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Senior Club Update: Who’s on the Playoff Path?

  • 18 Oct 2023
  • 2303 Views
RUGBY PLAYOFFS

A few areas will hold senior club rugby championships this fall and thus name representatives to the springtime Super Regional Championships (SRCs). The following reviews those leagues and teams moving toward fall post-seasons as well as some new developments regarding SRCs.

Looking for last weekend’s results? Click here. Want a review of last year’s regional structure? Toggle through these brackets.

DII MIDWEST

The MIDWEST does a very good job of explaining its women’s competitions and post-season pathways. Xplorer is updated and backed up by the Midwest’s own record keeping. That transparency allows fans to be fans instead of investigative reporters.

In DII, seven of eight quarterfinalists are known, but this Saturday’s games will solidify seeds and the Oct. 28 playoff match-ups. The below Instagram post is an apt summary of where DII is today:

 

If you’re wondering why Palmer College is ineligible for playoffs but Wisconsin is not, the reasons why concern the type of relegation that each team endured after the 2022-23 season. The Dragons were doing well in DI last year, but requested relegation to DII for 2023-24 based on a big graduating class and remaining pool of student-athletes. Wisconsin had been struggling in DI, and its relegation to DII was a mutually agreed upon decision with the Midwest.

These are the quarterfinal match-ups that will be finalized after this Saturday’s games:

MIDWEST DII QUARTERFINALS – OCT 28

EASTERN CONFERENCE
South Buffalo (Upstate NY #1) hosts Greater Ohio #2 (Akron or Ft Wayne)
Greater Ohio #1 (Akron or Ft Wayne) hosts Upstate NY #2 (North Buffalo or Uticuse)

WESTERN CONFERENCE
CARFU #1 (Grand Rapids or County Will) hosts TC Amazons (Northern #2)*
Wisconsin (Northern #1) hosts CARFU #2 (Grand Rapids or County Will)

*10.21 Update: TC Amazons have relinquished their playoff berth

Nov. 4 is for conference championships, or Midwest semifinals, and the higher seeds hosts. The Midwest championships are Nov. 11 in Lemont, Ill. Last year, the Midwest sent two DII teams to the Northern SRC and the Midwest website makes note of that repeat possibility in 2024.

MIDWEST PREMIERSHIP (DI)

There are two more weeks of league play in the Midwest Premiership, but the semifinalists have already been determined. Reigning Midwest champion Metropolis Valkyries won the Western Conference, and Chicago Lions are runner-up. The teams played to a 5-5 tie last weekend, and both have a final league match this Saturday.

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by MetropolisRugby (@metropolisrugby)

In the Eastern Conference, Columbus and Pittsburgh Forge split games against each other in the regular season, and they’re both heading to Nov. 4 playoffs. They’ll need the rest of their regular season to determine seeds, though. The Squirrels lead the standings but have played one more game than the Forge has played.

Nov. 4 is for conference championships, or Midwest semifinals, and then all title contenders converge in Lemont, Ill., for Midwest championships.

MIDWEST DI SEMIFINALS – NOV 4

Metropolis (Western #1) hosts Eastern #2 (Columbus or Pittsburgh)
Eastern #1 (Columbus or Pittsburgh) hosts Chicago Lions (Western #2)

The Midwest DI championship is essentially an SRC, which makes sense given the geographic spread of the region and the number of DI clubs nationwide. So the Midwest champion takes a direct berth to the DI national semifinals/championship, which is meant to occur May 17-19, 2024.

EMPIRE GU

The EMPIRE’s Division III will actually be the first competition to name a champion this season, as Union and Long Island square off this Saturday. During the teams’ regular-season meeting on Sept. 9, Union won 38-7. The victor will advance to the first round of the Atlantic SRC (April 20 – more details below).

 

Division II isn’t far behind. The DII semifinals are scheduled for Nov. 4 with the higher seeds hosting, and then the championship is penciled in for Nov. 11 – the same date as the Midwest championships.

New Haven (5-0) is the reigning DII Empire champion and has played tough matches this fall, most notably against New York (8-5) and Brooklyn (15-10). Monmouth is also a good contender for the post-season and recently tied Brooklyn 15-15 in muddy conditions. There are still two weeks of league matches to be played (some against teams that have been forfeiting matches this fall) and then seeds will be finalized for Nov. 4 semifinals.

Empire’s DII and DIII champions will feature in the springtime Atlantic SRCs, which are taking a different format this year. Regionals are occurring across two weekends in multiple locations. On April 20, the Eastern Pennsylvania (EPRU) teams will travel to New England (NERFU), and Empire will travel to Capital. EPRU will host the Atlantic SRC on May 4.

NEW ENGLAND

Traditionally, NERFU would be part of this update, but New England has altered its schedule this season. The DII and DIII teams will contest all of their regular-season matches this fall, but have now pushed its playoffs and championships to the spring. NERFU does not use Xplorer in a helpful way, and there are no competition updates on its website since July 29, so it’s tough to know what’s going on. [10.31 Update: Thank you, Tran Nguyen for the Xplorer update! Click here for NERFU standings, results, etc. Phew!]

But Albany is undefeated in DII regular-season play and defending champ Worcester is also looking good. Reigning DIII Atlantic SRC champ South Shore Sirens is also undefeated among DIII NERFU opponents. Watch nerfu.rugby for more details.

 

MISC

Capital and EPRU will play the bulk of their regular seasons in the fall, then save a couple of matches for the spring ahead of their respective championships in April. Carolinas, DI East Coast, Frontier, Mid-America, Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountain, True South – they’re all logging matrix matches in the fall, and TRB is tracking them (see Scores page) and bookmarking interesting match-ups (curious about that NOVA vs. Philly match coming up!). But attention won’t really pick up until the spring, because teams can change so much across a split season. Florida, NorCal, SoCal, Southwest, Red River – they play their league games almost exclusively after the new year, so the value of tracking those leagues and standings before then is moot.

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