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Senior Club Rugby Super Regionals: Atlantic

  • 09 Feb 2023
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RUGBY LEAD

Your Scrumhalf Connection has most of the links to the various USA Club Rugby schedules, results and standings, which are maintained in Rugby Xplorer. The following provides context around the women’s competitions, their championships, and how those representatives flow into the Super Regionals, the stage that precedes nationals (June 2-4 @ TBD).

It’s a lot of information, so this series is divided by Super Region, of which there are four: Atlantic, Gulf Coast, Midwest and Pacific. Each Super Region sends a team to the national semifinals/championship event on June 2-4. We review the Atlantic first, since it has already named teams to its Super Regional Championship (April 29-30, Richmond, Va.). [TRB has working brackets that will go live once all dates and locations are finalized. Regrettably, this information is difficult to confirm.]

ATLANTIC: THREE DIVISIONS

The Atlantic Super Regional (ASR) Championship hosts Divisions I, II and III women’s club competitions, but only DI and DII move onto national championships.

DIVISION I CLUB RUGBY

The former DI East used to span from Boston in the north to Atlanta in the south, and the seven members had the fall and spring to play everyone once. It also satisfied the six-match minimum that DI teams need for post-season eligibility. But in 2022-23, the competition divided in two: Mid-Atlantic and New England (NERFU). The two leagues will send their top-two teams to the ASR for crossover semifinals.

There are six teams in the Mid-Atlantic: Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh, NOVA, D.C. Furies and Philadelphia. Teams play each other once and then standings will name the top-two teams for the ASR semifinals. (Note: Atlanta forfeited a match in the fall so regardless of where the Harlequins finish in the standings, they will not advance to playoffs.)

In the fall, DI national champion NOVA and Raleigh went 2-0. The Piranhas defeated Philadelphia (1-2) and Atlanta (0-2) by a combined 176-0; and the Venom beat the D.C. Furies (2-1) 26-0 and Philly 41-7. Charlotte (0-2) lost its fall games to Philly and the Furies by single digits. The league is quiet until March 25, when all six teams return to matrix play. And on April 22, NOVA and Raleigh face each other the weekend before the ASR.

The Mid-Atlantic season is familiar, as it only lost Boston in the division. NERFU, however, had to build out a season, as Boston and Providence are the only DI playoff-eligible teams in the region, and there are no DI teams in the Empire Geographic Union (GU). So they played each other (Boston won both games: 49-5 and 68-0) and Beantown’s second team, which counts toward their minimum-match requirement.

Boston also played Philadelphia (41-31 win) as well as DI Midwest champion Metropolis Valkyries in Minnesota (43-19 loss). Both NERFU teams supplemented with games against their DII counterparts as well as New York in a round robin last fall. Boston and Providence both advance to the ASR semifinals in April.

 

rugby bracket

Screenshot from TRB brackets, still in progress

 

DIVISION II CLUB RUGBY

There is less complication here, as there are four GUs that field DII competitions, and they’ll each send their champion to the ASR semifinals.

Starting in the north and working south … Worcester won NERFU and capped the season with a a 24-20 win against Albany in the November final (read more). New Haven repeated as Empire champion in the fall, but only after a 15-12 win against DII New York (read more).

Worcester will play the Eastern Penn (EPRU) champion in the ASR semifinals. Phoenixville White Horse is currently 4-0 in the four-team league, and Harrisburg (2-2) sits in second. In late March, the field will return to the pitch and get their final two regular-season games in, and then the top-two teams will contest the EPRU final on April 15. Champ moves onto the ASR two weeks later.

New Haven will play the Capital champion in the ASR semifinals, and right now, Severn River is looking like a repeat title. The Maryland team is currently 4-0 against NOVA, James River and Norfolk, and has allowed 13 points against in matrix matches. Severn River finished runner-up at Super Regionals last year, losing 8-5 to eventual national champion Providence. But the Capital champ won’t be decided until everyone plays each other home and away, and then the standings-topper will host the second-seeded team for an April 15 final. Winner moves onto Richmond.

rugby bracket

Screenshot from TRB’s unofficial brackets, still in progress

DIVISION III CLUB RUGBY

As mentioned, DIII does not advance beyond the Super Regional stage, but there are a good amount of teams funneling into this competition.

South Shore (Mass.) won NERFU and capped its undefeated season with a 62-7 final against North Shore. The Massachusetts team will play the EPRU champ at ASR semifinals. There are seven teams in EPRU DIII, and the top of ladder is tight. Brandywine (4-0), York & Lancaster Thorns (4-1) and South Jersey (4-1) are vying for a final’s berth, a game that will occur on April 15. League play resumes March 25.

 

Union County won the DIII Empire title after defeating Long Island 22-5 in the Oct. 29 final (read more). The New Jersey team will face the Capital champion, which is looking like Rappahannock (6-0). It’s been all bonus-point wins for the Virginia team so far, but there are still two rounds of matrix play to go. Frederick and DC Revolution are both 3-2 although the former has an extra bonus point in the standings. Like its DII counterpart, the standings leader will host the No. 2 team on April 15 for the Capital title and berth to the ASR.

rugby bracket DIII

Screenshot from TRB’s unofficial brackets, still in progress

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