You are here
Upwards of 300 players competed in the men's Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship, and the braintrust at Rugby Today has whittled that large pool down to 12 for the tournament's Dream Team. While there were certainly other big-time players, like Dylan Audsley and Holden Yungert of St. Mary's, Jimmy Wolfer of St. Joe's and Cal's Sam Cusano, named tournament MVP by the CRC organizers, but these 12 stood out more than the rest.
It was hard to limit the team to just seven backs. There were a lot of impressive halfbacks sprinkled across all teams, and they were often the ones throwing the hardest dummies, making the harshest cuts and setting up their teammates, but we couldn't justify putting them all on.
Cal's Russell Webb might have been the best player in the tournament. He certainly made some big steps when Cal needed them most, like in the semifinal against Indiana. Duncan van Schalkwyk was huge in Life's semifinal win over Lindenwood, even though he missed two minutes for a yellow card. The Running Eagles wouldn't have won that game without him. Cristian Rodriguez was the piston of Lindenwood's motor, always testing defenses. Dawit Workie put on a juking clinic for Dartmouth.
Cody Melphy was also huge for Life, both in attack and on defense. He threw the dummy of the tournament in the semifinal against Life, leading to one try, and he was quick with his feet, flyhacking his way to another. He is a complete player. Cian Barry was again brilliant for UCLA. The guy who had the biggest breakout performance was Kutztown's Dmontae Noble. He lived up to the hype playing on the big stage for the first time, and he'll be a joy to watch at future CRCs.
In the forwards, there were also many great candidates. You could have picked a few guys from Indiana, Drew Gaffney from Cal, Another Lindenwood Lion or Preston Weigel from Arkansas State. But, ultimately, they didn't make the cut.
Dylan Boast from Arkansas State had an insatiable workrate. Harley Davidson put together an impressive highlight reel of thundering runs and big hits. Anthony Salaber was instrumental in Cal winning its fifth title. Lorenzo Thomas, though Lindenwood used its bench a lot, shined for the Lions when he was on the field, bullying Life in the first half of the semifinal. And Indiana's Alex Dorrier was a revelation, offloading, attacking space and even doing the kicking for the Hoosier.
Here is your 2017 Penn Mutual CRC Dream Team:
|Dylan Boast||Arkansas State|
|Duncan van Schalkwyk||Life|