Massive Matchups this weekend in Men's D1-A Quarterfinals
By ERIC TABER
BOULDER, Colo. – The eight best college rugby teams in the country, including Arkansas State, will duke it out this weekend to decide who will advance to semifinals in D1-A rugby, the country’s premiere college rugby competition.
Some scintillating matchups highlight the quarterfinals, to be held in four locations across the country on Saturday, May 5th. You’ll be able to catch all the action on a tape-delay basis as it becomes available.
Starting in the East, The West Point Rugby Team (Army) plays host to the Mid-South Conference’s #2 seed Arkansas State Red Wolves. Army enters the contest as the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference, having squeaked by Penn St 20-19 in late April. Arkansas State will travel to West Point having played exceptionally well this season, but are coming off a tight 17-14 loss to Life and will be looking to prove themselves on the road at the Anderson Rugby Complex. The match kicks-off at 5p.m. (EST) and fans can follow live score updates and see photos from the match on Army’sFacebook page. You’ll also be able to watch the match in its entirety on a tape-delay webcast on USA Rugby’s UStream Channel on Monday, May 7.
On the other side of the bracket, Penn State travels to Marietta, Georgia to take on the Life Running Eagles. Life comes into the match as the #1 seed in the Mid-South having mowed over their opponents this season, but Penn State’s big forward pack could slow down the dangerous Life attack. Life will be bolstered by the return of #8 Cam Dolan who brings pace and skill to the Life pack. Fans will be able to watch this match on a LIVE webcast at www.liferunningeagles.com. Kickoff is slated for 2 pm (EST).
The UCLA Bruins, perhaps the surprise story of the D1-A season, will have their hands full if they are to keep their dream season alive when they travel to Provo, Utah to take on the BYU Cougars. BYU have been nearly untouchable this year, having trounced a strong Colorado team in their last match 99-12. The match is set to kick at 1pm (MST) from South Field in Provo. A webcast of the game will be available shortly following full-time at www.byurugby.com. BYU will also be providing live score updates on their Twitter feed.
In what could be the match of the weekend, The Utah Utes travel to Moraga, Calif., to take on the Gaels of St. Mary’s. The Gaels come in as the #1 seed in the Pacific Conference on the heels of a massive victory of rivals Cal earlier this season. This win, paired with the return of some key starters from injury. Utah will be no pushover for the Gaels however, coming in as the #2 seed in the West behind BYU, and been one of the few teams this season to push the Cougars to the brink. Utah will look to their leaders with All-American experience like Don Pati and Mike Shepard to lead them on the road in Moraga. Fans can check out photos from the game at USA Rugby’s Facebook page, and a tape-delayed webcast will be available on Monday at USA Rugby’s UStream Channel.
Here are the semifinal scenarios that should shake out, depending on the weekend’s winner.
Looking at the left side of the bracket:
If Life beats Penn State, they will host the semi-final against the winner of the BYU/UCLA Game.
If Life loses to Penn State, BYU will host the semi-final.
If both Penn State and UCLA win, UCLA will host.
On the right side of the bracket:
Should St. Mary’s beat Utah, they will host the semi.
If Army beats Arkansas State, and St. Mary’s loses, Army will host.
Arkansas State will host in Jonesboro, Ark. if they win and Utah beats St. Mary’s.