Around the Country in HS Rugby
Around the Country in HS Rugby
What's happening around the country in Boys HS Rugby? Time for a nationwide rundown:
Belmont Shore’s win over Back Bay puts the Whales in control of the North Gold in Southern California. Shore plays a very tough Santa Monica team this weekend, but a lone bonus point will ensure 1st for Shore.
Santa Monica has a solid chance of bypassing Back Bay for 2nd, but both could be looking over their shoulders at South Bay, which finishes up their regular season this weekend against Santa Clarita.
In the South Gold, the Coastal Dragons finished off 5-1 and have clinched a playoff spot, but not 1st. Irvine and the San Diego Mustangs are both at 3-1, and the Wallabies are 2-2. The Mustangs lost a bit of a surprise result to Irvine 26-22.
This week, Irvine can do themselves and the Mustangs a favor with a win over the 2-2 Wallabies. The Rhinos and Mustangs will want to finish up 5-1, but a win this weekend by the Wallabies could throw that all into question. Two victories by either Irvine or the Mustangs, coupled with at least one four-try bonus point, will put that team past the Dragons.
The Tri-Counties winner is Arroyo Grande.
The playoff picture, then, looks as follows: Belmont Shore, Santa Monica and Back Bay (with one of those possibly replaced by South Bay); Coastal Dragons, Irvine Rhinos, and San Diego Mustangs (with the Wallabies having an outside chance to replace Irvine or SD); Arroyo Grande and, probably, Orca.
In Northern California, it’s playoff time. The Premier/Top 5 crossover sees Danville playing Granite Bay, and Jesuit playing CK McClatchy in the semis. Meanwhile, with the Solo Falcons pulling out of the playoffs, SFGG has a bye to the Plate Final, and Peninsula Green will play Mother Lode for the right to play SFGG.
In DII, Cougar and Buchanan have a bye to the semifinals, while De La Salle plays Sac PAL and Elsie Allen plays the Harlequins a week later to set up the DII final four.
Union is in 1st in the Oregon single-school league after edging a very tough 32-31 win over Newberg. Newberg beat Battle Ground to stay close to Union. The big games will be April 29 Newberg at Reynolds, and then May 6 Union at Reynolds. Reynolds can make a splash with those results. Either way, expect Union and Newberg to be in the May 13 playoffs.
In the club league, the Valley Rams and Beaverton Barbarians lead with a 4-0 record. Those two teams won’t meet this regular season, so they could both enter the playoffs undefeated. The big game is this weekend, as the Rams play 3-1 Northside Panthers.
Washington is, as we’ve said, all bunched together. A late surge by Chuckanut might move them into playoff position. But it seems like Liberty, Rainier, Budd Bay, and Tacoma are in the best position to be playoff-bound, but Chuckanut could make a run now that they have their full complement of players.
In Idaho, Capital’s win over Mountain View put those two teams, plus Rocky Mountain, at 4-1. Those three should be the top three going into the playoffs at the end of next week.
Utah is still quiet on the single-school side, but Olympus and Westlake got important wins. Snow Canyon, Wasatch, Westlake, Olympus, Herriman, and Highland are all in action this weekend, and all could use a win.
On the HS club side, West Valley is in excellent shape in the North and having beaten Genesis they might be in excellent shape statewide. In the South, United plays Genesis in a game that could establish who is strongest there, and help United rebound from a series of difficult results.
In Colorado, it’s bunched up at the top, as we said. Palmer HS players Regis Jesuit, and that’s an important game for both.
In Texas, the playoffs start in a little over a week, and the Woodlands, Cy Fair, Westlake, and Quins Colts winning their conferences.
Minnesota has just started, as has Wisconsin. Watch out for Eagan in the Land of 1,000 Lakes, and in America's Dairyland, it's the Chargers all the way.
Illinois is split up into a Catholic Conference and a Suburban Conference. Right now it looks as if the Catholic Conference is somewhat stronger, as indicated by the fact that Morton tied La Salette in the Suburban, and then Morton was beaten convincingly by Brother Rive in the Catholic.
This weekend, La Salette plays two games in Naperville against two league opponents. There’s a good chance they win both.
Iowa started their 7s league with the usual suspects, SE Polk and Ankeny, starting off on a winning note.
It’s still early days in Indiana, with Penn and Royal Irish (no surprise) leading the way. Watch out for Fishers, who won a close one over Brownsburg.
In Ohio, St. Ignatius has an ambitious schedule as they take on Indiana team Royal Irish this weekend and then St. Edward a week later. Ignatius and St. Ed’s have a heated rivalry. In the DIAA league, Brunswick and Walnut Hills lead.
Rockford leads the Michigan league after close wins over Grandville and Central Catholic.
Louisiana will cap off their season with a Day O' Rugby in Gretna Saturday. There'll be some consolation finals, a youth rugby showcase, the announcement of the all-state team, and then the state final between the Jesuit Blue Jays and Bayou Hurricanes.
Rugby Pa is getting back on track, and Doylestown v Downingtown is a game to watch, and also a MAPL league game.
More to come from Rugby New Jersey, where Delbarton leads in the Single-School and it’s still all up for grabs in the HS Club section. Massachusetts has started with BC High getting off to a snappy beginning. Rugby NY has some games to play.
In North Carolina, we’re almost to playoff time, and there is some good competition in the single-school section. Hough ended the season unbeaten, but Myers Park, South Meck, and surging NW Guilford look solid. Within the Open (Club) league, Charlotte Catholic, Union County, and Raleigh look strong. The big question is whether Chapel Hill or Charlotte Tigers can get 4th.
In Florida, it’s a rematch of the South Final as the state final as Okapi takes on St. Thomas Aquinas.
And finally, all eyes will be on the Jesuit Classic in the DC area, which promises to be a monster of a tournament with some of the top teams in the nation. Watch for our preview there.