Posts

Mid-Atlantic Recap: Drama Across All Divisions

Every division of the Mid-Atlantic took to the rugby pitch on Saturday as a tie, a domination, a last minute comeback, a championship rematch, and a 100-point blowout highlighted week three’s action. All four divisions of the men and three divisions of women competed in a total of 36 matches in the region.

The surprise in Men’s DI was the Potomac Exiles’ 19-19 tie against the Norfolk Blues on the road. After losing both matches last season to the Blues, Potomac jumped up to a 19-5 lead before Norfolk mounted its comeback bid.

“Potomac plays an aggressive game and attempts to get you to play that same style,” Norfolk’s Chris Porter said. “The second half we regained our composure and stuck to our plan. We were able to pull the game even with a chance to win it in the end. Jake [Humphrey]’s penalty kick just fell short at the whistle. The boys showed a ton of heart at the end and I am very proud of how they finished the match.”

In Women’s DI, Philadelphia ripped off its second straight victory with a dominant, hard-hitting 64-7 home win versus Boston. It was a total team effort as seven players found the tryzone.

“We came out striking from the first minute of the game on Saturday,” captain Becca Fagan stated. “We wanted to shut down any attacks early and fast so we focused on creating a strong defensive front, and then worked to keep the ball in hand as much as possible. Once we dotted down the first try, we knew we had to keep pushing.”

A thriller in Men’s DII saw the Richmond Lions come back from a 26-point deficit to beat Raleigh 39-38 on a Geronimo Guzman penalty in the 77th minute. Brandon Granger and Joseph Forkins scored hat tricks in the win, but Guzman got the glory with the game-winner.

“We started chipping away in the second half and the next thing you know, we were down eight with seven minutes left,” Richmond coach Ben Morgan said. “We started building pressure, worked our way down, and scored an unconverted try. We were then down by two, built pressure again, and they got a yellow card. We kicked the penalty and were able to run it out.”

In the rematch of last season’s Women’s DII Championship, Harrisburg repeated history with a 21-5 defeat of Doylestown. Although the squad is still working out the kinks, Harrisburg coach Scott Stratton was encouraged the play of his impact reserves.

“It was nice to sub in six forwards and not miss a beat,” Stratton said. “To be able to continue what we were doing with the bench in, it is important if we want to go far in the playoffs and compete on a bigger stage. It is big thing to focus on to make sure we are developing all of our players, not just the starting 15. That is our biggest accomplishment of the last two games.”

 
Lastly, in Women’s DIII, the South Jersey Devils reached the century mark against Lehigh Valley. Eighteen tries were dotted down in the 100-0 win with Jenelle Fuller leading the way with six.

 

Weekend Results:

HOME SCORE AWAY SCORE DIVISION
Pittsburgh Harlequins 36 Schuylkill River Exiles 15 Men – DI
Norfolk Blues 19 Potomac Exiles 19 Men – DI
Washington Irish 33 Northern Virginia Rugby 15 Men – DI
Phoenixville White Horse 13 North Penn Rugby 12 Men – DII-North
South Jersey Devils 29 Doylestown Dragons 47 Men – DII-North
Old Gaelic Rugby 60 Lehigh Valley Hooligans 20 Men – DII-North
Wilmington Rugby 30 Lancaster Roses 37 Men – DII-North
Virginia Rugby 40 Washington Rugby 15 Men – DII-South
Raleigh Vipers 38 Richmond Lions 39 Men – DII-South
Severn River Rugby 47 Frederick Rugby 10 Men – DIII-Central
Virginia Griffins 24 Rocky Gorge Rugby D3 50 Men – DIII-Central
West Potomac Beavers 26 Washington Renegades 19 Men – DIII-Central
Washington Irish D3 26 Northern Virginia Rugby D3 33 Men – DIII-Central
Hibernians Rugby 10 Media Rugby 27 Men – DIII-North
Harrisburg Rugby 15 Wilkes-Barre Scranton Breakers 55 Men – DIII-North
Happy Valley Barbarians 10 Reading Rugby 78 Men – DIII-North
Jersey Shore Sharks 57 Philadelphia Gryphons 7 Men – DIII-North
Schuylkill River Exiles D3 0 Northeast Philadelphia Irish 67 Men – DIII-North
Delmarva Rugby 10 Brandywine Rugby 38 Men – DIII-North
Norfolk Blues D3 0 Virginia Beach Falcons 40 Men – DIII-South
Rappahannock Rugby 42 Newport News Mariners 47 Men – DIII-South
Blackwater Rugby 17 Blacksburg Rugby 7 Men – DIII-South
Rocktown Rugby 17 Roanoke Rugby 46 Men – DIII-South
Patuxent River Rugby 5 Washington Renegades D4 20 Men – DIV
Prince William County Rugby 56 North Bay Rugby D4 22 Men – DIV
Phoenixville White Horse 75 Washington Scandals 0 Men – DIV
Western Suburbs Rugby D4 67 Baltimore Flamingos 10 Men – DIV
Philadelphia Rugby 64 Boston Rugby 7 Women – DI-East
Harrisburg Rugby 21 Doylestown Dragons 5 Women – DII-North
Phoenixville White Horse 62 Brandywine Riot 26 Women – DII-North
Severn River Rugby 50 Chesapeake Rugby 24 Women – DII-South
Norfolk Storm 67 D.C. Furies D2 5 Women – DII-South
Philadelphia Rugby D3 35 York & Lancaster Thorns 33 Women – DIII-North
Lehigh Valley Rugby 0 South Jersey Devils 100 Women – DIII-North
Patuxent River Rugby Forfeit Frederick Rugby Win Women – DIII-South
Rappahannock Rugby 19 Maryland Stingers 38 Women – DIII-South

