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Written by Alex Goff    Sunday, 02 October 2011 15:20    PDF Print Write e-mail
Midwest Playoff Picture Clearing
Clubs - Men's DI Clubs

With four weekends left in the Midwest DI club season, the hierarchy is becoming clear.

Cincinnati won their latest match, against the Detroit Tradesmen, dropping Detroit to 3-2 and giving the Wolfhounds a three-point cushion over fellow 4-1 club Buffalo. Cincy looks good for at least two wins in their final three, and so does Buffalo. Both will have to travel to the Detroit Tradesmen this month, and those matches will prove critical.

The top three from each conference make the playoffs in the Midwest, but only the first-place teams can play for the #1 seed in the territory. Columbus is not out of playoff contention yet, but will have to pick it up to get there.

In the Midwest-West, Palmer is on command at 5-0, and face Metropolis, Chicago Lions and the Milwaukee Westside Harlequins in their closing weeks. Of those, the visit to a resurgent Lions outfit in Chicago will be the toughest, but next should week’s clash with Metropolis fall for Palmer, the Iowa club will have essentially sewn up 1st.

Second and third look set to be Metropolis and Chicago, or Chicago and Metropolis. The Minneapolis club is two points ahead of the Lions and has a game in hand. Those teams play October 22 in a game that will have all sorts of consequences.

So right now, the standings look like this:


Midwest DI Men Club East

W

L

T

Pf

Pa

Pd

BT

BL

Pts

Cincinnati Wolfhounds

4

1

0

179

88

91

4

1

21

Buffalo

4

1

0

139

125

14

2

0

18

Detroit Tradesmen

3

2

0

167

131

36

3

0

15

Columbus

1

4

0

127

213

-86

2

1

7

Indianapolis Impalas

0

5

0

98

153

-55

1

1

2

 

Midwest DI Men Club West

W

L

T

PF

PA

Diff

BT

BL

Pts

Palmer

5

0

0

271

69

202

5

0

25

Metropolis

3

1

0

140

111

29

4

1

17

Chicago Lions

3

2

0

141

115

26

2

1

15

Chicago Blaze

1

4

0

101

226

-125

1

1

6

Milwaukee WS Harlequins

0

5

0

90

263

-173

2

2

4

 

If nothing changes, Palmer and Cincinnati will play November 5 for the #1 seed in the Midwest.

The loser of that match will then face off with the winner of Metropolis v. Buffalo for the #2 seed, with the loser of that game the #3 seed.

The loser of Metropolis v. Buffalo will face off with the winner of the Lions v. Detroit for the #4 seed, with the loser not advancing any further.

 

 
Written by Jackie Finlan    Sunday, 02 October 2011 13:39    PDF Print Write e-mail
Glendale Clinch CR2
Clubs - Women's Clubs

Glendale has officially clinched the top CR2 seed to nationals after defeating Black Ice 99-0 in yesterday’s women’s DI club match. Over the last two Saturdays, the Denver team has surrendered 186 points.

Glendale ran in 15 tries against Black Ice. (Eiden Herring photo)

Glendale is currently 5-0 with 25 points, and has scored 296 points while only allowing 32.

Four impact players - Jill Potter, Kitt Wagner, Sara Edwards and Bethany Zick Wilson – did not play, due to some much needed rest after a physical Detroit match last weekend.

“We pulled up some of our DII players for the match,” Glendale coach Lisa Rosen said. “Managing two teams in league play is very challenging, and developing the necessary depth for nationals involves a lot of careful roster management, as the new eligibility guidelines are extensive.”

The Raptors ran in 15 tries and converted all but three during 80 minutes of play. Bethany Humphrey and Hannah Stolba each recorded hat tricks; Tyra McGrady and Andrea Prusinski ran in a brace of tries; and Jen Montoya, Carol Fabrizio, Gabe Fidelman, Heidi Bauer and Tonya Ansel each dotted down once.

Stolba was Rosen’s pick for MVP, as the flyhalf added 11 conversions for a team-leading 37 points. Samantha Miller also added a conversion.

Next weekend, Glendale will host Chicago, which is one of three teams at 2-2, in the team’s final league game. While Chicago is expected to give Glendale a good game, it seems that the Raptors are running at full tilt. The talented roster was buoyed by new additions like Stolba, Wagner, Potter and McGrady this season, but as the team chemistry continues the gel, the points-for has been rising proportionately.

As the top seed out of CR2, Glendale will take the #3 seed over at the Elite 8 and play CR1’s #3 seed in the first round. The CR1 won’t know until the season’s end which team will snag the final seed. ORSU and Seattle are expected to take #1 and #2 respectively, so Glendale will likely face the Mudhens or Belmont Shore at nationals.

