Who's Impressed In Men's Club D2 This Fall?

While there are still a number of teams that won't begin their D2 seasons until the spring, we still had plenty of action this fall across the Midwest, the Northeast, and the Middle Atlantic regions. 

Here are four teams that have put their hands up as contenders moving forward into the new year:

White Plains - Atlantic North: Empire Division

White Plains took home the Empire conference championship this fall after rattling off eight straight wins to end the season. 

Following an opening round loss to Buffalo, they caught fire and won six straight games heading into the conference semifinals against New York Rugby Club. 

They held off New York 31-26, setting up a rematch with Buffalo in the conference final. 

The second time around, White Plains jumped all over Buffalo, going up 29-0 before three second half tries pulled the final score to 29-15. 

White Plains will play the winner of the New England Rugby Football Union conference at time in the spring yet to be determined. 

Wisconsin Rugby Club - Midwest: West Division

Wisconsin wrapped up an undefeated conference season by taking down Green Bay in the Midwest semifinals and then the Pittsburgh Forge in the championship game. 

The semis against Green Bay could have been expected to be a close battle, given that Green Bay were 7-1 on the season and riding a four-game win streak, but WRC were having none of it. 

They jumped out to a 19-5 halftime lead en route to a comfortable 39-15 win against their in-state rivals. 

In the championship game, they faced East division winners Pittsburgh in a matchup of unbeaten teams. This one did turn out to be close. Very close. 

After jumping to a 17-6 first half advantage, WRC relinquished the lead and fell behind 20-17 with ten minutes remaining. They didn't panic, and managed to punch one in to take the lead back and eventually win, 22-20, claiming the title of Midwest Division 2 champions. 

Doylestown Dragons - Mid-Atlantic: North Division

The Dragons were oh-so-close to reaching the national title game a season ago, but an 81st minute try from Atlanta Old White crushed their hopes in the national semifinals. 

Rather than sit back and feel sorry for themselves, Doylestown seems to have taken the sting of that loss and use it as motivation in the new year. 

Through their first six conference games, the Dragons are 6-0 and atop the Mid-Atlantic North. They have scored 369 points and conceded just 81. 

With guys like Bruce Dolan and the Kornock brothers still around, Doylestown are once again looking like a strong DII national title contender. 

Wichita Barbarians - Frontier: Mid-America North Division

Like the Dragons, the Barbarians also fell just a game shy of the national championship last campaign. They'll wonder what could have been if not for a game-changing red card in their semifinal loss to Olympic Club.

This year though, the former D3 national champs have gotten off to a flying start in league play. Wichita sit atop the Mid-America North division with a 4-0-1 record through the first half of their schedule, compiling 223 points for and 77 against. 

They don't play another conference game until March 21, but that one will be a real tester and we'll see what they're made of when they host the Little Rock Stormers.

Rugby Rules 101: What Does "Ruck" Mean?

For new players to the game of rugby, the concept of a "ruck" can be a tricky one to apprehend, as there is no other sport that involves rucking. However, once you've got a clearer picture of a ruck, also known as a "breakdown", it's a relatively easy thing to understand. 

Premiership Rugby Eyes Mid-August Return

Following the league shutdown due to coronavirus in March, the Gallagher Premiership looks set for a return to action on August 15th. One week ago, UK government officials announced that elite-level sports would be able to resume on June 1st behind closed doors. 

The 5 Best Women's Rugby Shorts

Having a comfortable pair of rugby shorts can greatly impact one’s performance during training and games. When choosing shorts, you want to take into consideration the fit and the durability, especially if you’re going to be in the scrum. The last thing you would want is for your shorts to rip during a scrum because the fabric was not durable enough. In addition to the durability, you want to make sure the shorts are breathable and comfortable for tackling, running, and potentially kicking. If you’re in the market for a new pair of shorts, here are five different types of shorts that you can check out:

Rugby vs Soccer: Former SEC Soccer Player Compares The Two

One of the great things about rugby is that it's a multi-skilled sport which lends itself well to crossover athletes. Particularly in a sports-mad country like the United States, we see tons of players seamlessly make the transition from other sports to rugby. 

How To Throw A Great Rugby Pass

Throwing a great pass can carve up a defense unlike any other facet of the game in rugby. A well-timed, well-placed ball puts a defense under enormous pressure and causes fractures in the defensive line. As long as the ball is placed accurately, on time, and in a position that the receiver can catch the ball on the move without breaking stride, it doesn't matter what it looks like. Heck, if we're looking at football, think of Peyton Manning's passes. One of the best quarterbacks in the history of the game rarely threw a spiral, but he did tick the boxes of accurate, on time, and in stride. 

Some Useful Rugby Passing Drills

Here is a quick, easy passing progression that will help you and your team sharpen your distribution skills and carve opponents up on the weekends. Even the best defenses in the world cannot defend near-perfect passing, so having the ability to run-catch-pass is one of the most lethal weapons in the book. 

We Stand With You

The events of the last week have been tremendously painful to us all.

Rugby Drills That Keep Your Social Distance

As of June 1st, many rugby teams have been granted the option of getting together to conduct practice. However, the practices must adhere to the six feet social distancing rules and players are not allowed to use any equipment. Therefore, options for a practice plan are going to be extremely limited, but that doesn't mean you can't still get some good out of having the team together. 

Bring Em Down: How To Tackle Big Guys In Rugby

For many of rugby players out there, especially us smaller ones, we're all too familiar with the sight of a large, rampaging big man or woman lined up across from us about to get the ball. Our fight or flight instincts kick in, and in that moment of instinctual reaction we dictate the likelihood that the tackle does or does not get made. 

Step By Step Guide: How To Break Tackles In Rugby

One of the best ways to completely unhinge a defense is to beat your defender one on one with a step or a tackle bust. While not all of us can step like Cheslin Kolbe, we do all have the ability to break a tackle and get our team on the front foot. No matter your size, speed, or strength, you can always bust out of a tackle with some clever use of footwork and a trust in your balance.