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The league picture in the Mid-Atlantic DI club conference is getting blurrier and blurrier as teams that started poorly are now winning, and teams that started well have faltered.

This weekend, Schuylkill River improved to 6-3 with a bonus-point 36-14 defeat of Maryland. Meanwhile, the Norfolk Blues took care of business on the road in Raleigh 37-17 to improve to 6-2. The Blues are the only team in the MAC with fewer than three losses.

And that's because the Potomac Athletic Club, which started the season 2-3, has now won four in a row and beat league-leaders Baltimore-Chesapeake 23-8 Saturday.

"We had to deal with a lot of player availability issues early in the season," said PAC Head Coach Ben Wiedemer. "We had injuries, a wedding, work. We fielded close to our B side a few times. But we started to pick up our performances and when we beat Norfolk, we played a really good game of rugby."

That was two weeks ago, when PAC beat the Blues 21-20. After taking the week off last weekend (both PAC and Maryland had players involved in the Ambassador's Shield game), they returned to take down B-C.

"We have a young team," said Wiedemer. "But I think we've turned a corner. It's taken our guys some time to adapt, but we're getting there."

As a result of this weekend's results, the top four teams in the league are 7-3, 7-3, 6-2, and 6-3. With league play finished until March, there is still everything to play for in the New Year - something that was rarely the case under the old format.

Pittsburgh is close behind, having beaten NOVA 44-17 to move to 5-4.

Arguably, PAC has the easiest schedule remaining, as they host Raleigh and Pittsburgh (the Harlequins being a vastly different team at home than on the road), while they visit Maryland Schuylkill River. Overall, the record of those teams is 17-19.

Baltimore hosts Maryland and Norfolk, and visits NOVA and Norfolk. Combined record of those teams is 15-19, but ten of those losses belong to NOVA. Certainly for PAC, away at Schuylkill will be a challenge, and for B-C, away at Norfolk will be hard.

Norfolk has a tough road, with six matches, including Schuylkill (at home), Pittsburgh (at home) and Baltimore-Chesapeake (home and away). Combined record 28-28, but, again, ten of those losses belong to NOVA.

Schuylkill River is away to Raleigh, Pittsburgh, and Norfolk, and hosts Raleigh and PAC. They will be fortunate to win three of those games. Combined opposition score: 24-23.

And dark horse Pittsburgh at 5-4 looks ahead to five matches, with Norfolk, PAC, and Schuylkill River among them. The Harlequins need a road win among those to make a move.

This weekend's scores:

Balt.-Chesapeake 8-23 PAC
Maryland Exiles 14-36 Schuylkiill River
Norfolk Blues 37-17 Raleigh Vipers
NOVA 17-44 Pitt Harlequins


Updated standings:

Mid-Atlantic W L T Pf Pa Pd BT BL Pts
Baltimore-Chesapeake 7 3 0 214 165 49 5 1 34
PAC 7 3 0 234 202 32 4 1 33
Norfolk Blues 6 2 0 257 161 96 5 1 30
Schuylkill River 6 3 0 263 182 81 6 0 30
Pittsburgh Harlequins 5 4 0 209 178 31 4 1 25
Raleigh Vipers 3 7 0 249 233 16 4 3 19
Maryland Exiles 3 5 0 187 233 -46 4 2 18
NOVA 0 10 0 171 390 -219 0 1 1