Women DI CR 2 Standings

W L T Pf Pa Pd BT BL Pts
Glendale 5 0 0 296 32 264 5 0 25
Austin 3 1 0 172 47 125 3 0 15
Detroit 2 2 0 74 76 -2 1 1 10
Chicago North Shore 2 2 0 112 57 55 1 0 9
Chicago 2 2 0 57 42 15 1 0 9
St. Louis* 1 3 0 34 198 -164 1 0 5
Black Ice 0 5 0 5 293 -288 0 0 0

*St. Louis forfeited a match earlier in the season and is therefore ineligible to advance to the playoffs.

 
Written by Bernie Decker    Sunday, 02 October 2011 14:00    PDF Print Write e-mail
Glendale Men Take Down KC
Clubs - Men's DI Clubs

Glendale Raptors were first to breakdown in numbers and able to secure turnover ball in a bruising Division I contest Saturday at Infinity Park Rugby Stadium in front of over 750 spectators on a warm autumn evening.

The Raptors had the bonus point try by minute 31 en route to an eight-try performance, besting a determined Blues squad who were formidable in the loose and caused problems initially for the hosts.

The home side’s halfback combination was near flawless as scrumhalf Matt Guest harried well at the breakdown, providing crisp clean ball to flyhalf Ata Malifa who showed dodging, jinking surges into space and canny distribution to his three quarter line. Blues powerful forward pack were able to obtain a good bit of possession inside Glendale’s 22 at the early stages, but the Raptor defense was stifling within ten meters from their line, allowing only one crossing.

Raptors pointed at minute 14 when Malifa dummied open a lane and dashed into goal for his own conversion, 7-nil Glendale. After an Austin Clarke penalty kick for touch had pinned Glendale deep, tighthead Adam Orr gathered lineout ball and spun off the piece, diving across in corner to draw the Blues within two midway through the first half.

Glendale worked their way in picks and surges to the Blues 22 and down to the five before the travelers forced turnover, and Clarke was able to clear his lines. But Glendale came right back. Malifa’s cutout pass at the ten meter line to a streaking Max Statler enabled the wing to feed three-quarter partner Dustin Croy who zipped into goal for the Malifa-conversion, and it was 14-5 to the home side with 25 gone.

A Statler break and forty meter scamper three ticks on saw Raptors mauling inclose by the corner and 8th man Clinton Camp broke over goal and touched down for a 19-5 Glendale advantage.

Glendale’s distribution speed showed well and after the visitors were pinged for dropping their bind in the set piece, a Malifa boot for distance found them with a lineout seven meters out from goal. Raptors collected ball and #1 Leroy “Sunny” Fifita wheeled out of the ensuing loose action to bang across for the dot: 26-5 to the home team at 31 minutes.

Raptors blistering pace, a 2:1 penalty deficit, and the odd handling error served notice on the Blues for the first forty and the boys took a breather.

A repetitive reluctance to abandon the ball at tackle had referee Brian Zapp show yellow shortly after re-start, and Blues flanker Jim Eftink sat at 43.

Glendale capitalized immediately on their advantage as Fifita picked up his brace, rolling out of the loose inclose to cross and touch down a Malifa-converted goal, extending the lead to 33-5 forty-five minutes in.

Deceptive quickness by inside center Justin Pauga enabled him to burst into space at Blues 22 and power into goal in the 47th minute and the tally rose to 38-5.

Back at full strength, Kansas City mounted an attack with a series of phases between inside backs and mauling forwards that brought them to Glendale’s 22. Raptors were offside at the breakdown and fullback Jordan Neville drilled a penalty goal at minute 54 and the markers turned to 38-8.

Pauga closed scoring, picking up his deuce at minute 58 with a crashing run into goal for the Malifa conversion and a 45-8 final.

Impressively fast delivery of halfback Guest complemented by the crafty choices made by Malifa kept the Blues defense somewhat tentative all night and allowed lanes to appear that were then well-exploited by the home team.

“Kansas City’s very aggressive counter-rucking caused us to struggle to obtain quality second phase ball,” said Glendale Head Coach Mark Bullock. ”We were fortunate to clear the ball cleanly in attack due to that pressure. Prop Leroy Fifita had a strong match scoring two tries and anchoring our scrum.”

Of note for Glendale: the return of Ryan Chapman from time in Utah with the Warriors and the former Denver Rugby Highlanders backrow, Clinton Camp, who started at No. 8.

