Men's College Action
Men's College Action
Men's college rugby is still going, although the number of games is dwindling—at least we have two major matchups to brighten up the weekend.
Editor's note—after we posted this story, the Lindenwood vs Army game was canceled due to some positive COVID tests at Lindenwood.
Lindenwood at Army
Lindenwood has been able to add a game to the end of its season, with the Lions set to face Army at West Point Friday night.
Army is 4-0, having beaten Navy 39-13 on October 31, 2020, Queens University Charlotte 34-7 on April 3, Norwich 67-0 on April 10, and Air Force 61-12 on April 17. That win over Air Force secured the Commander-in-Chief Trophy for West Point, as they swept their games against their military academy rivals.
Through that season, West Point saw games against Navy, Mount St. Mary's, and, last week, Davenport, canceled.
"It’s difficult to tell where we are because we haven’t played very many games, but we feel very positive about how this team has worked and grown," said Army Head Coach Matt Sherman. "We know Lindenwood will pose a massive challenge, and we welcome and look forward to that test."
Lindenwood has been one of the most successful college teams in terms of getting games. They beat Arkansas State twice, 31-8 and 59-15. They split their series with Life University, a 45-27 win and a 32-26 loss. They also beat Marian University, Central Washington, Iowa Central CC, and, most recently on April 10, Davenport 30-0. Overall in 15s games (not counting 2nd XV opponents) Lindenwood is 7-1 and ranked #1 by Goff Rugby Report.
The game is Friday, 7PM ET and will be streamed live here >>
Arizona at Cal
Cal, which didn't play last week, now is slated to face Arizona in Berkeley. The Wildcats did play last week, beating Air Force 86-12 behind seven tries from the right wing position— four from starter Kyle Fulton and three from his replacement, Tyler Sloan. Flyhalf Robert Figley scored 17 points with the boot while scrumhalf Brendon Paulsen and center Abe Turpen both scored twice.
"First off, credit to Air Force for battling through cancellations as this was supposed to be played in February, and then playing a hard 80 minutes," said Arizona Director of Rugby Sean Duffy. "We spoke as a circle with both teams about how many of their athletes are going to do special things for this country and we salute them for their coming service. The scoreline flatters us a bit but I'm thrilled to see the progress."
As for playing Cal, Duffy said: "In a normal year, priority one is to win the state. Priority two is win the conference. While UCLA and Utah unfortunately opted not to compete this season, we view this as in essence a PAC-12 title match. This year priority one was getting on the field. We've accomplished two of our three goals. The third is there for the taking and we'll give everything we have against a talented and well-coached side out there in Berkeley."
Cal is 1-1, having beaten BYU 37-28 on April 10 before losing 32-14 to Saint Mary's.
Saint Mary's was not able to play the game they expected against Central Washington because of a COVID exposure. BYU is slated to play Utah Valley University twice, once on Friday and once on Saturday. BYU has hit for the COVID cycle this season with one win, one loss, one tie, and one cancelation.
Some colleges around the country are not in action but the players themselves are ... usually suiting up as the B side or U23 side of a men's club. In Florida, Palm Beach U23s went 5-1 with a largely college lineup and edged Gainesville 17-14 in he semis to set up a final against Orlando last weekend.
In the final they won another tough one 22-17 to be Florida champions.
For the most part, eyes are now turning toward the May Madness CRC 7s tournament May 29-31 in New Orleans. The men's tournament reportedly has room for 32 teams, and we've heard plenty of rumors of teams interested. But these are the ones officially announced by NCR, which is running the event: Marian, Davenport, Notre Dame College, Mount St. Mary's, Queens University of Charlotte, Christendom College, Iowa State, and Wheeling University.