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Cal v Navy, SMC v BYU, and More in College Rugby

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Cal v Navy, SMC v BYU, and More in College Rugby

2023 D1A final rematch: Cal vs Navy. Photo Olly Laseinde.

It's a smaller but more intense weekend in D1AA

D1AA Playoffs Ramifications

The California D1AA North has their playoffs this weekend and the champion, as well as, possibly, the 2nd-place team will get into the Western Regionals. 

University of San Diego is almost guaranteed to join them and will secure that top-dog status in the Southwest with a win over Arizona State.

Finally (hopefully) we will have Western Washington vs Boise State. There doesn't appear to be much snow so we should have that game. The winner is the top team in NCRC and gets into the Western Regionals. The second-place team could well get there, too, as there's a wild card.

What About D1A?

The BIG GAME is of course Navy at Cal. Navy is on a roll and Cal is not so maybe this is a perfect setup for Cal to put in a performance.

“We are fully aware of the challenge we face from Cal this Saturday," said Navy Head Coach Gavin Hickie, whose team has been in training on the West Coast this week. "This will be a ferocious contest, but that is exactly what we want. We are very excited and cannot wait for kickoff on Saturday. We are extremely grateful for the fantastic week we have had in California. Huge thank you to the Janowsky family, all our parents and alumni for supporting our trip.”

Cal looked in trouble mid-season last season and made some tactical and positional changes and almost won it all as a result. They are not making drastic positional changes, so the question is whether the Bears can find their offensive mojo.

Initially we were concerned about Cal's defense after they gave up over 50 to BYU, but really, when looking at the loss to Army, the question is whether Cal has been able to maintain ball control and wear down the opposition. That's often been what Cal has been excellent at. Yes they can break open games and they can be spectacular, but when Cal is unstoppable, it's because they run phases with precision and hard work.

Of course this is a rematch of last year's D1A final. So that adds some spice to it all. So does the fact that it's homecoming at Cal.

But that's not the only one. Saint Mary's and BYU will clash in Provo and that's a huge one for a Saint Mary's team that seems to have been cruising a bit.

Army can build off their massive win over Cal with a game at Mary Washington. We talk above about the playoff seedings, and with that in mind this is a really important game for both teams.

Keep an eye on Tuesday for Lindenwood at Central Washington. Hopefully the airline won't rip Lindenwood's seats away from them this time.

Check back for scores: 

D1A Games
Date Away   Home Conf. Refs
3/16 Cal State Long Beach 72-12 Santa Clara California Dan Frankenfeld
3/16 UC Santa Barbara Ccld UCLA California Elvy Asonye
3/16 Davenport 17-16 Arkansas State Independent Justin Hale
3/16 Navy 24-47 Cal PAC Kat Roche
3/16 Arizona 44-0 Utah PAC Kage Green
3/16 Saint Mary's 38-21 BYU Rocky Mountain Kahlil Harrison
3/16 Army 34-17 Mary Washington Rugby East Craig Sakowski
3/16 Penn State 17-45 Life Rugby East Alex Hedquist
3/17 San Diego State 29-0 UC Santa Cruz California Steven Fenaroli
3/19 Lindenwood 37-22 Central Washington Independent Marquise Goodwin
D1AA Games
Date Away   Home Conf.  
3/16 U. San Diego 41-19 Arizona State Calif. D1AA S  
3/16 Eckerd 14-24 UCF Florida D1AA  
3/16 FIU 0-20 FAU Florida D1AA  
3/16 Boise State University Fft L-W WWU NCRC D1AA  
3/16 Chico State 15-31 American River Calif. D1AA SF  
3/16 Fresno State 29-65 San Jose State Calif. D1AA SF