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After 24 pool play matches and four quarterfinal games, the Chicago Lions, the Kansas City Blues, Rugby Utah, and Old Blue have advanced to the semifinals of the 2016 USA Rugby Emirates Airline National Championships at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. The day started with 16 teams vying for the opportunity to play for the national championship on Sunday and concluded with the final four remaining.
On Saturday, the Kansas City Blues, Rugby Utah, Old Blue, and the Chicago Lions led their respective pools with undefeated 3-0 records. The Seattle Saracens, Belmont Shore, and Mystic River each advanced to the quarterfinals with 2-1 tallies and 1823 claimed the last spot in Pool C with a 1-1-1 record.
During pool play, Gerson Blaise of the Atlanta Old White led the field with six tries and Nick Feakes of the Chicago Lions and Neil Maestri of Little Rock each had four tries. Five players were tied with three tries apiece as Randy Pati (Rugby Utah), Raniera Takarangi (Kansas City Blues), Rick Kirkland (Old Blue), Ryan Snider (Seattle Saracens) and Jack Tracy (Belmont Shore) shared the honor.
In the quarterfinals late on Saturday in the main stadium, the playoff round featured two rematches of conference championships, last year’s bowl champion taking its rightful place in the semifinals, and the newcomer flexing its muscles against the defending national champion.
In repeats of the Midwest and Atlantic North conference finals, the Chicago Lions blanked 1823, 33-0, and Old Blue exacted its 15s revenge beating Mystic River, 19-17. After defeating the Saracens earlier during pool play, the Kansas City Blues continued their impressive day beating Belmont Shore, 28-12. Lastly, Rugby Utah’s young squad of players primarily from BYU and the University of Utah dispatched the defending champions, the Seattle Saracens, 33-5.
On Sunday, the action starts at 12:00 pm MST when the Chicago Lions grapple the Kansas City Blues. The match between Old Blue and Rugby Utah follows the first semifinal at 12:20 pm MST. The national championship final takes pace inside the Dick’s Sporting Goods Park at 3:30 pm MST. All the matches can be seen live on the Rugby Channel (http://www.therugbychannel.tv/).
|POOL A: Team||Wins||Losses||Draw||Point Differential|
|Kansas City Blues||3||0||0||49|
|POOL B: Team||Wins||Losses||Draw||Point Differential|
|POOL C||Wins||Losses||Draw||Point Differential|
|POOL D: Team||Wins||Losses||Draw||Point Differential|
|Atlanta Old White||1||2||0||-9|
|Chicago Lions||38||Santa Monica||7|
|Mystic River||31||Atlanta Old White||21|
|Old Blue||7||Olympic Club||0|
|Rugby Utah||38||Little Rock||5|
|Seattle Saracens||54||New Orleans||0|
|Austin Huns||7||Kansas City Blues||26|
|Chicago Lions||27||Atlanta Old White||21|
|Mystic River||14||Santa Monica||7|
|Schuylkill River||7||Olympic Club||12|
|Rugby Utah||21||Belmont Shore||10|
|Seattle Saracens||7||Kansas City Blues||21|
|Austin Huns||21||New Orleans||19|
|Chicago Lions||21||Mystic River||7|
|Atlanta Old White||19||Santa Monica||7|
|Old Blue||10||Schuylkill River||7|
|Belmont Shore||35||Little Rock||12|
|Seattle Saracens||24||Austin Huns||12|
|Kansas City Blues||21||New Orleans||5|
|QF - Chicago Lions||22||QF - 1823||0|
|QF - Kansas City Blues||28||QF - Belmont Shore||12|
|QF - Old Blue||19||QF - Mystic River||17|
|QF - Rugby Utah||33||QF - Seattle Saracens||5|