Friday, June 1, 2018

CRC Preview & Predictions

The Collegiate Rugby Championship kicks off tomorrow in Philadelphia. This tournament is missing repeat champion Cal which should open things up a bit. That said, there are some heavy favorites to win.

Pool A: Lindenwood, St. Joseph's, Wisconsin, Mount Saint Mary's

Lindenwood are our pick to win the whole thing. They emerged as champions at the U.S.A. Rugby College 7s a few weeks back and with a field a little more wide open this weekend there is no reason to think they can't repeat. They should also roll through their pool. We think that Wisconsin will come through as the second place team but it won't be enough to make the top eight.

Pool B: Arizona, Indiana, South Carolina, Boston College

If Bryce Campbell was suiting up for Indiana we'd give them more or a chance but as it stands Arizona is the team to beat in the pool. The Wildcats are a very underrated 7s team that has a lot of good players. We could even see them making the final if things go their way. It's possible that a team like Indiana or South Carolina sneaks in as one of the top two second place teams.

Take the jump to read more.

Pool C: Kutztown, Dartmouth, Iona, Temple

To borrow a popular phrase from the kids these days Pool C is low-key talented. They have several good teams in here that can make some noise and it should be one of the closest pools. Kutztown is playing in their backyard and have put together some very good 7s teams in the past. The same goes for Dartmouth although since they lost Madison Hughes several years ago they haven't been the same. Iona had a very good year in the 15s game and it will be interesting to see if it translates to 7s. It would not shock us to see two of these teams in the quarterfinals.

Pool D: Life, Penn State, Air Force, Notre Dame

Life are the heavy favorites in Pool D. They always seem to show up big in Philadelphia and now coming off a win in the DI-A final they will be looking for a double. They should easily win their pool although we think Air Force could be a surprise strong side. Penn State has the capability as well.

Pool E: Arkansas State, UCLA, Virginia Tech, Delaware

To us this pool will be between Arkansas State and UCLA. If it was a 15s match we'd go with Arkansas State but in 7s UCLA often does more than hold their own. We think that is going to be the case here. We see a surprise win over UCLA in pool play over Arkansas State to win the pool. At the same time it's hard to see Arkansas State missing out on the quarterfinals given that they should be able to beat their other pool opponents by a healthy margin.

Pool F: Central Washington, Navy, Army, Maryland

Although they did not have a good 15s season don't sleep on Central Washington in this competition. They have some very, very good 7s players. Army and Navy are also good teams but maybe lack the explosiveness that Central Washington has. Unfortunately Maryland looks outmatched in the pool.

Predicted Quarterfinals:

Central Washington
Arkansas State
Air Force

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