One of the DII clubs with big ambitions is the Utah Islanders.
Formed out of the wreckage of the Utah Brothers and Utah Warriors, the Islanders wanted to play DI but was forced by the West RFU to go into DII.
“We plan to move up to DI next year,” said the Islanders’ Lofi Fuatogi. “We are filling a need, and we’re getting more and more athletes coming to play with us, so who knows? Maybe we’ll have a DII team as well.”
As the only men’s club in Salt Lake City, despite the wealth of young talent in the region, the Islanders are hoping to join Provo in DI action next year.
“Right now we’re just looking for competition,” said Fuatogi. That’s why they are traveling to Denver this weekend to play the Denver Highlanders.
Elsewhere in DII
In Southern California, league leaders the Las Vegas Irish visit 1-3 Eagle Rock. The big game could well be 4th-place North County Gurkhas against 3rd-place Kern County. Then again, 2nd-place Pasadena hosts 5th-place San Fernando Valley, who, at 2-1-1, could be poised to make a run to the top two.
Ventura County plays Santa Barbara, and Riverside is at South Bay.
In Arizona, the schedule is a little reduced as some teams play friendlies. Red Mountain plays Camelback and Scottsdale plays Northern Arizona.
In Northern California, league-leaders Santa Rosa face winless Sacramento Capitals. With 2nd-place Berkeley idle, 3rd-place BA Baracus or 4th-places San Jose could move into 2nd. Those two play each other Saturday.
The teams at 5th and 6th, Diablo and Fresno, play each other also, promising yet another shift in the standings. Vacaville (1-4-1) faces 1-4 Chico.
The Pacific Northwest gets in action once more after a three-month break. Tacoma (0-5) is at Valley (6-2), Eastside (1-5) is at Rovers (2-6), and in the biggest game of the weekend, Tsunamis (5-3, 2nd in the South) face Snake River (4-1 and 3rd in the South).
It’s a full slate in Texas. League-leaders Frisco (7-0) travel o Shreveport. At 5-1, Shreveport, led by scoring machine Brandon Trant at flyhalf, could make a big move by winning at home. Houston United, 2nd place at 5-2, will host Alamo City, while Dallas plays Oklahoma City and Bay Area faces Katy.
In the South, the Savannah Tournament provides a bit of a break to some teams.
However, this Saturday marks the end of crossover action across Florida. There are three DII crossover matches on Saturday.
The top team in the Southern Division, the Naples Hammerheads (10-1), host the top club in the Northern Division Saturday, Tampa Bay (8-2-1).
The second place team in the FRU South, the Boca Raton Buccaneers (8-2-0), is hosting the number two team in the FRU North, the Orlando Griffins (6-4-1).
The third place club in the South, the Miami Tridents (4-6-0), will host the third place team in the north, the Daytona Beach Coconuts (4-7-0).
In Tennessee, league leaders Chattanooga hope to keep their undefeated run going against Nashville.
In the True South, 4-0 Little Rock faces 2-2 New Orleans. Memphis, 2nd place at 3-1, faces 1-3 Baton Rouge.