The Runner Sports

USA Men’s Club Rugby Report: USAR Gold Cup Final, Huns Beat Rugby Utah, SFGG/Life West Decide NCRFU DI Final

This week in the USA Men’s Club Report the Major Rugby Championship is half way complete, Seattle is climbing the BC Rugby Union ladder, and as the USA Club playoff picture is taking shape we’ve got the Elite, DI, and key DII scores you’re looking for. From across this vast rugby nation, The Runner Sports covers USA Rugby Men’s Competitive Regions (CR) like no other.

Major League Rugby Club Report:

Austin vs Rugby Utah: In the first match aired by new Austin Hun broadcast partner FloRugby, the Huns handed Rugby Utah a 48-22 defeat in Austin. The stiff defense by Austin countered Rugby Utah’s size advantage and opened up attack opportunities. Vice-captain Hanco ‘The Hammer’ Germishuys played a significant role in both scoring three tries and making some huge hits.

Rugby Utah looked vastly improved against the more evenly matched Huns but still need an upgrade at several positions before the MLR kickoff.

Seattle Saracens: Seattle continues to climb the ladder of British Columbia’s Major Premier League with a 36-32 win over James Bay Rugby at James Bay.

Kansas City Blues: In a high scoring back-and-forth match Kansas City beat the Milwaukee Barbarians 43-39 on last-second try by back Cody Weber.

Chicago Lions: The Lions lost to the resurgent Cincinnati Wolfhounds in Cincinnati, 36-27. The Wolfhounds are 6-0-6 with upcoming games against Metropolis and a huge intrastate rival match versus Midwest Division-leading Columbus. Chicago, at 8-0-5, hopes for a stumble by 9-0-4 Columbus during the last two games of the season.

Glendale Raptors: Did not play

New Orleans Rugby: Did not play; next match TBD

TRS Elite Club Top 10: The criteria for making this list is simple; these clubs play at a level above D1 (such as the ARP) or have identified intent to participate in the future MLR. These rankings are based off absolutely no scientific method what so ever other than observation and plain old-fashioned guess-work but stay tuned for something truly legitimate in the future. Until then…argue away.

  1. Glendale Raptors: 5W-0D-0L
  2. New York Athletic: 8-0-0 (Season complete)
  3. Seattle Saracens: 3-0-3 (BCRU)
  4. Austin Huns: 4-0-1
  5. Old Blue: 6-0-2 (Season complete)
  6. Kansas City Blues: 8-0-5
  7. Mystic River: 4-0-4 (Season complete)
  8. Chicago Lions: 8-0-5
  9. Rugby Utah: 0-0-3
  10. New Orleans: 0-0-4

USA Rugby Gold Cup:

The Dallas Reds won the Second Annual Gold Cup with a tie against host Metropolis and a stunning come from behind win against the last-place Chicago Lions.

The final outcome was still in doubt going into the last match of the tournament in large part due to a day one 25-25 tie between Metropolis and Dallas. As Dallas faced off against the Chicago Griffins, the Reds knew they had to beat Chicago and hope the hosts could beat Austin in the final match.

The match against the Griffins would not be a cakewalk for the eventual champions, far from it. Chicago took the lead early in a penalty-filled first half, 7-0 the tally at halftime. The second half was far more disciplined; unencumbered by penalties both squads’ attack opened up. Reds’ Chad Joseph scored two tries as the teams traded scores, Dallas taking the 19-14 lead on Joseph’s second score. Chicago answered right back taking a 21-19 lead with the clock ticking down. After a rather clean second 40, a penalty would ultimately decide the match; a Griffins penalty 40 meters out would give Red Kyle Palm a chance for heroics and he wouldn’t miss as time expired. Dallas 22 Chicago 21. Now Dallas had to watch and wait.

In the last match of the tournament Metropolis jumped out to an early 12-0 lead against Austin and led until Eagle Chris Baumann dotted down giving the Blacks a 21-17 lead that wouldn’t last; minutes later Metro retook the lead 22-21. After a penalty kick gave Austin a 24-23 lead Metropolis countered with a try and never looked back, handing Dallas the Gold Cup after a 32-29 win over the Blacks.

