GRR on X  GRR on Facebook GRR in Instagram GRR Vimeo Library GRR on YouTube RuggaMatrix America Podcasts Support GRR on Patreon

Four Left in CRC Men's Premier

irish rugby tours

Four Left in CRC Men's Premier

Frohlich and Weir hug it out. Photo NCR.

It’s Lindenwood vs Kutztown and Iona vs Dartmouth in the Men’s Premier semifinals on Memorial Day in New Orleans and it’s a study in styles of play.

Lindenwood came in as the favorites and have, at times, played like it. Their game has gone through Evan Williams and they use their powerful runners, specifically Stephin Alberts and Tyren Al-Jiboori, and with Shivan Dukhande making a pile of tackles, they did enough. 

They were tested somewhat by Notre Dame in the 2nd round, but you get the feeling Lindenwood is saving themselves for the final-day push.

Kutztown has been a bruiser. Their athletes, led by stormin’ Georgian Mate Kvirikashvili and Colorado product Brock Stinson. Commonly thought of as a heavily-foreigner program, Kutztown has four Pennsylvanians on the squad, and a try-scoring sensation in Utah’s Kekoa Kauwe. Thorne O’Connell (the lone South African on the team) has been pulling the strings nicely, unleashing the power runners, and his kicking has been on points. They slammed Iowa State and rolled up the points on Penn State to make the final four.

Dartmouth played their silky ball-movement game and Mike Weir showed why he was a Scholz Award nominee with his passing, vision, and support work. Despite a red card to Jasper Green (two yellows rather than a red for one egregious act), Dartmouth edged Indiana 19-17.

Indiana opened the scoring with a big break by Peyton Wall. But Dartmouth answered with a well-taken turnover and immediate counter-attack finished by the powerful William Frohlich. Wall cut through for his second, but Weir’s score put his side ahead 12-10. Weir then set Green free up the middle and converted for a two-score lead 19-10. Indiana went over again with Will Chevalier sidestepping his way in and converting, but there wasn’t enough team.

Green’s red card came, obviously, after his try and right now there’s a question as to whether it will keep him out of the semis.

And finally, there’s Iona. Playing with a typical NY-area disdain for any intimidation factor, the Gaels got by Army and then Cal Maritime by simply not giving up. All three CRC games for Iona, including their opener against Iowa Central, have been decided by less than a try. With Connor Byrne and Gerald Lanning challenging defenses. Viliami Hopoi is their stepper, and then they bring in the powerful Cam DiGiorgio to finish it off. It’s a nerve-wracking, but effective, plan, and certainly if things get tight, Iona won’t be frantic.