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Written by Alex Goff    Friday, 04 April 2014 14:29    PDF Print Write e-mail
All on the Line for Dallas and New Orleans
Clubs - Men's DI Clubs


The Red River DI Club Conference title may well come down to this weekend's game between New Orleans and the Dallas Reds.

New Orleans is unbeaten at home, but haven't played their toughest opponents yet.While the two teams have not, technically, clinched a playoff spot, it is virtually assured that these are the two clubs who will vie for 1st once the dust has settled.

And the carrot for these clubs? The national quarterfinals. The losing team won't be out of it - that club will face the winner of the West (Utah Islanders, Provo, or Boulder) in a play-in match on May 3. But the winner of this weekend's Dallas v New Orleans game will almost certainly win the conference, and will move directly to the national quarterfinals.

"This is the biggest game, by far," said Trip McCormick, Head Coach of the home team, New Orleans. "The Reds are an excellent side."

Dallas president Jeff Kolberg agreed: Obviously this is a big game for both clubs with the winner probably getting

the first conference seed."

So, that's settled. New Orleans and Dallas played to a 12-12 tie November 23 in Dallas. Playing at home should help the Louisiana side. New Orleans has essentially the same points for and against for homes games and away games. However, the records are different, as they are 6-0 at home and 6-1-1 on the road. That's because, the team they tied, and the team they lost to (HARC) have not visited the Big Easy yet.

If NOLA wins these last two games, they will have from 70 to 72 standings points - just about enough to hold off the Reds, who have four more games to play.

"We need to be patient and trust our systems to do what they do," cautioned McCormick. "We have improved most of all in the contact area. Our rucks are cleaner, and we are making more pre-gainline tackles. Our captain, Jarrett Falcon, has taken the

team on his back for the past several games and led by example playing with the kind of physicality that we will need to beat a team like the Reds."

Meanwhile, Dallas doesn't want to think that a loss would be acceptable, but they can live with it, especially if they deny New Orleans four tries, and get a bonus point or two on their end.

"We have seen them play since we played them in the fall and they are much better," said Kolberg. "They are very organized, run hard, tackle and kick very well. Our goal will be to hold on to the ball, eliminate stupid penalties and hope we are in a position to win the game in the last 20 minutes."

A large home-town crowds is expected, and Kolberg said that means his team will have to communicate better and concentrate even more than usual.

"The team that makes the fewest mistakes will win," said Kolberg. "Hopefully that will be Dallas."

 
Written by RUGBYMag Staff    Friday, 04 April 2014 01:12    PDF Print Write e-mail
All Deaf on Tour to Massachusetts
Clubs - Clubs - Lower Divisions


The All Deaf Rugby Football Club from Washington, D.C. are  heading to Massachusetts for their second ever tour where they will play the Framingham Exiles on Saturday, April 5 at 2:00 pm at the Irish Cultural Center.

Washington Deaf in action this past fall. Tim Bintrim photo.The All Deaf rugby club is North America's only senior Deaf rugby organization. The club was founded by Mark Burke in 2012. Burke had previously started rugby at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf in Washington DC in 2009. With many of those players now graduating and wanting to continue their rugby careers, the time was right to start a Deaf senior club.

In their first year-and-a-half the club has been competitive in friendly matches against D3 and D4 opponents, posting an 8-11 record not including tournaments. The club is applying to join division 4 in the Capital Rugby Union this fall. The Massachusetts trip is the second time the club has toured, following a successful weekend in Pennsylvania last November in conjunction with the USA-Maori match. As with that tour, the goal of this trip is to promote Deaf rugby around the country. Though the club is proud to be the first Deaf rugby squad, the goal is to help start Deaf teams in other cities. USA Rugby has established a Deaf Rugby Advisory Panel to help work on growing the game in the Deaf community. USAR has expressed some interest in a Deaf national team, which other rugby playing nations have, but before that can happen we need more Deaf players. Win or lose, the outcome the All Deaf would like to see from this trip is an interest in the game among Deaf people in New England.

The club is very excited to be working with Richard Knopf, who is America's first active Deaf rugby referee. Richard has been involved with rugby from the collegiate to the club level since 1997.  He played a total of 10 seasons with Boston University, Worcester RFC, and the Framingham Exiles.  Richard has recently made the transition to refereeing.  He has been a certified USA Rugby referee since August 2013 and that September he was the first Deaf referee to officiate a U.S. rugby match. Richard currently lives in Massachusetts and referees in the New England area. As a member of the Deaf Rugby Advisory Panel, Richard is an ambassador for the game in the region. Along with the DRAP, Richard has helped develop the Game Management Guidelines for matches involving Deaf players, and will now have a chance to implement them in a match.

