Thursday, June 1, 2017

Men's DII & DIII Finals Preview

The Club Championships start in Glendale this weekend. Saturday is dedicated to the men's and women's DI finals while Sunday is focused on DII and DII play. In this preview we take a look at the DII final between Life and the St. Louis Bombers and the DIII finals between the St. Louis Royals and the Bremer County Bucks.

DII: Life vs. St. Louis Bombers (5:00 p.m. et/2:00 p.m. pt)

A lot has been made of Life's inclusion in the DII final. It should be clear that while this is the same Life University that competes at the college level and occasionally plays high-level matches against teams like NYAC and Old Blue their DII team is completely different. Most of the top club players have moved on and the DII team is an opportunity for undergrads who aren't getting first team minutes and some left over club players that fit at the DII level. All of that said they are still very good and very organized. They haven't been blowing teams away like their DI team did but they have been steadily winning.

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The St. Louis Bombers arguably had a more difficult path to Glendale with a couple of tough West regional matches. The Bombers narrowly got past the Ventura County Outlaws in the first round and then beat the Sacramento Blackhawks more handily in the final. The Bombers have plenty of experience on their roster and their ability to score will come in handy.

It's interesting to note that both of the DII finalists came from regions without DI play. We shouldn't read into that too much other than it's interesting.

DIII: St. Louis Royals vs. Bremer County Bucks (1:00 p.m. et/10:00 a.m. pt)

The St. Louis Royals make it two teams from the Gateway city to play in Glendale over the weekend.  The Royals qualified by handily beating the Orange County Ravens and the San Marcos Greys in the West regional. St. Louis looked really good in those matches scoring over 100 points while only giving up 10 total. The team has taken their preparation for the match serious with the help of some specialized training so you can expect them to be organized. Oftentimes in a DIII final it's the organization and fitness that wins out in the end.

The Bremer County Bucks also put up big points in their regional. They scored over 120 points but were more leaky than the Royals. The Bucks will have been tested in regional play and are known from their physical style of rugby. 

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