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CRC Men: Every Finish and Our Team Comments

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CRC Men: Every Finish and Our Team Comments

Army and Air Force both showed well. Alex Goff photo.

Yes, yes Lindenwood won the men's CRC 24-14 over Life, but that wasn't all.

The tournament itself happened, with 28 men's teams and 14 women's teams and alumni/select 10s teams as well. We got to play, said so many players and coaches. 

Held at a baseball stadium that doesn't host a baseball team—it's the home of MLR's NOLA Gold—the CRC was interesting because it happened, and it was something of a return to normalcy. Whatever ... we were there for the rugby. Here's a look at the teams with a few special comments.

Champions: Lindenwood

Somehow the underdog in the final Lindenwood got the "we;re the underdogs"  speech from Head Coach Josh Macy. What they did was make every Life player fight for space.

2. Life University

Played some very pretty rugby, and you wonder if they might want another shot at this final.

3. Army

Army edged Davenport 12-10 in the 3rd-4th game, and did it without Lucas Pattinson, who was probably their best player on the weekend. Noah Green came through in the last game, but overall Army played some really attractive 7s.

4. Davenport

The entire tournament was a battle for the Panthers, as every win or loss was in doubt. They have talent, for sure.

5. Air Force

Ryan Johnston was a good playmaker for them and Air Force came through with a bit more of the wide open style we expect from them, while also being more careful with the ball. They were lucky to beat Wheeling, but also didn't give up in that game. 

6. James Madison

Perhaps the team of the tournament in terms of fronting up when needed. No coach, no games to practice with, just working hard and playing for each other, just desire and teamwork, they beat St. Scholastica, Mount St. Mary's, and Notre Dame College. Their only losses were to Davenport and Air Force. 

7. Western Michigan

Stung by a 59-0 loss to Life (ouch), but the Broncos produced some special moments.

8. Notre Dame College

They weren't happy after their first game and in the end it never really clicked for the Falcons. They needed more 7s times.

9. Wheeling University (Champion Plate)

They almost beat Air Force. A knocked-on ball in-goal didn't help. Had they beaten Air Force they would have been top eight and possibly even top four. They were very physical and tenacious, and were almost very good. Wheeling came back to win twice.

10. Denver

DU probably punched above their weight more than any team. Not big, not super fast, not tall, they just played a team game and worked very hard in the tackle and off the ball. IN the end they won three games, over McKendree, Louisiana, and Mount St. Mary's, and lost two but a total of 12 points. Nothing to be ashamed of.

11, 12. Iowa State and Mount St. Mary's

13-16. Christendom, Louisiana, Lander, and Loyola

All four had some moments on the first day but it is very difficult to keep bouncing back when you're a smaller program. Louisiana was pulled in to cover AIC which had to pull out. Remember they outscored Lindenwood in the second half of their game against the Lions. For a bunch of players who had first trained together the day before, that was something to hold onto. All four won first-round games. But in the next round only Louisiana scored more than one try, and in the next game only Loyola scored at all.

17. McKendree (Survivor Shield)

Lost the opening round 14-10 to Denver and then won four in a row to get some much-deserved hardware.

18. New Mexico Tech

Very good showing for a team still building, 3-2.

19. Franciscan

20. Nazareth

Very young team.

21-24 Salve Regina, Lafayette, Tulane, Marian

Marian were a bit hard-done by. 

25. Central College (Challenge Bowl)

26. Taylor

27. Wayne State

28. St. Scholastica