The All Deaf and the Framingham Exiles encourage rugby fans in the area to come out to watch this historic step in the progression of Deaf rugby. The clubs would like to extend a specific invitation to the Deaf community of New England. The All Deaf are pioneering a new athletic frontier for Deaf people, one that could hopefully lead to a new international competitive venue for Deaf athletes. Hopefully this will spark an interest that could lead to a Deaf team in New England at either the senior or U19 level if not both.


 
Written by RUGBYMag Staff    Thursday, 03 April 2014 22:17    PDF Print Write e-mail
2014 RUGBYMag.com Boys HS Single-School Rankings Presented by Selective Service April 3 2014
Rankings - Boys High School


Very little movement in this week's RUGBYMag.com's Boys Single-School rankings as all of the top teams won.

St. Edwards jumps into 15th after a series of solid results, while Unionville drops out for the opposite reason.

De La Salle was not punished for a 28-8 loss to Jesuit ... that was about what we'd expect, perhaps a little better. And St. Thomas Aquinas lost to the #4 Multi-School team KC Junior Blues, which says, we think, more about how good the Junior Blues are.

Note to all teams and leagues, it's hard to rank you if you don't even record your own scores.


Waiting in the wings? Burrell from Pennsylvania, Olympus from Utah, and one or two teams from Minnesota.


Selective




Boys HS Single-School Rankings April 3 2014
Rank Prev Team Notes
1 1 Sacramento Jesuit (Calif.) Bt. De La Salle (7)
2 2 Herriman (Utah) Bt. Bingham
3 3 Gonzaga (DC) Bt. Perry Street (23)
4 4 Xavier (NY) Bt McQuaid Jesuit
5 5 Penn (Ind.) Bt. Grandville
6 6 Cathedral (Calif.)
7 7 De La Salle (Calif.) Lost to Jesuit (1)
8 8 Charlotte Catholic (NC)
9 9 St. Thomas Aquinas (Kan.) Lost to KC Jr. Blues (MS4)
10 10 St. Augustine (Calif.)
11 11 Greenwich (Conn.) Bt. Fordham Prep
12 12 View Park Prep (Calif.) Rosslyn Park 7s
13 13 Snow Canyon (Utah) Bt Cedar
14 14 St. Ignatius (Ohio) Bt. Moeller (reports show win, but Rugby Ohio reports loss)
15 Unr St. Edwards (Ohio) Bt. Westerville
16 16 Westlake (Texas) Idle
17 17 Ravenwood (Tenn.) Played Fr. Ryan
18 18 Union HS (Ore.) Idle
19 19 St. Joseph’s Prep (Pa.) Bt. Gregory the Great
20 20 Brownsburg (Ind.) Idle
21 21 Wando (SC) 7-0 in SC
22 22 Shaw (La.) Bt. NO Jesuit
23 23 Perry Street Pride Lost to Gonzaga (3)
24 24 South Doyle (Tenn.) Bt. Bearden, West
25 25 Greenville (SC) 5-1-1 in SC



 
Written by Alex Goff    Thursday, 03 April 2014 22:28    PDF Print Write e-mail
2014 RUGBYMag.com Boys HS Club Rankings Presented by Selective Service April 3 2014
Rankings - Boys U19


Sad and pathetic it is that we can't pare these teams down to 25.

SelectiveBut it's true. We rank 30 teams this week because too many are making a move upward.

We were wrong about the Las Vegas Aces, but Las Vegas Academy is pretty good. Nakahi from Idaho deserves a serious look, and so does Aurora, such closer losers to Colorado Springs.

Seattle finally moves in as we had on record a loss they didn't suffer. They have beaten Liberty and tied Chuckanut - the Liberty win was by one point, so we're keeping Seattle at #13, but still it's a crowded league in Washington.

Moving up a notch are the KC Junior Blues. This is shaping up to be a very strong team. St. Thomas Aquinas is not a doormat by any stretch of the imagination and KC shut them out.


