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NCRC - Contenders ID'd Already?

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NCRC - Contenders ID'd Already?

A few thoughts on the Northwest Collegiate Rugby Conference, which saw four games played this weekend.

Washington State could be quite good. Despite getting wrung out and tossed aside by Central Washington in November, the Cougars pulled out a nice little 20-7 victory over Eastern Washington this week. Sean Powell scored a try and kicked ten points to account for 75% of WSU’s scoring. Blaze Yetter scored the other try. It wasn’t a wide open, free-flowing backs game, it was mostly about the forwards, but it was still a good result for the Cougars.

University of Washington might also be a bit of a surprise. Head Coach Kevin Swiryn said his team is in rebuilding mode, and then they go out and shut out Western Washington 10-0. That was a bit of surprise. WWU might not be completely precise in their play, but they can score. To fail to get a single point means either they had a really bad day, or UW can defend. 

Oregon is probably better than the 25-15 result against Western Oregon. The flu ran through the Ducks’ squad this past week, so they were working on who could stay upright, and they did that well enough. Expect them to be better later in the season.

Central Washington is light years better than any other team in this conference. It’s not Central’s fault that they are good, or that they are able to recruit better players (or recruit at all, for that matter). It just has to be accepted, for a while. As teams build (Boise State reportedly is now offering rugby scholarships), they will start to compete for players. 

CWU looks good to win the regular season, but there are three other spots in the playoffs. Right now it looks at though four teams - WWU, UW, WSU, and Oregon - are competing for those spots. Boise State is a wild card at this moment because the only team they’ve played is CWU, and getting blown out by CWU means little when it comes to competing with the rest of the conference.

So … key comes down the line?

Feb 7 Boise State at WSU. If Boise State is a contender, then we find out this weekend.

Feb 14 WSU at Oregon. If Washington State beats Boise State, they go to Oregon thinking they can beat one of last year’s top teams on the road. 

Feb 21 Washington at Oregon and WWU at Washington State. After these games, the playoffs could well become a lot clearer.

Feb 28 WSU at Washington. This game could go a long way to deciding who is the dreaded 4th team. No one wants to play CWU in the semis. If you’re 2nd or 3rd, you avoid them until the final.

This coming weekend’s games in the NCRC:

is coming weekend’s games in the NCRC

Boise State


Washington State

Central Washington


Western Washington