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With the DI Men’s Club National Playoffs scheduled to begin on May 21st, the geographic conferences around the nation are readying for postseason. Two conferences, NorCal and the Pacific Northwest, held their championships on Saturday as Life West and the Oregon Sports Rugby Union (ORSU) advanced to the Pacific North Championship on May 7th in Seattle, Wash. The rest of the DI clubs were either finishing up their seasons or only have a game or two left.

The NorCal Final found the new kids, Life West, and the defending champs, the EPA Razorbacks, in competition for the title. In the regular season, Life West had beat EPA in a combined score of 98-28. In Saturday’s final, EPA was defensively solid all day and had the 10-3 lead at halftime. With less than five minutes to go, Life West captain Akuila Uaisele and Niko Lolohea scored tries to win the championship, 22-15.

“It wasn’t a stellar performance from the guys as it was younger side and it showed,” Life West head coach Adriaan Ferris said. “What we were pleased with was our ability to dig deep when it counted and having the ability to apply pressure in different circumstances. EPA defended really well and was physical at the breakdown. They were very strong on both sides of the ball. You really have to give credit to the way they played and they took the game to us.”

In the Pacific Northwest title game, ORSU scored on the final play to beat the Eastside Tsunami, 31-28. The contest was full of penalties with the Tsunami incurring three yellow cards in the second half. An intense game boiled down to those final minutes.

“Crazy finish with ten minutes to go, we were looking likely up by ten points,” ORSU coach Craig Martin said. “Then, we have one of those defensive lapses and they go in a get a try and score another soon after. Five minutes left, we kick-offed, managed to get a turnover, and we should have score three times, it was crazy. Two guys dropped the ball and the other guy was through and decided to pass to someone who wasn’t who knocked it on, but we had advantage. We then had a pick and go to score and win it.”

In the penultimate weekend in the Mid-Atlantic, Schuylkill River shored up the third seed with a 38-20 victory over Potomac. Both clubs in the race for the final playoff spot lost as Rocky Gorge crushed Pittsburgh, 55-8, and the Norfolk Blues stomped Baltimore-Chesapeake, 40-2; however, BC picked up a bonus try point. All BC has to do to seal the fourth seed is to beat Potomac at home next weekend. If BC loses and Pittsburgh wins, the Harlequins are in. If both teams win, it will come down to bonus points, but BC holds the tiebreaker.

The last Saturday of the regular season for the Midwest was a preview for the first round of the conference playoffs. With all of the seeding decided last weekend, the Griffins won the Chicago Derby over the Lions, 27-17, to break their undefeated streak and the Kansas City Blues edged Metropolis, 19-13. The same club will meet again next Saturday in the semifinals with the Griffins at the Lions and Kansas City at Metropolis.

With three games in the two weeks before the Red River playoffs begin, the four playoffs spots have been earned. Saturday, the Austin Blacks added another win to their undefeated season beating the Huns, 24-7, and the fourth place Griffins blasted the Dallas Harlequins, 79-5. The top seed in the conference is up for grabs next weekend in an epic clash between the Austin Blacks and Dallas Reds in Dallas. With two Red River teams making Nationals, the game next week and the potential conference final will be extreme in Texas.

For the clubs of SoCal, the San Diego Old Aztecs, who were on a bye, secured the #1 seed and OMBAC shored up the second seed with a 29-21 win over Santa Monica. The battle for the third and fourth seeds is tight as Los Angeles clipped Belmont Shore, 31-30. Both of the teams have identical records, but Los Angeles is in third with three more standing points. Each team has one game left on the schedule as Los Angeles travels to San Diego next week and OMBAC hosts Belmont Shore on May 7th.

HomeScoreAwayScoreDivision
Mystic River32Old Blue17ARP/Atlantic North
Life41Boston Irish17ARP/Atlantic North
Potomac Exiles20Schuylkill River38Mid-Atlantic
Baltimre-Chesapeake22Norfolk Blues40Mid-Atlantic
Rocky Gorge55Pittsburgh Harlequins8Mid-Atlantic
Raieigh Vipers43NOVA24Mid-Atlantic
Columbus29Palmer College11Midwest
Metropolis13Kansas City19Midwest
Chicago Lions17Chicago Griffins27Midwest
Life West22EPA Razorbacks15NorCal Championship
ORSU31Eastside Tsunami28Pacific NW Championship
Griffins79Dallas Harlequins5Red River
Austin Huns7Austin Blacks24Red River
OMBAC29Santa Monica Dolphins21SoCal
Belmont Shore30Los Angeles31SoCal
Downtown Rhinos17Pasadena37SoCal