RUGBYMag Boys HS Club Rankings April 3 2014
Rank Prev Team Notes
1 1 Cathedral (Ind.) Bt. Brother Rice
2 2 United (Utah) Bt Skyline
3 4 Kansas City Jr. Blues (Mo.) Bt. St. Thomas Aquinas (SS9)
4 3 San Diego Mustangs (Calif.) Bt. Oceanside
5 6 Colorado Springs (Colo.) Bt. Regis Jesuit
6 5 Red Mountain (Ariz.) Bt. Scottsdale
7 7 Charlotte Tigers (NC) Bt. Union County (8) 31-29
8 8 Union County (NC) Lost 31-29 to Charlotte (7)
9 10 Sierra Foothills (Calif.) Bt. Sacramento Eagles
10 11 Liberty (Wash.)
11 12 Brother Rice (Ill.) Lost to Cathedral (1)
12 14 Santa Monica (Calif.) Bt. Santa clarita
13 13 Chuckanut (Wash.) Tied Seattle
13 Unr Seattle (Wash.) Tied Chuckanut (13)
15 15 Clark County (Ore.) Idle
16 16 Orlando (Fla.) Idle
17 16 Plano (Texas) Idle
18 17 Danville Oaks (Calif.) Bt. North Bay
19 18 Naples (Fla.) Idle
20 19 Daytona (Fla.) Idle
21 21 West Linn (Ore.) Idle
22 22 Union County (NJ)
23 20 West End (Va.) Bt. Prince William
24 25 Las Vegas Academy (Nev.) Bt. Hurricane
25 24 Back Bay (Calif.) Bt. Fullerton
26 25 West Shore United (Pa.) Game suspended, WS winning
27 Unr Aurora (Colo.) Bt. Chaparral
28 23 Westerville (Ohio) Lost to St. Edward
29 Unr Granite Bay (Calif.) Bt. Islanders
30 Unr Nakahi (Idaho)






 
Written by Jackie Finlan    Thursday, 03 April 2014 16:34    PDF Print Write e-mail
Age Reqs Eliminate Fullerton From NIT
School Age - Girls


The girls high school DII champion, Fullerton (Calif.), will be unable to defend its title at the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) this May, as the modified eligibility rules concerning players under the age of 15 have decimated the team’s roster. Up until last year, junior high schoolers could participated at the U19 level after each player, coach and parent signed a consent form. Now that consent form only applies to 14-year-olds (essentially freshmen in high school), and junior high schoolers are out.

Fullerton fielded six 8th graders against NIT finalist Kent at the Fullerton Tournament. (Paul Rudman photo)

“This is very disappointing for our team, which had already started fundraising to reach their goal of $18,000 needed for the trip [to Massachusetts],” said Fullerton coach Ravi Perera, who ignited girls youth rugby in SoCal 14 years ago. “We had a blast last year with a well organized tournament and were definitely looking forward to attending this year, especially after being crowned Division II champions. We had planned everything, except the purchase of our airline tickets.”

But Southern California Youth Rugby does permit junior high schoolers to compete at the U18 level, and Fullerton currently has six 8th graders who have been playing this season. Five of those players have more than two years of experience – making them more knowledgeable than the average freshman or sophomore – and one even participated in last year’s national championship in Wisconsin.

“When I contacted USA Rugby, I was told that it was dangerous for 8th graders to play against U18 players,” Perera said. “Fullerton has always had young players on the team. Just two weeks ago at the Fullerton Tournament, all six of these players were on the field at one time playing against [DI NIT finalist] Kent in the Bowl final, and four of them played against [DI NIT champion] Fallbrook. Approximately eight years ago, 12-year-old McKenzie Lane scored three tries against the [Sacramento] Amazons at Stanford. Also at 12 years old, Izzy Manu represented the U19 SoCal Griffins in Florida. These are two examples of more than 15 [underage] all stars who have represented Southern California, and dozens who have played at the U19, U18 or high school level. Additionally, there is no known case in SoCal where an 8th grader has been injured due to playing with a high school player.”

Fullerton isn't the only team that has routinely put junior high schoolers on the field. Then-8th-grader Lily Durbin highlighted Fallbrook's run to its third consecutive NIT title last year. And no one could claim that the Sacramento Amazons, who always dip beneath the high school level for players, for being physically at risk. That's why the old U15 waiver made sense – these underage cases should be reviewed on an individual basis. But these eligibility rules might speak to something other than safety, for example, high school coaches who can't expand their player pools to the junior high schools, like club coaches.

One wonders why Southern California didn't adapt to the new eligibility rules, but the answer might be as simple as lack of communication.

“Since USA Rugby changes their eligibility rules every year, let's see what else will change,” Perera concluded.

Perera is worried that this line in the sand will undercut some of the developing teams that are springing up in SoCal. He indicated that junior high schoolers are integral to building a program in the early stages. The longtime coach was understandingly embittered, both for the lost opportunity to return to nationals, and for the decrees from a national office that abandoned the high school championships in 2013.

The silver lining is that Fullerton will take its fundraising money and travel to Canada for one-third of the price that a trip to nationals would cost – and everyone will be able to play. But one imagines the Lady Lions would much rather triple its fundraising efforts and defend its NIT title instead.

For more information on the National Invitational Tournament, visit www.rugbychampionships.org.

 


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