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Written by Jackie Finlan    Friday, 04 April 2014 22:02    PDF Print Write e-mail
Canada Out-Scores USA 5 Tries to 1 in China
Sevens - USA Sevens Women


The USA and Canada have met three times during the 2013-14 IRB Women’s Sevens World Series, and each game has gone the Canadians’ way, by double digits. Despite moments of greatness, the Women’s Eagle 7s bowed 35-7 to Canada in the opening match of the China 7s. Canada has defeated the USA by a combined 97-19 margin over these three games.

Kelly Griffin was the lone try-scorer for the USA. (Ian Muir photo)

This morning’s match looked similar to the teams’ last meeting in Atlanta. Canada struck 1:26 minutes into the game, as the slippery Ashley Steacy snuck in for the try, which she also converted. Steacy led all point scorers with 13 points. Kelly Griffin put the Americans on the board at the five-minute mark, and captain Amelia Villines’ conversion tied it up. But Canada took the momentum into the break, as Karen Paquin scored her first of two tries at 6:21 and Steacy converted, 14-7.

Still anybody’s game at this point, but Canada did a better job of finishing their opportunities and ran in three unanswered tries in the second stanza. Paquin, Bianca Farella and Jen Kish all dotted down for the Canadians, while Steacy tacked on two conversions, and Kelly Russell converted the fifth to end the game, 35-7.

Canada is currently third in the IRB standings, and they're playing like it.

On the other side of Pool C, Russia held off France to a 19-12 win. The Russians, which are currently in fourth place in the standings, spread out their tries, as Rusiet Edidzhi, Marina Petrova and Ekaterina Kazakova all scored. Caroline Ladagnous accounted for 10 of France’s 12 points, and helped her side to a final’s appearance in last weekend’s Hong Kong invitational tournament, which Canada won.

Both Russia and France look good, and if the Americans don’t clean up their game in next two rounds, they could easily find themselves in the Bowl competition again. The USA plays Russia at 1:06 a.m. ET and France at 3:50 a.m. ET.

USA 7
Tries: Griffin
Convs: Villines

Canada 35
Tries: Paquin 2, Steacy, Kish, Farella
Convs: Steacy 4, Russell

 
Written by RUGBYMag Staff    Friday, 04 April 2014 19:59    PDF Print Write e-mail
BYU v Utah Live Webcast Now
MultiMedia - Game Footage



David Brinton photo
The Wasatch Cup is on the line in this Friday night matchup kicking off now.







 
Written by Alex Goff    Friday, 04 April 2014 17:28    PDF Print Write e-mail
Must-Win Time in PRP? This Week's Matchups
Clubs - Top Club Leagues


Round 10 of the Pacific Rugby Premiership kicks off and while it might be a shade early to start talking about playoffs.

Schilling (#1) and Sweet (#2) in action for Belmont Shore. Leslie Wood photo.
Last week's highlights




Oddly, only one of this week's matchups has happened before - Santa Monica against Olympic Club in Week 6.


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With the championship game now a mere six weeks away, it is time to look at where the teams are in their chase for the top two spots.

Sitting pretty, of course, at the Glendale Raptors. The Colorado team has lost just one game and have more than two games' worth of points between them and their closest competitors, SFGG.

Golden Gate had played one less game, however. And they play the #3 team, Belmont Shore, this weekend in San Francisco. This is essentially a battle for a playoff spot right here.

Belmont Shore seemed to have found its defensive voice in the last few weeks, although they were undercut by three cards against Glendale, and what appeared to be fatigue in their 30-24 defeat of Olympic Club this past weekend.

"Our defense was better in the two games preceding that one," said Shore captain and lock Ian Carpenter. "I don't know if the guys got tired or what. For us that Glendale game was a game we felt we absolutely had to win, and we did everything in our power to put that game away. But we lost, and the residual effects of that hurt us. That's not to say O-Club didn't play well, but I don't think we were giving our best."

The game in Glendale was interesting in that Belmont Shore led 25-10 before the cards started getting handed out. Had they won that game, Shore would be 5-2 and in second, probably just a few points behind Glendale.