 

Teams Continue to Dominate their Competition in the Midwest

Men’s Premiership:

It was business as usual in the Midwest Men’s Premiership. Teams had to work harder than they had in previous weeks to get the results, but in the end the favorites walked away the winners. The Detroit Tradesmen continued their perfect season, putting away a pesky Cincinnati Wolfhounds side, 29-22. The Chicago Griffins picked up their first win of the year taking down Columbus Rugby 36-19. They were led by Matthew Crabtree who dotted down twice on the day. Metropolis avoided losing to a dangerous Palmer College Dragons side. It took ten points in the final five minutes for Metropolis to escape, 22-19. The Kansas City Blues registered their first win of the season after taking down the Milwaukee Barbarians in a tense affair, 39-34.

 

Men’s Division II:

Metropolis made it two from two when their D2 side edged out the Chicago Blaze in another nail biter, 38-36. While the top side for the Chicago Lions were enjoying a respite, the D2 side was taking care of business, putting the Eastside Banshees down, 34-24. The Indianapolis Impalas dominated their fixture against Southside Irish, 94-19.

 

Women’s Division II:

East Gold:
South Buffalo landed their first win of the season after taking apart the Cleveland Iron Maidens, 37-10. The Pittsburgh Forge continued their transcendent start to the season taking apart the North Buffalo Ninjas, 67-20. Olivia Lindsey and Jamie Filipek were at the center of everything for the Forge, crossing twice each.

East Green:
The Cincinnati Kelts remain one of the most prolific teams in the country, this weekend they moved by Columbus rugby 65-12.

West Gold:
The Grand Rapids Gazelles won big over the Illiana Banshees, scoring 76 points in the process.

West Green:
Twin Cities Amazons D2 ran through unopposed against the Will County Morrigans, 127-0. Plamer College won comfortably as well, although not in the same emphatic style as the Amazons, they beat the Minneapolis Menagerie, 62-12.   

 

Men’s Division III:

Chicago Area:
Fox Valley Maoris put in another impressive performance over the weekend winning, 32-17, over the Chicago Riot. The Rockford Ravens won the battle of the birds over Chicago Westside’s Condors, 38-26. The Northwest Woodsmen and Lincoln Park Rugby D3 drew at 24 a piece. It was a final minute try by Karl Johnson and the ensuing conversion by Collin Olander for Lincoln Park that broke the Woodsmen’s hearts.

East:
The Cleveland Rovers took care of business against the Cleveland Crusaders D3, 64-24. Presque Isle Scallywags had no trouble moving by the South Pittsburgh Hooligans, 52-19. The Pittsburgh Forge D3 side continued their trend of winning big, downing the Greenburg Maulers, 91-12. Akron held on against Canton Maddogs late onslaught to squeeze out a 36-33 win.

Minnesota:
The Rochester Rogues weren’t able to keep pace with the St. Paul Jazz Pigs falling, 50-28. The Mankato Marauders were also able to score a big win, taking apart the Eastside Banshees D3 squad, 63-10.

North:
Detroit Rugby moved to 2-1 on the season after beat the Toledo Celtics 29-10. The Detroit Tradesmen D3 found themselves in the winner’s circle after shutting out Michigan Rugby 63-0. Grand Rapids left the Michiana Moose scrambling for answers after a dominant, 84-0, win. The Flint Rogues continued their hot start to the season moving to 3-0 after a 52-12 performance over the Traverse Bay Blues. Capital Area Crisis won out in a close and high scoring battle against the Tri-City Barbarians, 39-32. Fort Wayne continues to be a class above their opponents winning against the Kalamazoo Dogs, 74-5 this weekend.

