D1A Rugby Playoffs: Can Saint Mary's, Life Make It 5 In A Row?

Twitter (@Gael_Rugby) St. Mary's

It's that time of year again: Flowers are blooming; animals are coming out of hibernation; and of course... the D1A Rugby Playoffs are returning.

The four-week postseason competition finishes its opening round on Saturday, April 15, followed by quarterfinals on April 22 and semifinals on April 29. The D1A National Championship will kick off at 4 PM PT on May 6 at Saint Mary's College in Moraga, CA.

As the four highest-ranked teams to accept bids to the D1A Rugby Playoffs, No. 1 Saint Mary's (California), No. 2 Life (Mid-South), No. 7 Indiana (Big Ten Universities), and No. 16 Baylor (Red River) have been given first-round byes and will host quarterfinal matches next week.

The playoffs have been dominated by Saint Mary's and Life since 2013, with both teams meeting in the finals in each of the past four years. Both have won two titles apiece in that span.

In 2013, Life bested Saint Mary's with a 16-14 title victory. Over the next two years, Saint Mary's notched back-to-back championship wins over Life, with a 21-6 triumph in 2014 and a 30-24 victory 2015. A year ago, Life came away with a 24-20 win over Saint Mary's.

Will we see a finals repeat for the fifth year in a row? It's looking good so far.

Here's the playoff picture heading into this weekend's games:

OPENING ROUND
APRIL 8
BYU 93, Colorado State 3
Lindenwood 36, Davenport 14
APRIL 15
Utah at San Diego State
Arizona at Air Force

QUARTERFINALS
APRIL 22
Game 5 -- SDSU/Utah winner at St. Mary's
Game 6 -- Air Force/Arizona winner at Baylor
Game 7 -- BYU at Indiana
Game 8 -- Lindenwood at Life

SEMIFINALS
APRIL 29
Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6
Winner Game 7 vs Winner Game 8

CHAMPIONSHIP
MAY 6
Finals at Saint Mary's College

D1A Rankings:

1 Saint Mary's
2 Life
3 BYU
4 Cal
5 Lindenwood
6 Arkansas State
7 Indiana
8 Penn State
9 San Diego State
10 Army
11 Utah
12 Davenport
13 Kutztown
14 Arizona
15 Colorado State
16 Baylor
17 Wisconsin
18 Air Force
19 LSU
20 Clemson


What's Up With Notre Dame? Irish Pull Off Upset

Colleen McCloskey Navy_NotreDame_1765.jpg

The University of Notre Dame pulled off a bit of an upset this past week, beating Davenport 36-24 on the road to record the Fighting Irish's first victory of the season.

Merlins Weave Magic, Old Blue Tough in ARP

Glendale Rugby glendalevoldblue2017-glendalerugby.jpg

The Atlantic Rugby Premiership may be a small club competition, but for the Eastern men's clubs it's an important one — the sad news is that the best squad among them is from Colorado.

FloRugby All D1 College Rankings: What To Do About An Upset

Steven Zomberg undvdavenport-zomberg2017-1.jpg

How do you punish an upset? Do you make the assumption that the losing team selected down and didn't have its top players? Or do you immediately assume that both squads had their best lineup and punish the loser.

Justin Johnson, A Star In The Making

justinjohnson-mira-costa-gil-castro.jpg

By Austin Willis

Who's Up, Who's Down: Taufete’e Shines At Euro Challenge Cup

David Barpal wwu7s2017.jpg

A USA Eagles player posted a hat trick for his club team in one of the most impressive performances of the weekend, while the Varsity Cup saw its run as a major postseason event all but extinguished.

Playoffs And Glory Beckon: D1A Standings

Anthony Stella pennstatevkutztown2017-1.jpg

With the news that the D1A playoffs will expand and likely will be the only high-level game in town, it's time to check in on the standings.

D1A Postseason Deadline Means Big Changes

Michael Geib smc-v-life-2017-diafinal-michael-geib-2875.jpg

Today, Oct. 15, is the deadline for D1A college teams to declare their intention to participate in the spring playoffs.

Austin Elite Hold Combine

Alex Goff austincombinegroup.jpg

Austin Elite of Major League Rugby held a combine Saturday in Austin, Texas, to look at several dozen players hoping to make the pro team.

Hanco Cuatro As USA Selects Beat Canada A In APC Finale

Colleen McCloskey arc2016-hanco-germishuys-colleen-mccloskey-1b.jpg

The USA Selects capped off the Americas Pacific Challenge with a 45-26 defeat of Canada A on Sunday in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Arkansas Red River 7s Champion Again

Jordan Maat rrrc7s-2017-jordan-maat-7.jpg

For the second year in a row, Arkansas won the Red River Rugby Conference 7s championship, defeating Texas A&M 26-12 in the final on Saturday in Stephenville, Texas.