Midwest Recap: Contenders Begin To Emerge
Men’s Division I: Midwest Premiership:
It was a weekend of blowouts in the Midwest Men’s Premiership. The Detroit Tradesmen continued their resurgent venture back into Division I with a, 45-29, win over the Chicago Griffins. The Chicago Lions continued their perfect start to the season with a, 75-21, demolition of Columbus Rugby. Metropolis produced the biggest win of the weekend shuttingout, new comers, St. Louis Bombers 59-0. Palmer College Dragons, after enjoying a bye in the opening round, beat the Milwaukee Barbarians 48-14.
Women’s Division I:
The Minnesota Valkyries solidified themselves as the team to beat this year, in the top division of women’s play in the Midwest. They took out Wisconsin rugby, 38-18. The Valkyries have been led by Abigail Smith, who has averaged two tries a game this year. In the other fixture, it was Detroit Rugby victorious over Chicago Rugby, 27-12.
Men’s Division II:
The second division of men’s play in the Midwest was a lot tighter, two of the four matches were settled by 3 points or less. For the Chicago Blaze it was an eightieth minute penalty kick by Vidal Martinez that saw them squeeze by the Eastside Banshees 27-24. Similarly, for the Chicago Lions D2 side, it was a 79th minute conversion from Cameron Spencer after a David Lepp try that won them the game against Lincoln Park Rugby, 31-29. The Indianapolis Impalas won big over Green Bay Celtics, 68-22.
Buffalo looks like the team to beat in the Great lakes after continuing their undefeated streak with a, 60-28, win over the Rochester Aardvarks. The Pittsburgh Forge lost their first game of the season to the Cleveland Crusaders, 31-29, but remain 2nd in the standings. The Syracuse Chargers outlasted South Buffalo to get their first win of the season, 34-22.
Women’s Division II:
Pittsburgh Forge look like title contenders after their impressive, 48-12, win over the Cleveland Iron Maidens. North Buffalo Ninjas recovered nicely from their opening round loss and beat Akron Rugby, 36-0.
The only game to be played in the East Green division saw the Cincinnati Kelts score over 100 points against the Circle City Tempests. They were led by JaLisa Elkins who scored 5 tries on the day.
The Twin Cities Amazons D2 scored an impressive, 61-0, shut out win over Minneapolis Menagerie. The Chicago Lions rebounded after a tie last weekend to trounce County Will Morrigans, 78-5. Milwaukee Scylla continued to get their season back on track, recording their second win in as many weeks and exacting revenge over Palmer College Dragons, for their opening day loss, 31-17.
Men’s Division III:
The Illiana Misfits recorded their first victory of the year when they faced the Chicago Dragons, 87-14. The Northwest Woodsmen just slid by the Chicago Westside Condors, 27-26. A 78th minute try brought the Condors back within striking distance but it was too little too late. The Rockford Ravens saw off a surging Chicago Riot squad, 33-27, who held the lead twice but were unable to keep a grasp of victory. Second half tries from Christopher Maier and Jon Walker sealed the victory. The biggest threat to the Ravens looks to be the Fox Valley Maoris who beat Northwest Indiana Exiles and for the second week won by a margin of 40-plus points.
A 29-point victory over the Canton Maddogs ensured the Cleveland Crusaders D3 would remain undefeated on the year. The Pittsburgh Forge D3 side continue to prove they are a force to be reckoned with, taking down their cross town rivals the South Pittsburgh Hooligans with ease, 54-27. The Cleveland Rovers won an all-Ohio affair against Akron, 67-8. The Presque Isle Scallywags, sacked the Greensburg Maulers, 51-14.
It was a weekend of dominance in Iowa, with the smallest margin of victory being 42 points. This belonged to Des Moines Rugby, as they pulled away from Clinton Muddy river, 62-20. The Iowa City Ducks continued their fine start to the season, getting the best of the Omaha Goats, 61-12. The biggest margin of victory was 100 points and that belonged to Bremer County Bucks, as they were too strong for the Northeast Iowa Barbarians.
In what was arguably the most exciting game of the weekend, nationwide, the Eastside Banshees D3 side won a tightly fought contest against the Mankato Marauders, 52-50. The Banshees opened up a 31-5 lead half an hour into the game. A solid passage of play before the half time whistle saw the Marauders cut the lead to 38-19 heading into the break. A quiet opening 10 minutes in the second half was crossed out, when a yellow card to the Banshees saw the Marauders score two tries cutting the lead to five. With the man returning from the bin, the Banshees scored to give themselves a bit more breathing room. That was until three tries in twelve minutes gave the Marauders their first lead of the game. With only eight minutes remaining, however, David Miller of the Banshees crossed after time expired, to draw the game level and then thanks to the boot of Charles Shaw the Banshees survived the scare from the Marauders. In the other game the St. Cloud Bottom Feeders were able to stave off the St. Paul Jazz Pigs
Detroit Rugby travelled along I-96 to take on Michigan Rugby, the result was never in doubt as Detroit came away with the, 53-22, win. The Toledo Celtics were able to stave off a late comeback attempt from the Detroit Tradesmen D3 side, winning 35-29. Traverse Bay Blues had no issues with the Tri-City Barbarians beating them, 40-22. The Flint Rogues won their second game of the year moving by Capital Area Crisis, 45-7. Two tries in the final ten minutes helped Grand Rapids complete an impressive, come-from-behind, victory over Fort Wayne Rugby. The Kalamazoo Dogs fought through ill-discipline and injuries to earn a hard fought win over the Michiana Moose, 27-20.
It was a tense affair between the Columbus Castaways and the Columbus Rhinos. Two tries, one in the 70th and the other in the 77th helped the Castaways come back to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, . The Lexington Blackstones over powered the Cincinnati Kelts, 68-22. Dayton Flying Pigs demolished Queen City Rugby 84-7, Louisville Rugby was too good for their opponents, the Westside Outcasts, 62-0. Columbus Rugby D3 was able to outlast a determined White River Rugby side, 42-27.
Milwaukee Rugby spoiled Oconomowoc Rugby’s home opener giving them a 83-7 loss to start their season. Fon du Lac Wolfpac go their season off on the right foot beating Milwaukee Black and Blue, 46-5. Milwaukee Barbarians D3 were able to nearly double their opponents, the Fox City Gargoyles, score, 43-24. The Oshkosh Pigs showed tremendous resiliency to push by the Wisconsin sharks, 26-24.
Men’s Division IV:
The Lancaster Men of Stone toppled the Columbus Coyotes, 70-14.