South:
White River Rugby outlasted a Cincinnati Kelts team that ran out of steam towards the end of the match, 37-19. The Columbus Rhinos stampeded over the Westside Outcasts, 60-22. Louisville claim the Kentucky crown this year after beating the Lexington Blackstones 51-24. A late try to the Dayton Flying Pigs blew out their score line against the Columbus Castaways, 37-23. Queen City is still struggling to find their first win of the season after falling to Columbus Rugby D3, 50-32.

Wisconsin:
The men from Oconomowoc got their first win this weekend against a tough Wisconsin Sharks side, 26-22. Milwaukee Rugby shut out the Oshkosh Pigs, 60-0. Getting their second win in a row were the Milwaukee Barbarians D3 squad who saw off Fond du Lac Wolfpac 27-17. After an opening round loss, the Fox City Gargoyles rebounded nicely taking apart Milwaukee Black and Blue 63-0.

 

Men’s Division IV:

Buckeye:
The Columbus Castaways D4 edged out a tight affair against Dayton Flying Pigs D4 17-15, giving them their first win of the year.

 
Central:
In an edgy match Chicago Blaze’s D4 team beat Crashlander Rugby, 38-33. Joining them with a win of their own were the Indianapolis Impalas D4 side. They recorded a 53-12 victory over the Chicago Silverbacks.

Minnesota:
It was a clean sweep for Metropolis this weekend, as their D4 side won emphatically over the Faribault Bokspring 60-0.

North:
Fort Wayne D4 took care of business against the Eastside Anchors, 34-14.

Atlantic North Sees Tight Finishes as Teams Battle For Position in the Standings

With another weekend of league matchups set in the books, we are going to take a look at all the action that took place in the Atlantic North divisions.

Men’s Division I
After nearly knocking off New York City rival Old Blue last week, NYAC engaged in another grinding battle against Boston foe Mystic River. This one came down to the wire, in which NYAC barely squeaked by with an eight-point differential, winning, 40-32. This places NYAC at 1-2 for the season and leaves Mystic River trying to jump start their season now having fallen to 0-3. For the other division I matchup, Old Blue traveled out to Georgia to take on Life. This was another thriller as it went down to the final whistle, but eventually Old Blue came out on top against a tough Life team 33-27, moving Old Blue ahead to 3-0 on the season and solidifying their first-place spot.

Women’s Division I:
In the one match that took place this weekend for the Women’s Division I Atlantic North, Philadelphia took on Boston and this was a lopsided affair. Philadelphia struck within the first minute of the game, and did not take their foot off the pedal. The final score was 64-7 in favor of Philadelphia. This win gives Philadelphia their second win of the season and sits them on top of the standings for the division. Next week Charlotte takes on Albany.

Men’s Division II
Starting in the Empire Leagues, New Jersey’s Monmouth Rugby had a decisive win over Princeton Athletic 69-12. In a much tighter matchup the Bayonne Bombers, edged out a close one over Montclair 30-29. In the final match of New Jersey’s Empire League, the Union County Mudturtles managed to fend off Morris 38-27.

Moving over to the New York Empire league games, White Plains put a thrashing on the Village Lions 50-7. New Haven also handled their opponent, Lansdowne, easily 39-17. To finish off New York’s Empire league play, the Fairfield Yankees pulled out a hard-fought victory over New York Rugby 34-31.

Recapping the Great Lakes division, Buffalo trounced the Syracuse Chargers 64-7. In another rout, the Cleveland Crusaders handed a tough loss to their opponent, South Buffalo, 46-14. Wrapping up the Great Lakes matches, the Rochester Aardvarks and Pittsburgh Forge had a closely contested match, but the Aardvarks nestled out a 31-27 victory.

In the New England region. Newport took down the Irish Wolfhounds 34-17. Boston Rugby managed to secure a nice victory over Hartford 32-12. South Shore annihilated Portland 52-5. Worcester knocked off the Albany Knickerbockers 38-12. Finally, Mystic River defeated Amoskeag, 48-5.

Women’s Division II
There was one nail-bitter this week for the Women’s Empire division II matches. The Danbury Mad Hatters squeezed out a win with a late come from behind try against New Haven, 26-24. The rest of the games were lopsided blowouts. Union County took down Suffolk 50-0. The Village Lions breezed past their competition, Long Island, 65-5. Morris had a tough weekend when they came up against Monmouth Rugby. In a close affair Monmouth gave Morris a run for their money, but Morris narrowly escaped, 21-12. The Rochester Renegades demolished their weaker opponent, Ithaca, 70-5. And last but not least, Brooklyn Rugby put on an absolute show as they cruised to a 91-0 victory over Uticuse.

In similar fashion to the Empire league, New England also had a nail-bitter this weekend as Worcester took on Hartford. Worcester took the lead early in the second half, and then played strong defense for the remainder to secure a victory, 19-14. The rest of the schedule was pretty lopsided affairs. Portland beat North Shore 36-0, Amoskeag defeated Upper Valley 45-15, and Burlington nudged past Charles River 29-10.

