So What's Happening In D1 Men's Club Rugby?

While half of the D1 club teams will wait until the spring to get their cup season started, the other half have been in full swing since September. 

The men's club season can be kind of weird in that many guys playing right now will be shipping off to their MLR teams in the spring and could be unavailable for the championships.

Anyways, so far three of the six conferences have gotten their seasons going, including the Atlantic North, the Mid Atlantic, and the Midwest. 

Here's the rundown:

Atlantic North

1. Life: 4-2 - 22 pts
2. NYAC: 3-2 - 16 pts
3. Mystic River: 3-2 - 14 pts
4. Old Blue: 0-4 - 4 pts

Each team plays the other three teams (plus Rugby ATL development side "404") twice over the course of the fall. 

The winningest conference over the past five years, the Atlantic North has had four of the past five D1 national champions (one by NYAC, two by Mystic River, and one by Life.)


Throughout the fall campaign this season, the games have been extremely competitive, with all sides having lost at least two of their first six games. 

Life leads the conference at 4-2, having split home and away matches to Mystic River and NYAC, and sweeping Old Blue. 

Life will win the conference title, but are going to lose the bulk of their team to Rugby ATL in the spring, so there will be plenty of new faces after the holiday. 

Mid Atlantic

North
1. Rocky Gorge: 5-1 - 26 pts
2. Baltimore Chesapeake: 4-3 - 22 pts
3. Schuylkill River Exiles: 2-4 - 15 pts
4. Pittsburgh Harlequins: 1-6 - 6 pts

South
1. Potomac Exiles: 6-2 - 32 pts
2. NOVA: 4-3 - 22 pts
3. Washington Irish: 3-2 - 14 pts
4. Norfolk Blues: 1-5 - 10 pts

The Mid-Atlantic conference plays it's schedule over the course of the fall and the spring, and its eight teams are split into a North and a South division. 

Each team plays the other members in its division twice, while playing all four teams in the opposite division once. So far, Rocky Gorge and Potomac have led the way but there's still a lot of rugby to be played. 


Despite being the only team to beat Rocky Gorge to this point, Schuylkill River sit third in the North after losing their last four games, three of which decided by a try or less. They may have fallen out of the running for first, but there's still much damage the Exiles can do.  

NOVA are lurking close behind Potomac, and a matchup between the two sides on the final game of the year could decide the South. 


Midwest

East
1. Chicago Lions: 7-1 - 37 pts
2. Detroit Tradesmen: 7-1 - 36 pts
3. Cincinnati Wolfhounds: 4-4 - 20 pts
4. Chicago Griffins: 2-6 - 11 pts
5. Columbus Rugby: 0-8 - 1 pt

West
1. Kansas City Blues: 8-0 - 38 pts
2. Metropolis: 6-2 - 32 pts
3. Palmer College: 4-4 - 24 pts
4. St. Louis Bombers: 1-7 - 10 pts
5. Milwaukee Barbarians: 1-7 - 6 pts

The Midwest wrapped up its regular season a week ago, and at the end of it all Chicago will take on Kansas City for the title this Saturday at the Chicago Blaze rugby pitch. 


Every team in the league played it's fellow four division members twice, and the top team from each side advanced to the final. 

The conference was extremely tight all season, despite what some of the records might suggest. 

In the West, four of Kansas City's eight wins were decided by a try or less, including a one-point win over the 1-7 St. Louis Bombers. 

In the East, Chicago just barely squeezed ahead of Detroit for first place. They split the season series and shared the same record, but Chicago nudged their noses in front by way of an extra bonus point. 


The manner in which they got that extra bonus point is fascinating in and of itself. In the opening game of the season, Detroit led Chicago 41-28 with two minutes to go. Chicago then scored in the 79th minute to bring the score to 41-33 with the conversion to come. 

Chicago's Harrison Deck slotted the kick (I never saw film of this so for story's sake I'm pretending it was from the sideline) and Chicago earned a losing bonus point, as well as a four-try bonus point. 

In the return matchup, Chicago won 42-31, denying Detroit that losing bonus point and placing themselves a point ahead in the table. Even though the Tradesmen had the same record and a slightly better point differential throughout the season, they'll be on the outside looking in this Saturday. 

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