That's all changed.

"Every game here on out is a must-win," said Carpenter. "We talk about it in practice every week, every player. We feel our backs are against the wall."

Carpenter is an ideal captain to have with you in that scenario, and he and lock Sam Lilley have not backed down one inch. But also pulling the team along is a tough front row that includes Jake Grubbs, Mike Sweet, and Brice Schilling.

"Schilling's always been a competitor and always been a good player," said Carpenter. "He doesn't get the recognition - at least not until he was named a mid-season all-star. We've been giving him a hard time about that and I think it's motivated him to play better. He is a technician in the scrums and has a good rugby IQ. Mike Sweet's new to the program from Wyoming. One of our old boys is in Wyoming and saw him and told him if you want to really get better get out to California and player with Belmont Shore. He's improving every week and he's of those surprise players you didn't know you were going to get."

Of course, SFGG has a pretty good front row, too, and Paula Fukafuka against Jake Grubbs might be a seismic impact for both sides. Neil Barrett and Mosese Atiola round out that unit. SFGG has a shift in their lock pairing, with Tom Rooke coming in for the absent Michael Stack. USA 7s player Danny Barrett is on the bench as a guest player, and he might join his brother Neil at some point, and if Grant Hyjer comes on, the SFGG pack could have five Cal grads playing together.

David Tameilau comes in at No. 8 for Rooke. But the key for SFGG is continuity in their backline. Mose Timote, Volney Rouse, Mile Pulu, Soni Pone, Peter Moala, Andre Coquillard, and Tai Enosa have been the unit with few interruptions for the past few weeks.

Also on the docket, Santa Monica and Olympic Club face off in a game that might confirm who will finish last in the PRP. That's a tough place to be because all of the teams have been extremely competitive.

Meanwhile, waiting for someone to slip up are Denver and OMBAC. Old Mission Beach exploded for 55 points in the second half of their game against Santa Monica last week. They did that by being patient and using their forwards to set a platform. It also helped that their backs stopped turning the ball over.

OMBAC has been bringing in guest players from the USA 7s residency program. Some, like Chris Turori-Bergquist, are regulars, while others (last week it was Thretton Palamo) have been less frequent. Palamo was certainly an exciting addition, but he won't be in the lineup this week. Instead, former West Point All American Will Holder gets time at inside center and former West Point All American Andrew Locke starts at scrumhalf - both are flyhalves, normally.

Another Army man, Ben Leaatigaga, is on the wing. All of that sounds exciting, but if OMBAC can't fit those pieces together, they might again have issues. Zach Pangelinan leads the league in points.

Denver, meanwhile, are without Ben Pinkelman, who is in Hong Kong with the USA U20s. But Brendan Shea, Tom Pasque, and Logan Collin are as opportunistic a group of back rowers as you'll find in the league. With Tyson Meek playing well at scrumhalf and Max De Achaval 3rd in the league in scoring, they have plenty of tools to punish OMBAC if they make mistakes.

OMBAC is at 4-2, but low down due to a lack of bonus points, and Denver is 4-4, and needs a victory to worry those above them.

Santa Monica (1-7) at Olympic Club (1-7)
OMBAC (4-2) at Denver (4-40
Belmont Shore (4-3) SFGG (5-2)


Notes: Pangelinan leads the league with 115 points in only six games. Second-place Mike Graham's Glendale Raptors have the week off - they are playing Park City Haggis just for fun. A good day for Max de Achaval may see him move into second.

Leading the league in tries is Glendale's Chad London as Dave Martini's scoring has tapered off somewhat. Martini, who has eight tries to London's nine, starts at left wing for the Dolphins this weekend.