Men’s Division III
Starting things off with a bang, Long Island Rugby smoked Suffolk Bull Moose 75-10. The Union County Mudturtles came away with another victory against Morris winning handedly 42-18.

In the New York City division, the Rockaway Fishheads were put away 52-12 by the Gotham Knights. However, In a much different affair, Brooklyn Rugby edged out a close 28-24 victory over New York Rugby.

In the New York/ Connecticut division, the Danbury Mad Hatters blew by White Plains 54-5. Greenwich and Fairfield kept it close all match, but in the end Greenwich ended up taking the victory 26-12.

In the Upstate division, the Rochester Colonials struck down the Binghamton Barbarians in decisive fashion, 58-8. The Southtowns Saxons seized their home opener against South Buffalo winning big, 64-34. The Rochester Aardvarks defeated their opponent the Genesee Creamers 44-24. Buffalo rugby had an easy victory this weekend against Ken-Ton Misfits 57-17.

In the New England Division, North Shore beat up on the Upper Valley Mountain Men, 57-0. Boston Maccabi sizably defeated their opponent Charles River, 34-15. Old Gold Rugby defeated Freedom Rugby 38-19. The Springfield Rifles took an early lead in the tenth minute and never looked back, cruising to a 33-17 victory over Mad River/Stowe. Providence dominated New London County by a score of 41-0. Burlington gained an early lead, but MIT gained its composure after the early give ups, sailing to a 31-14 victory.

Last Season's Leaders Finally Finding Footing in Pacific North

Pacific Northwest Men’s Division II
Last year’s D2 champions, Eastside Tsunami, defended their title on the road against cross-town rivals, Portland Pigs.  The pigs are showing a more unified and stronger team this year and eagerly welcomed the hard charging Tsunami.  With wave after waves of attack, Eastside scored 21 unanswered points before Portland took advantage of a yellow card, with a halftime score of 14-21.  Eastside and Portland exchanged tries in the second half before Portland pulled ahead 31-28 with 10 minutes left in the game.  Portland was weakened by a yellow card late and the Tsunami would wash away the lead 31-42 with 5 minutes left.  Portland dug in their heels and scored again, but the push was too little-too late as Eastside prevailed 38-42.   Boise United found themselves in a physical game in Tacoma as the both teams put up solid defense and structured offense.  The Nomads put up some late 1st half points as the game was sitting, slightly, in Boise’s favor 15-10 heading into the break.  With both teams vying for the victory, it was Boise who capitalized on Tacoma mistakes and ran to a 10-41 victory.   

Pacific Northwest Women’s Division II
Chuckanut Bay Geoducks made the long road trip to face Eugene Reign, shaking off any road lag by putting up 19 unanswered points quickly through the first half.  Eugene fought back with 2 tries to make it 10-19 at the half.  Eugene kept that momentum going through halftime, coming out and bringing the score to within 2 points, making it anyone’s game.  The waning moments of the game showed Chuckanut’s Randi Donahue capping off her hat trick and Aimee Fischer added to her 14 point individual day as Eugene couldn’t hold the reign in a 22-34 loss.  Boise United made their way to Tac-Town and had a hard time handling the physicality of the Sirens’ offense.  Tacoma had a comfortable 19-0 lead at the half, and put up 24 before Boise made it to the board.  The Sirens screamed to a 49-12 victory with two final minute team tries.

Pacific Northwest Men’s Division III/Division IV
Battleground Bulls hosted Seattle Quake with both teams needing to make an early season statement.  Battlegorund needing their first win, and Seattle needing to stay undefeated.  The lead was exchanged a couple times before becoming tied at 24-all through to the half.  The second half proved to belong to the Quake, as they shook their way to a 24-36 win, remaining undefeated.

Atlantic North Sees Offensive Explosions

Men’s Division I: American Rugby Premiership:
Another week and another close loss for New York Athletic, who fell to the Life Running Eagles, 31-26. Life was in the lead for entirety of the match, but a late flurry of tries to NYAC brought them within striking distance. However, it was too late, the Running Eagles were able to hold on. Old Blue of New York didn’t encounter any issues against Mystic River. It was one way traffic the whole game as Old Blue won, 52-14.  For Old Blue, U.S Eagles, Cam Dolan and Dylan Fawsitt both scored two tries on the day, as did their winger, Derek Lipscomb.

Eastern Women’s Division I:
In the first match of the newly formed Eastern Women’s Division I competition, the Albany Sirens took on Philadelphia Rugby. What started as a tightly contested game, with teams were tied at five 50 minutes into the game, quickly devolved into a one-sided affair. Philadelphia scored three tries in the final fifteen minutes to win, 31-5. Lucy Dawson led the way for Philadelphia with two tries.

