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Last Weekend’s Biggest Rugby Games & Implications

  • 01 Apr 2024
  • 6055 Views
USA South Rugby U14

We’re getting into the part of the season where every weekend is an important one. Teams are qualifying toward deeper stages of the playoffs — namely at the club and college levels. The high school sphere will heighten later in the spring, but April really sees the leagues nationwide open up. [Lead photo: The USA South team that won the Tropical 7s U14 division.]

RELATED: Games & Scores: March 29-31, 2024

The weekend began early with the Tropical 7s in Tampa, Fla. There are many divisions, mostly youth, and a range of competition options — Elite, Open, Developmental. In the Elite brackets, The Rugby Advantage (U18), USA South (U16) and Harvard University (U23) all took home top honors. Interviews in the works. The South also won the U14 trophy. See the full results.

The official weekend began with a 9 a.m. ET kickoff between the USA Women’s National Team and South Africa in England. The runout marked Sione Fukofuka’s first match as the Eagles head coach, and the team celebrated with a 38-17 win against the Boks. Flanker Georgie Perris-Redding scored three tries, including one 10 seconds after kickoff. Kathryn Treder, Emily Henrich and Lotte Clapp also scored tries, while Gabby Cantorna added four conversions. Next up: April 28 vs. Canada in LA. Buy tickets (and use code TRB for 10% off).

Also in England (Bristol), the USA’s Kat Roche served as center ref for the Women’s Six Nations match between the Red Roses and Wales.

COLLEGE

At the national level, the DI Elite held its semifinals. Reigning champion Lindenwood University hosted #4 BYU and won 75-12. Central Washington University traveled to Life University and the Running Eagles triumphed 28-3. The national final is Sunday, April 14 at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Ariz. It will be the sixth-straight time that Life and Lindenwood feature in the title match.

Elsewhere in the college sphere, two more teams qualified for the spring 15s post-season. Eckerd College (interview forthcoming) beat Univ. South Florida 54-15 to secure the Florida conference title and heads directly to the CRAA DII Spring 15s Championship final (May 4-5) in Texas. The Sirens won’t know who they’re playing until April 20, when UC Irvine (Pacific Desert champ) and the West Coast conference champ (decided April 6-7) play each other in SoCal for the berth to the spring final.

Virginia Women’s Rugby beat Howard Univ. 17-7 for the Blue Ridge conference title and will be one of eight teams at the DI Spring 15s Regional playoffs in Arizona (April 19-21). Read the previous DI update.

Pacific Desert’s Claremont Colleges won an important road game against Univ. Arizona, 17-14, to remain in contention for a berth to regionals. The conference gets three berths total (Grand Canyon has the #1 seed) and the final two spots will be determined after this Saturday’s matches: UCLA (4-2, 22 standings points) vs. Claremont (4-2, 23 pts.), and Arizona State (5-1, 23 pts.) vs. Arizona. Exciting stuff!

On the college 7s side, the Lone Star conference in Texas held its CRC 7s national qualifier. Southern Nazarene University won the DI title and berth to D.C., and Univ. Texas San Antonio took the DII spot.

SENIOR CLUB

There is a lot of review, basically updates to the last Super Regionals post on March 19. First up, the teams that secured their spots in their respective league championships after last Saturday’s wins. League champs advance to the Super Regional Championships on May 4-5 (except Atlantic, which is April 20 & May 4) in four locations across the country:

  • DII Phoenixville beat Doylestown 55-5 and will head to the April 13 EPRU final against Harrisburg. But first! The two teams face each other this Saturday, April 6 to end their regular seasons. Nice preview.
  • DII Las Vegas beat Phoenix 25-5, sealing the berth to the Southwest championship against Albuquerque on April 20 in Santa Fe, N.M.

Regular-season matches serving like previews for league finals:

  • DII Tampa Bay beat Ft. Miami 41-17, and the two are heading to the Florida championship on April 20 in Bradenton.
  • Portland beat Emerald City 38-19, and the two will see each other again on April 20 for the Pacific Northwest DII title.

 

USA Club rugby playoffs

Prefer visuals for your updates? Check out TRB’s Instagram @therugbybreakdown

Impending DII playoffs:

  • Carolinas sealed its semifinalists for this Saturday. Read more.
  • Capital is Severn River vs. James River on April 13.
  • New England semis are April 6. (see graphic)
  • True South is April 13-14 in New Orleans. (see graphic)
  • This Saturday’s KC Jazz vs. St. Louis match is akin to a Mid-America playoff match.
  • SoCal semis are April 13 and played at the higher seed, but this Saturday’s games will seal the standings order. LARC is No. 1.

Below is a review of the DI space, as recapped by graphics posted on TRB’s Instagram:

 

USA club rugby playoff graphic USA club rugby playoff graphic

Stay tuned for interviews from NOVA’s Mo McInerney and Seattle’s Marty Quick, and more to come.

 

Article Categories:
COLLEGE · HIGH SCHOOL · SR CLUB · USA

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