 
Written by Jackie Finlan    Friday, 04 April 2014 16:30    PDF Print Write e-mail
Women DII Club Playoffs - Update
Clubs - Women's Clubs


The Mid-Atlantic region kicks off its women’s DII club playoffs this weekend, but won’t name its representative to the National Conference Championship until April 26, which is a weekend early than most regions (except Southern California). Below is a summary of all of the competitive regions’ playoffs and who’s in the best spot to compete in them:

Severn River is the favorite in the Mid-Atlantic playoffs, which begin tomorrow (Diane Hickok photo)

National Conference
NCR1 – Midwest
April 26: Quarterfinals
1 - East A #1 v East B#2
2 - East B #1 v East A#2
3 - West A #1 v West B#2
4 - West B #1 v West A #2

May 3: Semifinals
Winners 1 v 3
Winners 2 v 4
May 4: Final

East A – No one’s come close to beating reigning DII champ Pittsburgh, so expect the Angels to take the top seed. Although Cleveland (4-3, 21 points) and Buffalo (4-2, 19 points) are neck and neck for second, the Iron Maidens will likely move onto post-season. Cleveland has Rochester, which the Ohio side beat 70-15 in the fall, remaining and should finish 5-3 with 26 points. Buffalo should split its remaining two games – loss to Angels, win against the Highlanders – but probably won’t bank any bonus points against the DII champs, meaning the New York side will fall short on standings points.

East B – Cincinnati (6-1) and Scioto Valley (5-2) have all but locked up the top spots. Cincy will take the top spot so long as it wins this Saturday’s game against last-place Louisville, and Scioto Valley will take #2 with a win against Akron (1-4-1) the following weekend.

West A – It’s been a two-team race in this group, with County Will and Chicago Sirens splitting games with each other for their 5-1 records. Both have games this weekend and next, and then the Midwest reps will be named to the quarterfinals.

West B – This league is arguably the most competitive and strongest in the Midwest. Wisconsin leads the pack at 6-0, and a win against Palmer on Saturday will guarantee the top seed. Wisconsin gets good competition from Twin Cities (5-2, 25 points) and Milwaukee Scylla (4-3, 21 points), which has impressed in the spring pre-season. The hunt for second place is a tight one, and it’ll come down to bonus points and possibly point differential as a decision-maker.

NCR2 – Southeast
May 3: Quarterfinals @ Columbia, S.C.
1 – Florida (Fort Miami) vs. Carolina 2
2 – Florida 2 vs. Carolina 1
3 – True South 1 vs. Wild Card (True South 3)
4 – True South 2 vs. Atlanta (ARC Angels)

May 4: Semifinals & Final
5- Winner 1 vs. Winner 2
6- Winner 3 vs. Winner 4
Final: Winners 5 vs. 6

The Southeast has a grueling championship ahead. On Saturday, May 3, teams will play quarterfinals at 10 a.m. or 11 a.m. (25-minute halves) and then semifinals at 1 p.m. (also 25-minute halves). The championship will be an 80-minute game and played Sunday, May 4.

Fort Miami and ARC Angels are the only teams that have guaranteed their spots in the regional championship. The Florida champ competes in a three-team league, and ARC is the only team in Georgia. The True South has four teams and has three spots at regionals, as the conference is first in the Wild Card rotation. Nashville is looking the strongest but Lagniappe (combination of New Orleans and Baton Rouge) could make a late surge.

Carolina is the largest conference with seven teams and will send two to the quarterfinals. Augusta is the only defeated team in the Southeast, and Eno River is looking good at 3-1 as well.

The regular season extends until April 26.

NCR3 – Northeast
May 3 – Semifinals @ Burlington, Vt.
Beantown (#1) vs. #4 (Brooklyn or Charles River)
Burlington (#2) vs. #3 (Brooklyn or Charles River)

May 4 – Final

The Northeast finished its league season in the fall, except for one match, and that game will determine the third and fourth seeds to semifinals. Beantown is top dog and regional championship host Burlington is number two. Brooklyn and Charles River are third and fourth respectively, however, the two will play on April 26 to determine the final seeds. The loser plays Beantown in the semifinals and the winner plays Burlington.

