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Monday, March 21, 2016

Catching Up With The PRP & ARP


With the American Rugby Premiership kicking off over the last weekend and the Pacific Rugby Premiership hitting the season halfway point we thought it would be a good time to check in with both competitions. For those who don't know we help provide match recaps for both competitions so while you may not see recaps here on the site we do provide links whenever we can.

Pacific Rugby Premiership

Through six weeks, halfway of the season, the Glendale Raptors hold a comfortable lead at the top of the table. They are the only unbeaten team in the competition and have a six point edge over OMBAC. It's going to take something special to knock Glendale out of the final match. They are going to lose players to PRO Rugby like Niku Kruger, Chad London, Hanco Germishuys, Zach Fenoglio, and others but they are also one of the deepest teams in the competition. With a long run of home matches coming up all they'll need is a few more victories to pretty much seal another finals berth. 

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Last weekend the Raptors beat the Denver Barbarians 35-17 in the Colorado derby. The Barbarians have struggled this year and are 2-4. They missed some players early but now after having regulars back in the line-up and in their familiar positions they are playing better. The playoffs are out of the question but they can catch Belmont Shore for fourth place, which would be a good goal for the club. Having Ben Pinkelman turn out is also a good thing. 

The best battle of the season is going to be between OMBAC and SFGG. For the first two years of the competition it was SFGG vs. Glendale in the final but this year things are on track for a change. OMBAC currently hold the second spot with a three point edge over SFGG, whom they beat last week. OMBAC are another team that is going to be impacted by PRO Rugby but if they can beat the Barbarians next week and Olympic Club in a few weeks they may have enough points, even to survive a potential loss to SFGG in the penultimate weekend. OMBAC beat Belmont Shore last weekend

SFGG had last weekend off but they will feel the pressure to move back into second place. They face a good stretch against Belmont Shore, Santa Monica, and then Denver before taking on Glendale in the middle of April. They then face Olympic Club before their big match against OMBAC. That will be their last regular match meaning they'll need enough points. PRO Rugby is expected to take some players from SFGG but not as much as other teams. That might be enough to save them. 

Belmont Shore looked good early in the season but after losses to Glendale and OMBAC they are likely out of playoff contention, especially as they miss players to PRO Rugby. Santa Monica beat Olympic Club on Saturday to move from the bottom of the table with O-Club occupying last place. 

Standings

Glendale (6-0-0)
OMBAC (5-1-0)
SFGG (4-2-0)
Belmont Shore (3-3-0)
Denver Barbarians (2-4-0)
Santa Monica (1-5-0)
Olympic Club (0-6-0)

American Rugby Premiership

As things currently stand the ARP is clearer than the PRP. Life were dominant in the Fall season with a 4-0-0 record. They had a whopping point differential of +176 giving up only 45 points while scoring a competition high 221. Life have yet to start their season and won't do so until April 9th against Boston. That will set up a big month culminating against Old Blue on the 30th. 

Old Blue right now are the team that can catch Life. They're only loss in the Fall was to Life, albeit big. They rolled over the Boston teams and then beat rivals NYAC. Over the weekend they opened their Spring season with a big win over the Wolfhounds. With James Bird and Luke Hume on the roster along with a core group of players Old Blue will be tough to beat. They also, like Life, aren't expected to lose too many players to PRO Rugby. The biggest trip-up game for Old Blue that could derail a vital match against Life is against NYAC on April 9th. 

Speaking of NYAC, they opened their Spring season with a win over Boston.  In the Fall NYAC beat both Boston teams but then lost to Life and Old Blue. That put them in a big hole that will be difficult to climb out of in the Spring. However, they could play spoiler if they beat Old Blue. They could also in theory catch Life if they win out and get the right results elsewhere. 

Both Boston clubs, the Wolfhounds and Boston, are at the bottom of the competition against. The Wolfhounds have shown improvement this year while Boston are re-tooling. 

Standings

Life (4-0-0)
Old Blue (3-1-0)
NYAC (2-2-0)
Wolfhounds (1-3-0)
Boston (0-4-0)

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