Men’s Division II:
Empire-New Jersey:
Union County Mudturtles cemented their place atop of the New Jersey lader with another dominant display against Monmouth Rugby, 42-27. Led by Michael Erlich, the Mudturtles were able to overcome an early deficit and record their third consecutive victory. Morris Rugby enjoyed a strong showing against Montclair’s Norsemen. After dropping their first game of the season, Morris was able to rebound and secure the 45-24 victory. Princeton Athletic survived a close encounter against the Bayonne Bombers, 19-12.

 

Empire- New York City:
Old Blue of New York made it two from two, for the club, on the weekend when their D2 side beat the Village Lions in a close 38-31 victory. New Haven Old Black won their first game of the year against New York Rugby, 26-22. Fairfield moved to the top of the ladder, after recording their second consecutive bonus point victory. This time it was against White Plains Rugby, 45-0.

 

New England:
New England saw a string of blowouts this weekend, including: Newport over Amoskeag 71-14, Boston Irish Wolfhounds, 79-5, over Portland, Hartford Wanderers beating Albany Knickerbockers 70-5, and Mystic Barbarians holding off a testing Boston Rugby side, 43-29. The closest match of the weekend, was Worcester Rugby against the South Shore Anchors. The Anchors opened the game with a 16 point lead, which held true until the 51st minute. A Worcester try brought the game to within 11. It wasn’t until the 77th minute of the game when a Christopher Benoit try was converted by Greg Whelan that Worcester got their first and only lead of the game. Riding it out until the final whistle, 23-22.

 

Women’s Division II

Empire:
Brooklyn Rugby blanked Long Island Rugby on their way to a mammoth, 73-0, win. Margret Ewen managed to score a hat-trick within the first half an hour, she’d go on to score four in total. Morris Pride were able to make light work of Union County Rugby, knocking them off 60-5. The Rochester Renegades joined the others in the winners’ circle, beating Uticuse Hellbenders,49-25.

 

New England:
New England’s Women’s Division II competition saw a tie between Providence Rugby and Hartford Wild Roses, 10-10. It was a tense affair all the way through with Hartford knotting the game up with only two minutes left. Amoskeag, had a close match with  North Shore Rugby but they were able to pull away towards the end. Portland got one over on Charles River Rats, 41-25. The biggest win of the weekend went to the Worcester Shamrocks who put 87 points on the Upper Valley Valkyries without conceding a point.

Men’s Division III

New Jersey/ Long Island:

Last year’s National Division III Runner-Up, Long Island Rugby, look well on their way to another championship performance, after notching a massive 93-3 win over Morris Rugby D3. In the other fixture, it was the Suffolk Bull Moose that pulled away from North Jersey Rugby, to the tune of 52-14.

New York City:
Old Maroon continued their winning ways with an impressive showing against the Rockaway Fishheads. Old Maroon won by a comfortable score line of 44-15. They were joined by the Gotham Knights who played a defensive masterclass against New York Rugby D3, hanging on 25-7.

New York/Connecticut:
White Plains Rugby D3 took over top position in the New York/Connecticut pool after their emphatic 52-20 win over the Fairfield Yankees D3. They were helped in their cause by Saratoga’s loss to Greenwich, 34-20.

 

Upstate:
Buffalo D3 looks like the team to beat in the Upstate Division. Their spot atop of the standings was cemented after an emphatic, 86-0, win over the Rochester Aardvarks. In just three weeks, Buffalo has accrued a positive 199 plus minus. Third time was the charm for the Southtowns Saxons, who won their first game of the season against the Binghamton Barbarians, 36-29. The Genesee Creamers have now made it two from three after their latest statement victory over South Buffalo Rugby D3, 57-12.

New England:
After two weeks there appear to be some strong contenders for the Men’s New England Division III title. Providence Rugby, Boston Maccabi and Charles River Rats, are all undefeated and have taken maximum points away from their fixtures. Boston Maccabi and Providence made easy work of their opponents, Boston Maccabi beating New London County 62-17 and providence winning against Old Gold Rugby 66-19. For Charles River, it was a closer affair, 33-28, against Mad River/Stowe Rugby but the net result was the same, 5 competition points. Elsewhere, MIT Rugby won by two points against North Shore Rugby, 36-34, to get their first win of the season. Freedom Rugby held of Burlington Rugby in a low scoring affair, 21-12; and The Springfield rifles rebounded from their first round loss to claim a, 26-13, win over Upper Valley Mountain Men.

Mid-Atlantic Provided a Highly Competitive Round

With the hurricane blowing up the coast, eight of the 27 Mid-Atlantic club games were postponed due to weather issues. In the remaining matches, history was made as the Eastern DI Women’s competition played its first match, three divisions on the men’s side competed, and the women’s DII and DIII rumbled into their second weekend of play.