NCR4 – Mid-Atlantic
April 5 – Semifinals (higher seed hosts)
Severn River (North 1) vs Raleigh (South 2)
Norfolk (South 1) vs Brandywine (North 2)
April 26 – Final @ Wilmington, DE

National Conference Championship
May 17 – Semifinals @ Pittsburgh
NCR 1 (Midwest) vs. NCR4 (Mid-Atlantic)
NCR2 (Southeast) vs. NCR3 (Northeast)

May 18 – final

American Conference
ACR1 (Pacific Northwest and Northern California)
May 3 – Championship
Pac NW #1 vs. NorCal #1

The Pacific Northwest will come down to Portland and Boise. The teams have traded losses, for their only losses of the split season, and both were decided by seven points or fewer. Portland represented the region at nationals last year.

The PNW will be decided on standings, as will Northern California. San Francisco Golden Gate is the unequivocal power in this region and will play either Portland or Boise on May 3 to decide who heads to Madison, Wisc., to represent the region.

ACR2 – Southern California
April 26 – Semifinals
Las Vegas (#1) vs. #4
#2 vs. #3

Las Vegas is the heavy favorite to repeat as SoCal champ, but the Slots will have to exit the semifinals unscathed on April 26. Fullerton gave Las Vegas its best game of the season and should come in as the second seed. In all likelihood, San Fernando and Ventura will round out the semifinalists.

ACR3 – Heart of America
May 3-4 Championship

Information out of this region is incomplete. The schedule is rife with cancellations, forfeits and reschedules that it’s difficult to know if scores are official, friendly or just unreported. All we can say for sure is that the playoffs begin on May 3. Kansas University and KC Jazz are the most promising teams out of this region.

ACR4 – Red River (Texas region) – n/a
There are no DII teams in this conference; they’re all competing in DI. We’re waiting on a response from USA Rugby regarding who gets this vacated seed, but it would make sense to give it to either the Pacific Northwest or Northern California team that didn’t win the ACR1 (simply based on the number of teams competing in each region).

American Conference Championship
May 17 – Semifinals @ Dallas
ACR1 (Pac NW/NorCal) vs. ACR4 (n/a)
ACR2 (SoCal) vs. ACR3 (Heart of America)

May 18 – final

USA Rugby National Championship
May 31 – Final @ Madison, Wisc.
American Conference Champ vs. National Conference Champ

 
Written by Alex Goff    Friday, 04 April 2014 14:50    PDF Print Write e-mail
Shaw Faces Brother Martin for New Orleans HS Title
School Age - Boys


The New Orleans High School title will be up for grabs Saturday as undefeated Archbishop Shaw takes on 6-1-1 Brother Martin in the league's championship game.

Shaw defeated New Orleans Jesuit on Wednesday 21-7 to make the final, while Brother Martin beat Mississippi 42-10 in one of their most impressive showings of the season in their semi on Wednesday.

Martin has had to work for their #2 spot in the league, having tied Jesuit, and beating Audubon by the slim margin of 7-5. The only game they lost, however, was to Shaw, 18-0 on March 13.

Led by co-captains Vincent Duhe (prop), and Connor Glennon (flyhalf), Brother Martin has continued to improve. Glennon scored four tries against Mississippi in the semi. Meanwyile, Matthew Reineke has been very solid as a flanker or lock, while the success of the backs owes much to the play of center Nick Williams and fullback Bruce Cuccia.

Meanwhile Shaw has played well thanks in part to an outstanding scrumhalf-flyhalf hinge in Brennan Falcon and Cameron Troxler. The two have played side-by-side for several years and are the leaders on the field.

Shaw's coaches push the importance of an organized, aggressive defense, and in seven games average about six points - half of those from Jesuit on March 29 in a league game that had no bearing on Shaw's 1st-place position.

"Our players have bought into this mentality on defense and we are extremely proud of their physicality," said assistant coach Jarrett Falcon. "We have also improved our rucking and fitness, allowing us to better maintain possession and run our pattern of play more effectively."

This game will drop the curtain on a big day of rugby in New Orleans, as before then the key Men's DI clash between New Orleans and Dallas will be played.

Both Brother Martin and Shaw have already qualified to represent La in the South High School Championships in Charlotte NC on May 3-4.


 


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