Next up for Kansas City Blues will be a fixture with University of Missouri 10/8/11, 7pm at Swope Park – Sporting KC Training Complex while Glendale are up at Pleasantview Fields for a 2pm kick v Boulder on the day.

Glendale 45
Tries: Malifa, Croy, Camp, Fifita (2), Pauga (2)
Convs: Malifa (5)

Kansas City 8
Tries: Orr
Pen: Neville

Officials: B. Zapp, M. Blois, E. Geib

 

 
Written by Alex Goff    Sunday, 02 October 2011 14:54    PDF Print Write e-mail
Cincinnati Defeats Tradesmen
Clubs - Men's DI Clubs

The Cincinnati Wolfhounds are in sole possession of first place in the Midwest-Eastern DI Mens’ Club Conference after defeating the visiting Detroit Tradesmen 41-14 Saturday.

Both teams entered the game at 3-1, as did Buffalo, which took on Columbus and won.

But flush with all sorts of bonus points this season, the Wolfhounds had the inside track on first place, and, paced by wing Ryan Grote’s three tries, handed Detroit a rough defeat.

“We’ve won some games, but this was the first time I felt we put in two good halves of rugby back-to-back,” said Cincinnati Head Coach Nick Lauterbach. “The biggest thing was we kept it up. We always expect a tough game from Detroit, and we were prepared for it.”

The rest of the Cincinnati’s scoring was distributed through in the backs and forwards, and Lauterbach said he is beginning to see a more even-handed attack.

Things look good for Cincinnati going forward. They have three games left in the schedule, and while two are on the road, one is close by.

“Playing on the road is tough for everyone,” said Lauterbach. “If you can win on the road that’s a big plus.”

The ‘Hounds host the Chicago Griffins in a non-league game next week, and then take a short trip to Columbus, before visiting the Tradesmen in a rematch. That Detroit game will be a tough one, but they end the season at home against currently winless Indianapolis.

A 2-1 finish could well be good enough to ensure 1st place in the Midwest-East.

 
Written by Jackie Finlan    Sunday, 02 October 2011 12:12    PDF Print Write e-mail
Seattle Still Second in CR1
Clubs - Women's Clubs

Sixteen Seattle Breakers made the trip to Arizona for yesterday’s match, but it was enough. The DI women’s club improved to 3-1 after a 44-0 victory over Tempe, and retains second place in CR1 behind ORSU.

“It was a really hard game and we were lucky that the heat didn’t get to us,” Seattle coach Marty Quick said. “The scoreline does not reflect how the game was. They were really physical around the breakdown, and there was some good poaching and rucking.”

Seattle was able to find successful through middle and sent center Megan Sanders crashing through the defense for some long, tackle-breaking runs. Tempe flyhalf Toni Fujiwara tried to keep the offense honest with her boot, but the back three did well to cover the field and support one another on the returns.

Seattle’s defense stepped it up and was led up front by lock Keisha Carlson, who was also point for the Breakers’ solid lineouts. The entire back row was on fire, continually pressured the halfbacks, and disrupted Tempe’s fluidity on offense.

While the victory was a replete win for the team, Quick acknowledged that the tackling broke down as the game wore on. Players were going in high as fatigue set in, and that’s as aspect of the game that Quick will be reiterating through training this week.

Seattle has two more league games against Belmont Shore and Nor Cal, and while the Breakers are favored in these matches, they’re certainly not looking past them.

“Belmont Shore has traditionally been an even matchup for us, but we’ll have an advantage playing at home,” Quick said. “It’ll be a pretty hard game. Nor Cal is like Jekyll and Hyde. When they show up, they’re a great team.”

CR1 has three seeds to the Round of 8, so if all goes as planned, Seattle should be booking tickets to Texas. The Breakers finished fourth in the nation last year, but the road to the final four will be more difficult this year.

“Last year we had an old team, but we’ve had some turnover, and now we’re a young team,” Quick said. “We’re feeling good, practices are going well, and we getting good numbers. As long as we have those numbers traveling to Austin, we should do alright.”

Quick is convinced that she has a final-four team, but acknowledges that the team doesn’t have the luxury of having everyone available.

Women DI CR1 Standings

W L T Pf Pa Pd BT BL Pts
ORSU 5 0 0 196 15 181 4 0 24
Seattle 3 1 0 187 36 151 3 0 15
Belmont 3 0 0 100 5 95 1 0 13
Mudhens 2 2 0 148 94 54 2 0 10
Nor Cal TT 1 2 0 33 58 -25 0 0 4
San Fran Fog 0 5 0 29 334 -305 1 1 2
Tempe 0 4 0 10 162 -152 0 0 0


 


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