March 28:

Chicago vs Austin 5-50

Metropolis vs Dallas Reds 25-25

April 1:

Chicago vs Dallas 21-22

Metropolis vs Austin 32-29

Final Standings:

Dallas: 4-1-0

Metropolis: 3-1-2

Austin: 2-0-3

Chicago: 1-0-5

Competitive Regions:

Pacific North CR: Top level DI:

Northern California RFU Playoffs:

San Francisco Golden Gate (SFGG) and Life West faced off with SFGG dominating the visiting Gladiators 24-7 to win the NCRFU.

SFGG vs Life West 24-7

Other Pac North CR scores:

In the crosstown rivalry, Oregon Sports Union jumped out to a 10-0 lead and took a 10-5 lead into halftime. At the 73 minute mark Portland tied the score with a converted try and looked to take home a tie but a Pigs penalty and the strong leg of reserve fullback Jacob Britt at the 79th minute sealed a Jesters win. The Jesters will win the division with a 9-0-1 record, Portland is second at 7-0-2 and one match remaining. ORSU Jesters vs Portland Pigs 20-17

Bend Roughriders vs Valley Kangaroos 62-17

 

Pacific South CR: Top level DI:

Belmont Shore vs Santa Monica 24-50

San Diego Old Aztecs vs Los Angeles 69-17

Pasadena vs OMBAC 28-47

Tempe Old Devils vs Downtown Rugby 0-0

Key DII Match: In the final match of Pac South DII Southern California Gold Division, two 7-0-2 table toppers played to decide the top spot as the Las Vegas Irish put their stamp on the table with a commanding 64-31 victory. Outside center David Pale scored two tries and converted seven of ten attempts. Reserve flanker Devin Short came on for the injured Justin Oles at the 30-minute mark and scored three tries in the blow-out win. Las Vegas Irish vs Back Bay Sharks 64-31

 

Mid-Atlantic CR: Top level DI:

Last place Wilmington stunned first place Rocky Gorge. Outside center Martwain Johnston scored five tries in his first start of the season for Wilmington. Wilmington vs Rocky Gorge 39-5

Baltimore-Chesapeake vs Norfolk Blues 45-29

Potomac Exiles vs Schuylkill River Exiles (Canceled due to permit issues)

 

Southern CR: Top level DII:

Atlanta Old White vs Charlotte 28-36

Memphis Blues vs Baton Rouge (No score posted)

Jackson vs Birmingham Vulcans (No score posted)

 

Frontier CR: Top level DII:

Kansas City Blues D2 vs Kansas City 33-14

Denver Barbarians vs Park City Haggis 19-26

Boulder vs Provo Steelers (No score posted)

 

Red River CR: Top level DI:

No DI matches due to USAR Gold Cup

 

Midwest CR: Top level DI:

Columbus vs Palmer College Dragons 39-5

Cincinnati Wolfhounds vs Chicago Lions 36-27

Kansas City Blues vs Milwaukee Barbarians 43-39

 

Atlantic North CR: Top level DI:
DI season is complete

 

Next Week’s Key Matches:

As the playoffs loom, key games to look out for include two big Pac North DII matches as 7-0-1 Napa Valley Rugby visits the 8-0-0 Sacramento Capitals while 6-0-1 Tacoma Nomads host the undefeated 43rd State Crimson Lions. Also in DII, Northern Virginia (8-1-0) welcome Washington Irish (8-0-1) in  a Mid-Atlantic South decider.  In DI Red River, two powerhouse 4-0-1 squads go head-to-head as the Huns D1 match up against Gold Cup Champion Dallas Reds.

The USA Rugby Club Championship will truly heat up May 20-21 as forty teams from both men (DI-DIII) and women (DI-DII) return to Tempe, Arizona and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for the knockout rounds with the ultimate goal of making it to Glendale, Colorado’s Infinity Park June 3-4 for the National Championships.

 

 

-By Jason Graves