The newly formed Eastern DI kicked off its first women’s test with the Albany Sirens hosting Philadelphia. After the teams were deadlocked at 5-5 after 50 minutes, Philadelphia scored four tries in the final 25 minutes to win 31-5. 

“We played a tough game last season against Albany and we knew that they were looking for a different result this time around,” Philly captain Becca Fagan said. “We wanted to come out strong, play together as a team, and start out our season with a win.”

“The key to Philly’s success on Saturday was a solid defense, strong set pieces, and a dynamic game plan. Albany presented us with a number of challenges in the first half and, ultimately, we were able to adapt and change our gameplan, playing a strong and solid game from the first minute to the last.”

In women’s DII, Severn River dominated the D.C. Furies to record its second shutout in a row while the Chesapeake versus James River match was postponed. The DIII North began its season with Philadelphia and the South Devils each notching victories.

With the Norfolk at NOVA test postponed and Schuylkill River beating Baltimore-Chesapeake by two tries, Rocky Gorge took over first place in men’s DI by rocking Pittsburgh, 38-14. The Harlequins took the early 7-0 lead but Gorge fought back with five tries for its second victory of the season.

“They were big and fit, but we have a good amount of experience as this team has been playing together since 2012,” captain Josh Brown stated. “We knew they were big so we wanted to weather their storm in the first 25-30 minutes. They came out hard and heavy and swung it wide more than we were expecting. At the end of the day, we just played our style and cut out the penalties.”

For the first weekend of men’s DII, several teams made statements to start the fall. Doylestown and James put up 40 points on Old Gaelic and Washington, Philadelphia-Whitemarsh welcomed Phoenixville White Horse to DII with a 32-10 win, and Richmond and Lehigh Valley eked out close wins over Virginia and North Penn.

Lastly in the game to watch in DIII, the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Breakers came back in the last ten minutes to beat Reading 36-27. Wilkes-Barre scored the first 19 points but Reading responded by ripping off 27 straight. Raphael Verdetto’s third try in the 70th minute finally gave the Breakers the lead and his fourth try at the buzzer put the final nail in the coffin.

It’s been a friendly/fierce 40-year rivalry between the clubs and this game was no different. “The key to the match was steady and unselfish ball movement by our backline which was allowed by solid set piece and loose play rucks with the forwards,” Breakers coach Jack Bukowski said. “After fixing our interior defensive issues, we were able to keep them out of the try area in the second half and come away with a gritty win.”

Summing up the rest of DIII, the Washington Renegades, Western Suburbs, the Hibernians, Media, Brandywine, Jersey Shore, and Blackthorn were victorious in most team’s first match of the season.

HOME SCORE AWAY SCORE CONFERENCE
Schuylkill River Exiles 36 Baltimore-Chesapeake Brumbies 22 Men – DI
Rocky Gorge Rugby 38 Pittsburgh Harlequins 14 Men – DI
Northern Virginia Rugby Postponed Norfolk Blues Postponed Men – DI
Wilmington Rugby Postponed South Jersey Devils Postponed Men – DII-North
Old Gaelic Rugby 28 Doylestown Dragons 40 Men – DII-North
North Penn Rugby 7 Lehigh Valley Hooligans 17 Men – DII-North
Philadelphia Whitemarsh Rugby 32 Phoenixville White Horse 10 Men – DII-North
Richmond Lions 22 Virginia Rugby 7 Men – DII-South
Washington Rugby 24 James River Rugby 46 Men – DII-South
Western Suburbs Rugby 28 Severn River Rugby 20 Men – DIII-Central
Washington Renegades 17 Northern Virginia Rugby D3 12 Men – DIII-Central
Baltimore-Chesapeake Brumbies D3 Postponed West Potomac Beavers Postponed Men – DIII-Central
Frederick Rugby Postponed North Bay Rugby Postponed Men – DIII-Central
Hibernians Rugby 53 Happy Valley Barbarians 24 Men – DIII-North
Media Rugby 31 Harrisburg Rugby 0 Men – DIII-North
Reading Rugby 27 Wilkes-Barre Scranton Breakers 36 Men – DIII-North
Brandywine Rugby 28 Schuylkill River Exiles D3 27 Men – DIII-North
Delmarva Rugby 19 Jersey Shore Sharks 34 Men – DIII-North
Philadelphia Gryphons 20 Blackthorn Rugby 24 Men – DIII-North
Virginia Beach Falcons Postponed Rappahannock Rugby Postponed Men – DIII-South
Blacksburg Rugby Postponed Rocktown Rugby Postponed Men – DIII-South
Roanoke Rugby Postponed Blackwater Rugby Postponed Men – DIII-South
Albany Sirens 5 Philadelphia Rugby 31 Women – Eastern DI
Chesapeake Rugby Postponed James River Rugby Postponed Women – DII-South
D.C. Furies D2 0 Severn River Rugby 51 Women – DII-South
Lehigh Valley Rugby 12 Philadelphia Rugby D3 47 Women – DIII-North
South Jersey Devils 36 York & Lancaster Thorns 5 Women – DIII-North

