfe 2 0 0 53 22 31 1 0 9
Arkansas State 2 1 0 47 61 -14 1 0 9
Davenport 0 1 0 10 15 -5 0 1 1
Lindenwood 0 2 0 32 44 -12 0 1 1


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