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Weekend Results Translated: Senior Club 15s

  • 06 May 2024
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TAMPA BAY rugby

These were many high-stakes games last Friday-Sunday, and for women’s senior clubs, it was all about the Super Regional Championships (SRCs). Each SRC victor (except women’s DIII) now advances to the final stage of the USA Club Rugby 15s post-season — the national semifinals and potentially national championship on Friday-Sunday, May 17-19 in Austin, Texas. [lead graphic c/o @tampabaykrewewomen]

RELATED: Women’s Rugby Scores – May 3-5

We’re starting with Division III, because the 15s road ends at the SRC stage for this competition. And the Atlantic is the only region that has a full DIII post-season for its territory, which covers Capital, Eastern Pennsylvania, Empire and New England.

 

 

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First-season North Bay from Maryland is the new Atlantic SRC DIII champion and won the title with a 52-5 win against 2023 finalist Union County (N.J.). Stay tuned for a feature.

DIVISION II

All four SRCs named a new champion in 2024, meaning a fresh lineup of semifinalists will be competing in Austin next weekend.

Florida champion TAMPA BAY is the new GULF COAST champion. The Krewe started the weekend with a 65-8 win against Carolinas champ Charleston, while on the other side of the bracket, 2023 national champion Knoxville outlasted the Dallas Harlequins 26-22. Sunday was a rematch of the 2023 Gulf Coast SRC title match, and Tampa Bay triumphed 41-8 for its first-ever berth to the national semifinals.

 

Nikki Synder (3), Gabrielle Pennino (3), Sam Black (2), Kelsey Cashem (2) and Antonina O’Neill (2) Laurell Cuza, Molly Douglas and Victoria Jarrett scored tries, while Robyn Oliveri added 28 points on 11 conversions and two penalties. Watch replays on Texas Rugby Union’s YouTube

The ATLANTIC SRC final was also a rematch from 2023. PHOENIXVILLE (EPRU) and Severn River (Capital) won their respective SRC semifinals (April 20) by comfortable margins to advance to the final on Saturday. In 2023, the Honey Badgers beat White Horse 36-31, and in 2024, the point differential narrowed — except this year, Phoenixville beat Severn River 12-8. Captain Corinne Gallagher accounted for seven points on a try and conversion, and flanker Casey Evans added the other try.

 

There was also a rematch feature in the NORTHERN final, but not from last year’s SRC title match. On Saturday, Midwest champion SOUTH BUFFALO beat Rocky Mountain’s Boulder 83-12, while Midwest runner-up Grand Rapids went into overtime against Mid-America champ St. Louis. After 100 minutes of rugby, the Growlers emerged with the 38-36 victory.

So the Northern championship was a rematch of the Midwest championship, which occurred on Nov. 11, 2023. In the fall, South Buffalo beat Grand Rapids 30-14, and on Sunday, the Upstate New York squad banked a 34-14 title win. [There are no stats plugged into Xplorer, so stay tuned for those details.]

 

And finally, there was the PACIFIC, which ran a Friday-Saturday format for its women’s DII competition. In the opening round, NorCal champ SACRAMENTO took down Pacific Northwest champ Portland 54-15, and Southwest champ Las Vegas eliminated first-year Los Angeles 55-24.

The Amazons had competed in the 2023 Pacific SRC but bowed out in the opening round. The program, however, has good history at this stage of playoffs (and won DII nationals in 2019). Las Vegas was the hometown team and enjoyed an undefeated season in the Southwest, but Saturday, the title belonged to Sacramento 60-7.

Flanker Tachae Hankerson  and wing Ariana Lewis led on the scoreboard with three tries apiece, while Emily Zok, Ola Ogan, Jordan Nedved and Roxanne Lembke also dotted down. Flyhalf Emily Persson kicked five conversions for 10 points.

DIVISION I

Division I is more streamlined than DII is, and there were just three games to watch last weekend. The NORTHERN SRC is the Midwest for DI, so the PITTSBURGH FORGE took its Midwest championship from the fall directly to the national semifinals on May 17.

Last year’s national finalists both rebooked their tickets to the 2024 show. 2023 runner-up NOVA won its fourth-straight ATLANTIC title on Saturday after beating Philadelphia 38-7. It was the third time this season that the teams faced each other. Stay tuned for the interview.

 

 

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The UTAH VIPERS put in a convincing performance at the GULF COAST championship on Saturday in Austin, Texas. The Rocky Mountain champ scored 46 points and held Houston to an unconverted try (5) in the title match. The Vipers have been quietly going about their work in Utah, a bit starved for competition after the separation of the DI league in this region, but they will be a nice shakeup for the final four. Stay tuned for more.

 

 

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And finally, reigning DI national champion SAN DIEGO had another stellar hitout against Seattle in the PACIFIC final. Seattle closed the point differential relative to last year’s final, but the Surfers had the goods for a 36-24 win in 2024. Alexa Scott (2), Maddie Arenchild and Jules Buescher were among San Diego’s try scorers (plus two “Name Withheld”s in the public Xplorer roster), and Kaylee Westmoreland added three conversions.

Similarly to the DII national semifinal pairings, all we know at this point is that San Diego and NOVA won’t play each other in the opening round — which is Friday, May 17, followed by a day of rest, then a Sunday final.

NATIONALS SCHEDULE

For all competitions, the semifinals pairings are: Atlantic vs. Gulf Coast, and Northern vs. Pacific. The USA Club Rugby championship account (@usaclub.rugby) posted the nationals schedule in its entirety. Unfortunately for DI, that means that the 2023 national champion, San Diego, and 2023 runner-up, NOVA, will see each other in the semifinals. All games will live-stream on The Rugby Network (kickoff times listed in Central), but viewers interested in watching all of the women’s games will have to toggle back and forth between the video feeds, because all of the kickoff times have the games overlapping each other.

FRIDAY MAY 17
DI Semifinals
1 p.m. Pittsburgh v Utah Vipers
2 p.m. NOVA v San Diego

SATURDAY, MAY 18
DII Semifinals
12 p.m. Phoenixville v Sacramento
1 p.m. Tampa Bay v South Buffalo

SUNDAY, MAY 19
11 a.m. Women’s DII national championship
12 p.m. Women’s DI national championship

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