Pacific North Recap: Newly Formed Boise United Showing Flare

Pacific Northwest Men’s Division II:
Portland Pigs, fresh off their first win in more than a calendar year, were home against cross-town rivals Oregon Sports Union (ORSU).  ORSU started off early with a drop goal by Mark Chandler at 3 minutes, and quickly added another 7 before Portland gained a yellow card midway through the first half.  ORSU is a team that takes advantage of mistakes, and this was no exception as they put up another 10 points with the man advantage.  Portland attempted to regroup, scoring 2 unconverted tries and going into the half down 10-20.  Portland came out swinging, bringing the score to its narrowest margin of 17-20, but ORSU stayed on the throttle corralling the pigs 22-36.  The newly formed Boise United hosted last season’s champions, Eastside Tsunami.  This was an excellent opportunity for Boise to prove themselves a powerhouse, and they didn’t disappoint.  Boise’s game plan was to keep the ball out of the hands of Tsunami’s explosive players, and it was followed to a tee.  The Boise defense remained staunch behind lock Enoch Willey.  Execution of set pieces and ball control led to Boise tries, and ultimately the victory 41-7.  

Pacific Northwest Women’s Division II:
Bend Lady Roughriders were on the trail against Portland Pigs and showed they can travel well.  Flyhalf Kylie Hahn scored 22 points Saturday as head butcher helping the roughriders slaughter the Pigs 0-42.  Tacoma Sirens hosted Budd Bay Bandits in a close slugfest between the long-time rivals.  Budd Bay scored first and kept Tacoma to one try by the midway point, 5-10.  Tacoma fought back during the defensive back and forth, bringing the score to 17-20 toward the end.  Budd Bay was able to keep Tacoma from crossing the line again, and the score remained.   

Pacific Northwest Men’s Division III/IV :
Portland Lumberjacks attempted to topple Boise United D3 in Boise, and scored first at 8 minutes.  Boise took this shot in the mouth as a challenge, knotting the game up 3 minutes later before going ahead 4 minutes after that.  Boise stayed in control the remainder of the match, putting up an outstanding backline display of points, besting Portland 88-5.  Budd Bay Buffaloes travelled to Battleground Bulls, and seemed to get off to a sluggish start.  With the addition of a penalty try the score was 19-0 with the Bulls proving to be stronger than the Buffaloes, but were unable to maintain composure.  Budd Bay capitalized on the hat-trick of yellow cards and a red card, to bring the score 19-14 at the half.  The second half started much like the first did, with Battleground racing out to a convincing 33-14 lead, before the Buffaloes stampeded back by scoring 36 unanswered points and coming out on top 33-49.  Portland Pigs D3 hosted ORSU D3 and played a different game than their D2 brethren.  Jumping to a 17-5 lead early on, they would never relinquish their pressure, rolling on to a 39-15 victory.  Clark County Chiefs were at home against Eastside Axemen, who were unable to thwart the Chief’s offensive push in the first half.  Eastside played a man down due to a yellow card, but managed to sneak a try and the end of the half, 21-7.  Clark County eased up on the pedal a little, but Eastside was unable to pass, falling 31-17.

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:

Midwest:
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.

Great Lakes:
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:

East Gold:
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.

 

East Green:
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.

West Green:
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:

Chicago Area:
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.

East:
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.

Iowa:
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.

Minnesota:
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

North:
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.

South:
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.

 
Wisconsin:
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.

Frontier Region Sees Plenty of Offense Over the Weekend

Women’s Division I: 

Rocky Mountain:
The only game to be played in the Women’s Division I was the, Glendale Merlins taking on Black Ice. It turned into a pretty one-sided affair, with the Merlins keeping their traction and knocking Black Ice off, 43-12. The Merlins spark came from their wing, Courtney Jessamy, who dotted down two tries on the day.


Men’s Division II:

Rocky Mountain Men’s Premiership: 
Last year’s Men’s Division II National Champions, the Denver Barbarians picked up where they ended last year, with a dominant 49-21 performance over the Denver Highlanders. With the Barbarians missing a few pieces from the championship side they have made it clear they won’t be missing a beat. 

Elsewhere in Colorado, Boulder dispatched the Denver Harlequins with ease, 62-12. Boulder scored 36 points in the first half and were able to ride out their win from there. 

Men’s Division III:

Rocky Mountain Championship:
Northern Colorado Flamingos made the trip down the I-20 to take on the Colorado Springs Grizzlies, the trip was worth it as the Flamingos took down the Grizzles, 44-31. Led by Gabe McCabe, who scored a double, the Flamingos were in control of the game from the outset. 

