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Men DII Playoff Latest - Down to 8

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Men DII Playoff Latest - Down to 8

Furman moves on.

We are down to eight teams in the Men’s DII College rugby playoffs.

In Pittsburgh, Rowan edged Illinois State 18-17 in a tough clash in the rain and cold and mud.

“The conditions kind of changed our game plan,” said co-captain John Edler. “Illinois State is a really good team. They are very big, but our defense played really well, and our forwards were awesome despite being outsized.”

ISU took an early lead, but Rowan nudged ahead with two penalty goals and then two penalty tries for an 18-5 lead. ISU came storming back, but their final try of the day was in the corner and the conversion was not successful, allowing Road to hold on.

Along with the forwards, Mike Ehrlich was a threat in the backs, and fullback Nick Monguso was outstanding countering ISU’s kicking game. 

Norwich defeated Bentley 30-17. Norwich led 20-0 at halftime thanks to a Keegan Frick penalty goal, and then got tries from Eric Pierone, Tom St. Pierre, and Trevor Surratt, one of which Frick converted. St. Pierre then put the game essentially out of reach with a try early in the second half, and, after Bentley finally got on the board, the scrumhalf notched his third of the day to secure the win.

Rowan and Norwich face each other at 1pm ET on Sunday for a trip to the national semis.

In the other bracket in Pittsburgh, Coast Guard beat UNC Charlotte handily, 45-5. It was a game the Coast Guard Academy dominated for most of the 80 minutes. Head Coach Crist Holveck said he was worried about team depth if his team was pushed too much or sustained injuries. Having a big lead relatively early allowed him to ease those fears.

And Wisconsin-Whitewater won fairly easily, as expected, slamming Middlebury 55-8.

In the Wayne, Neb. bracket, North Dakota State defeated Western State 12-7 in a tight, tense match.

“It was a tough battle for both teams, the score was a testament to that,” said outside center Michael Zweber. “We were both hitting each other hard and playing great defense. It was a battle all game.”

Up 5-0, North Dakota State got the key score when inside center Josh Smith chipped over the WSU defensive line, raced in, and regathered the rolling ball to score. That made it 12-0, and while Western State did score late in the game, and had time to score again, NDSU held them out.

Minnesota-Duluth pushed aside a very competitive Colorado School of Mines team 31-14. The Duluth forwards once again made trouble for their opponents in the set piece. Flyhalf Trace Bolstad scored two tries and converted three, while Nemual Sereti, Noah Sirro, Randy Tanaka, and Randy Tanak all touched down.

Duluth faces NDSU at 10:45am CT Sunday.

Furman took care of Sacred Heart 68-31. Furman was able to spin the ball wide and work their backline moves and were able to dictate the pace of the game. Sacred Heart kept battling, and were able to break through against Furman on several occasions.

“It was a good performance across the board,” said Furman Head Coach John Roberts who got good games from Austin Willis and Jeffrey Rein at scrumhalf and flyhalf.

Prop Adriano Marcogliese helped drive the scrum.

Furman will play NC State, which thundered over Southern Connecticut State 61-5.  The Wolf Pack used their big forward to push back SoConn. The Pack pack controlled the game and won going away. However, with one of their top players out with a suspected concussion and another out with a red card sustained on Saturday, NC State will have to bring their best against a good Furman squad.

See the full bracket here: Men DII Playoff Scores and Bracket