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Friday, April 17, 2015

Varsity Cup Preview: BYU-CWU Possible Classic, Cal Hosts Navy

Photo: Andrea Wride
Things are about to get serious in the Varsity Cup as the competition enters it's semi-final stage. While Cal should win easily over Navy the match between BYU and Central Washington could be a classic.

BYU vs. Central Washington (1:00 p.m. MT, Provo, live here

BYU are the two time defending Varsity Cup champions and are the odds on favorite to make it back to the final. However, they will go up against a very solid Central Washington team that is ready to prove that they are one of the top teams in the country. The match has all the makings of a classic. If Central Washington can topple the Cougars it will be the biggest win of the year in college rugby but not a complete surprise.

BYU have barely been tested this year. They played St. Mary's twice and Utah a couple of times but other than that they have mostly blown out their opponents scoring more than 50 points in all but three of their matches. Two of those matches were their close wins over St. Mary's while the other came against UCLA in their quarterfinal win last week. Over the last five years there has not been as dominant of a rugby team as BYU and it's not likely that will end soon.

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Canada 7s: Women Eagles Look To Crack Top Four


The Women's Sevens Series has reached it's halfway point and thanks to their runner-up finish in Atlanta the Eagles sit just two points in back of France for a spot in the top four and automatic qualification to the Olympics. Qualification for the Eagles has never been up in the air. Even if they don't finish in the top four they are going to win the NACRA qualifier this summer. However, the U.S. aren't simply happy making the Olympics, they want to win a medal. Finishing in the top four and consistently making the final of tournaments is proof that they are legitimate contenders. They showed that capability in Atlanta but will need to keep it going in Canada this weekend.

The U.S. has had plenty of lead up to the tournament. They once again scrimmaged European teams at the Olympic Training Center. That preparation really helped them get ready for Atlanta and they are hoping it pays the same dividends this go around. Additionally, playing in Canada, so close to the U.S., will help them stay fresh.

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DI-A Playoffs: Trio Of Matches On Tap


A trio of matches are on tap for the DI-A playoffs this weekend and for Lindenwood and Davenport the journey begins to validate their strong regular seasons while both Cal Poly and Utah are looking to show they are among the big boys.

Lindenwood vs. Colorado State

The Lions have had a remarkable year beating the likes of Penn State and New Orleans as well as rivals Davenport. They have also played Life close on two occasions losing by four and three points respectively. However, they come into the playoffs on a three match losing streak having fallen to Life, Glendale, and Davenport. Those are three losses they shouldn't be ashamed of. The Life loss was very close and they had their eye turned toward Davenport in their last match. The Lions have plenty of players that can make a big impact in this match, including Sebastian Kalm, Gabe Farley, and Lunalle Tshuma.

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ARP Preview: Life Move Closer To Clinching


The American Rugby Premiership once again has a double-header on tap for this weekend with the Boston Irish Wolfhounds hosting Life and NYAC hosting Boston.

Boston Irish Wolfhounds vs. Life

Life can seal the top spot in the competition this weekend if they beat the Wolfhounds and NYAC fails to get three points against Boston. That said, for all intents and purposes Life are in little danger of slipping out of the top spot. Even though they will be missing AJ MacGinty and Phil Thiel to Eagles camp this week (they'd be without Thiel anyways thanks to his red card) Life are still expected to beat the Wolfhounds handily. They took care of business against NYAC last week and in the fall season beat the Wolfhounds 69-13. With Life having a bye in their college season the likes of Blaine McIlroy will be available to step up once again. That said, look for Shaun Davies, who missed out on Eagles camp, Dave Dannon, Cornelius Dirksen, and Kyle Stroman to have big weeks once again.

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D-AA "Varsity Cup" Quarterfinals Set


The DI-AA "Varsity Cup"* enters it's quarterfinals phase this weekend with matches in Oregon, Idaho, and Utah. The first round was held last week with Montana State beating Idaho State 52-12, UC-Riverside beating Southern Utah, and Salt Lake Community College beating Cal Poly-Pomona. Here is how things are shaping up for this weekend.

North Division Bracket 1

Thanks to their win over Idaho State, Montana State will head to Monmouth, Oregon to play Western Oregon. Washington State were originally schedule to compete but Western Oregon have taken their place. The Bobcats should have the edge in this one as Western Oregon finished near the bottom of the NCRC standings. Whoever wins this match will play Utah Valley University. If Montana State wins they will host UVU and if Western Oregon wins they will travel to UVU.

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Eagles Abroad: Weekend Preview


Eagles Abroad is brought to you by Grubber, makers of fine sporting apparel. 

For Chris Wyles and Saracens it's the biggest weekend of the year. Having already won the 'A' League title and the LV= Cup title Saracens are gunning for a spot in the European Champions Cup with a win over Clermont on Saturday. Wyles, who has come on strong as of late, will once again start for Saracens while the other three Americans aren't in the line-up. However, Titi Lamositele will get a run out this week as he plays for the Barbarians. Over in Ireland, the All-Ireland League has come to a close but the Americans at Trinity and UCD got a runout as they played their annual Colours match. Tim Maupin had a couple of tries. Lastly, the season is underway in Romania where Andrew Suniula is playing for CSM Buchuresti.

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Weekend Television Listings

 

It's another loaded weekend for watching rugby on television and online. Once again there is a full slate of Super Rugby. There is also the semi-finals of the European Champions Cup featuring mouth-watering match-ups in Saracens vs. Clermont and Toulon vs. Leinster. Also, the Canada 7s will be streamed so you can catch the Women Eagles 7s. Lastly, the Varsity Cup semi-finals will also be broadcast and the Davenport-Wheeling Jesuit match.  

If you know of an event or a tournament that is not on our list, please share it with us at thisisamericanrugby@gmail.com.

Friday:
  • Dragons vs. Edinburgh, 2:45 p.m. et/11:45 a.m. pt (live on ESPN3/WatchESPN) 
  • Hurricanes vs. Waratahs, 11:30 p.m. et/8:30 p.m. pt (live on DirectTV)
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