Queen City Rams took down the Littleton Eagles in impressive fashion, 42-21. Scott Trench Scored 22 points for the Rams on their way to victory. 

Frontier Men’s Division IV

Marauders Rugby were able to move by the Colorado Rush with relative ease, 40-24. The Rush opened the scoring but were not able to capitalize on early momentum and moved behind Marauders when they scored 21 unanswered points. The Rush attempted to claw back, but were unable to ever recapture the lead. 

The Denver Barbarians D4 side played a closer game against the Denver Highlanders D4 squad, but ultimately it was the same result as in the two clubs division II match up. The Barbarians getting the better of the Highlanders, 29-19.

Mid-Atlantic Season Kicks Off With a Bang

After a three-month summer break, men’s and women’s 15s rugby in the Mid-Atlantic was welcomed by rain and wind which added an X-factor to the Saturday’s tests. Two of the 16 matches were postponed and the remainder of the games featured gritty and dynamic play across five states.

In men’s Division I, the top two teams, the Norfolk Blues and Rocky Gorge, began with dominant 50+ point wins. After a loss of 13 players from its championship squad, the Blues beat the Washington Irish convincingly, 51-15, and coach Chris Porter said, “It’s a big boost to our young players who have taken on the leadership roles this season. We know it is a long road ahead of us to get to the level we played last year.”

Following a relegation to DII in 2016, Northern Virginia (NOVA) is back in Division I and came from behind to beat the Potomac Exiles, 27-24, in the second half. After leading 17-0 at halftime, coach Joe Tropea said, “the reality of DI smacked us in the face as the second half started. You can’t let up in DI, can’t miss a tackle, and can’t stop executing. If you do your opponent will capitalize on your mistakes and overcome you… Super proud of my boys for coming back and rising to the occasion, retaking the lead on a beautifully worked try, and finishing the game to get NOVA its first DI win in over three years. 

In the final game of Division I, the Pittsburgh Harlequins defended Founders Field for a 32-17 victory over Baltimore-Chesapeake.

All three divisions of men’s Division III were in action as North Bay, the Washington Renegades, Western Suburbs, Rocky Gorge, Northeast Philadelphia Irish, Schuylkill River, the Virginia Beach Falcons, and Norfolk Blues battled the weather and their opponents for season-opening wins.

The teams to beat in Division III this fall are Western Suburbs and the Northeast Philadephia Irish. Thirteen starters return for the Suburbs with seven new players joining the fold. Western Suburbs beat West Potomac 52-21 to open the season and coach Stephen Cleary said, “our team was on the same page all game. We had seen them a couple weekends before and I knew their wings weren’t that great so I put big guys out on the wing and that accounted for at least four or five tries.”

As for the Northeast Philadelphia Irish, they missed out on the postseason due to a CIPP issue, but they are back to terrorize the Division III-North with their lineup intact. The Irish brought the wood against the Philadelphia Gryphons winning 65-3. “Our defense is what our claim to fame is,” coach Tim Morris said. “It was shutout defense and offensively, we put in a new system this year with a different style of attack in the breakdown.”

Lastly, Severn River and James River pulverized the competition in the first matches of the of the Women’s Division II-North. Severn River shut out the Norfolk Storm, 60-0, and James River never let up against the D.C. Furies for a score of 71-5.

HOME SCORE AWAY SCORE DIVISION
Rocky Gorge Rugby 53 Schuylkill River Exiles 12 Men – DI
Pittsburgh Harlequins 32 Baltimore-Chesapeake Brumbies 17 Men – DI
Norfolk Blues 51 Washington Irish 15 Men – DI
Potomac Exiles 24 Northern Virginia Rugby 27 Men – DI
Frederick Rugby Cancelled Baltimore-Chesapeake Brumbies D3 Cancelled Men – DIII-Central
North Bay Rugby 20 Virginia Griffins 15 Men – DIII-Central
Washington Irish D3 5 Washington Renegades 33 Men – DIII-Central
Western Suburbs Rugby 52 West Potomac Beavers 21 Men – DIII-Central
Rocky Gorge Rugby D3 19 Severn River Rugby 17 Men – DIII-Central
Philadelphia Gryphons 3 Northeast Philadelphia Irish 65 Men – DIII-North
Delmarva Rugby 12 Schuylkill River Exiles D3 14 Men – DIII-North
Jersey Shore Sharks Postponed Blackthorn Rugby Postponed Men – DIII-North
Newport News Mariners 19 Virginia Beach Falcons 31 Men – DIII-South
Norfolk Blues D3 71 Rappahannock Rugby 0 Men – DIII-South
Norfolk Storm 0 Severn River Rugby 60 Women – DII-North
James River Rugby 71 D.C. Furies D2 5 Women – DII-North