Road To Club Finals: Men D1, Where We Are Now

null

The USA Rugby Men's D1 Club playoffs are fast approaching, and don’t be surprised if the traditional favorites have more obstacles to overcome than years past.

You would think around April that the D1 playoff picture would be clear cut, but year two of Major League Rugby took another wave of premier men’s club players and that led to more parity nationwide.

Here's a look at the regions:

Mid-Atlantic

The Favorite: Rocky Gorge

Led by Nick Kuhl (10 tries, 121 points) and Ethan Reese (10 tries), Rocky Gorge is not only the favorite in the Mid-Atlantic, but should be the favorite to win the National Championship. They are 10-0 on the season having stomped every team in their conference. Many of their players were selected multiple times to represent the Capital Selects, so this team likely has more matches under their belt than any in the nation.

Watch out also for former Minnesota-Duluth champion No. 8 Luc Deroches, who is tearing it up for Gorge now.

Obstacle: Injuries and Old Glory.

If Rocky Gorge can avoid the injury bug they could be on the way to hoisting a couple of trophies. A national title run could be perfect timing for Rocky Gorge players looking to be a part of DC Old Glory’s 2020 MLR debut season. It's the age-old question: can Rocky Gorge stay together and bring their best side to nationals?

Midwest 

The Favorite: Chicago Lions

The Lions put together a decent run in the fall, but were forced into hibernation with a historically harsh winter. They’re undefeated in the spring, but they’ll have to get through a tough crosstown rival in the Chicago Griffins in two weeks. 


Former U. Arkansas flyhalf Jack Casey has been a nice addition, and he has scored five tries for the Lions.

Waiting for the Lions is Palmer College who also have their set on a midwest championship.

Obstacle: Chicago Griffins, Palmer College

Atlantic North (ARP)

The Favorite: Old Blue, Life Running Eagles

Obstacle: Each other.

Last year’s national champion Mystic River will not return to nationals this year after a 1-5 start to the ARP season. That’s what happens when an MLR team pops up down the road. Just ask the New York Athletic Club. NYAC went to the national semifinals last season and will also miss out on nationals this season.

In the fall the ARP was the highest-scoring conference in D1, while boasting some of the closest matches too. Old Blue came out of the fall atop the table, but in the biggest match of the season last week Life came into New York and beat Old Blue in a low scoring 17-10 thriller. 

Old Blue will likely hoist the ARP trophy, but Life will be the favorite if they face off again in the national quarterfinal.

Red River

The Favorites: Dallas Reds, Austin Blacks

Obstacle: Each other. 

These two teams stand in each other's way once again. Last season the Red River took two bids with the Blacks skating past the Reds by four points. The good news is that they play this Saturday. While it won’t officially determine the Red River Champion; it will give us a pretty good idea of what’s to come if they were to face off in a national quarterfinal, again.


Jake Campey leads the league with 16 tries for the Reds, with the evergreen Chad Joseph notching 13. Meanwhile, Chris Ingate and Hayden Johnson have 13 each for the Blacks.

Pacific Rugby Premiership

Favorites: Belmont Shore, Life West

Obstacle: Each other. 

The PRP is going to come down to the juggernauts. Just as it looked the entire season.

Last week the two top teams clashed as a preview to the PRP final and Belmont Shore outside center Adriano Ojedo almost single-handedly snatched the victory from Life West. The Gladiators, who have enjoyed a huge season from scrumhalf Devereaux Ferris, will key on Ojeda in the final, but the Belmont Shore back three is the best in the country.

Watch the PRP Finals LIVE on FloRugby May 4

Oh, and watch out for Glendale. After an 0-3 start, the Merlins are within shouting distance of Life West for 2nd, and play the Gladiators this weekend. A victory by the Merlins and they could be facing Belmont Shore in the final.

This weekend, Glendale takes on Life West in a huge game, Belmont Shore hosts the unpredictable Santa Monica Dolphins, and OMBAC visits an imporving SFGG.

Last season the PRP put two teams (OMBAC, Belmont Shores) into the national quarterfinals. Belmont Shore eliminated OMBAC and went all the way to the final, only to lose to Mystic River by a point. 

With fortunes changed for Mystic, is it a redemption year for Shore, or time for someone else to march in?

Barbarians Name Squad For Historic Match In Glendale

Baa Baas Invent A Chant And Are Perfect

The Barbarians FC women's team has named its squad to take on the USA Friday night at Infinity Park in Glendale, CO.

Eagle Women Selected To Face Barbarians

Johnson Carries ORSU and Is Set For Eagles

USA Women’s Eagles Head Coach Rob Cain has named his match-day roster to face the famous Barbarians tomorrow, Friday, April 26 at Infinity Park in Glendale CO.

Watch Guide: See History Made, And More

2019 D1A Quarterfinal: Cal vs. Arizona

Join PRO Now to Get Unlimited Access to FloRugby!

Join Now

Already a PRO Member? Log In

The meaning ramps up as April gets closer to May in rugby all around the world, and FloRugby is here to show it to you.

Saint Mary's Remembers Losses, Looks To Cal Rematch

D1A QF Highlights: Saint Marys vs BYU

Saint Mary’s remembers.Saint Mary’s remembers losing to Lindenwood at their home ground in last year’s D1A quarterfinal. So much so that head coach Tim O’Brien outlined in detail how he prepared for that game and where he went wrong—he wasn’t going to make the same errors again.

Sale Snap Up Springboks Star Lood de Jager

European Chall Cup SF: La Rochelle vs Sale

Join PRO Now to Get Unlimited Access to FloRugby!

Join Now

Already a PRO Member? Log In

Star South Africa lock Lood de Jager has signed for Premiership side Sale Sharks from Super Rugby franchise The Bulls, the English club announced on Wednesday.

Salisbury Want To Leave Charlotte As D2 Spring Champs

When Salisbury shows up to Championship Weekend you’ll recognize their name. You’ll recognize the maroon and gold strip. You’ll see a suffocating defense. But Salisbury prop and team president Sophie Clendenin wants you to listen in. 

Eagles Up For Some Risk-Taking-Cain

There’s something special about the USA’s game against the Barbarians on Friday.

2019 Scholz Award Finalists Named

Rogers Goes Yard For Arizona

College teams, as well as players and fans from around the country, have voted to create the list of five finalists for the Rudy ScholzAward.

Saracens Attempt Champions Cup Send Off for David Strettle

On May 11th the Saracens look to hoist the Champions Cup over Leinster and send their retiring 35-year-old wing David Strettle riding off into the sunset a champion.

2019 MA Sorensen Award Finalists Named

Emily Henrich Makes Debut For USA

Votes from college teams and from players and fans from around the country have finalized the five finalist for the MA Sorensen Award.