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The Men’s DI club season began officially on Saturday with eight clubs in league action. 

The Cincinnati Wolfhounds hit visiting Buffalo hard, defeating the Western New York club 46-3. Winners also were the Detroit Tradesmen, 50-12 over Columbus, Chicago Lions 36-17 over Milwaukee Westside Harlequins, and Palmer, 73-14 over the Chicago Blaze.

“The boys were excited,” said Cincinnati Head Coach Nick Lauterbach. “They looked sharp early and in the first 25 minutes I think we scored 25 points.”

Lauterbach said the players were fired up for the opening game of the season, but their strong start was as much as part of the consistency the squad has enjoyed over the past years.

“We haven’t had a lot of changes in the squad so it was easy for the guys to get back into the swing of things,” said Lauterbach. “What pleased me, though, was how some of our returning players have matured. We scored quite a few tries in the backs, which showed that we were able to get them good ball in space.”

Wings Ryan Grote and Lemeki Betomakita both notched two tries for the Wolfhounds and No. 8 Petrus Swanepoel was a handful with the ball in hand.

Despite the strong result, Lauterbach said it’s too early to tell where his club will fall in the new Midwest-East.

“It’s was a good start; I was excited to see how we controlled the set pieces. But we’ve got Indianapolis next week and that’s a good rivalry.”

Indianapolis played a friendly against the Chicago Griffins, a club which plays Midwest DI clubs all fall but whose games don’t count in the standings.

A club whose games do count in the standings is the Chicago Lions. The Lions opted to pull out of the Super League this week because new Midwest rules would limit the games for their players. Clearly angry at yet another territorial decision designed to hamstring good players, the Lions took the field as a DI-only entity for the first time since 1996.

Head Coach Marty Wiggins was without some players playing 7s for the Midwest all-star team, and the irony wasn’t lost on the coach that he was sending players to represent a territory that was looking for ways to limit his players’ game time.

Wiggins also sat down some other players who had been active in 7s, and was without prop and captain John Vitale, still coming back from injury.

“It was a bit of a mixed bag,” said Wiggins of the lineup. “But we got a good result and it was a good start.”

Perhaps most interesting was the fact that the Lions started former Bowling Green star Nick Viviani at flyhalf. It’s rare for a major club to start an American flyhalf right out of college, but that’s exactly what the Lions did.

“Nick has a very strong skill-set for a young flyhalf,” said Wiggins. “So he’s starting ahead of the game there. And he’s very, very keen.”

 The Lions will take on the Blaze under the lights Thursday night at the Blaze's Lamont, Ill. facility.


Midwest DI Men Club Eastern League

Club

W

L

T

Pf

Pa

Pd

BT

BL

Pts

 

Cincinnati Wolfhounds

1

0

0

46

3

43

1

0

5

 

Detroit Tradesmen

1

0

0

50

12

38

1

0

5

 

Indianapolis Impalas

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

Columbus

0

1

0

12

50

-38

0

0

0

 

Buffalo

0

1

0

3

46

-43

0

0

0

 

 

Midwest DI Men Club Western League

Club

W

L

T

PF

PA

Diff

BT

BL

Pts

 

Palmer

1

0

0

73

14

59

1

0

5

 

Chicago Lions

1

0

0

36

17

19

1

0

5

 

Metropolis

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

Milwaukee WS H'quins

0

1

0

17

36

-19

0

0

0

 

Chicago Blaze

0

1

0

14

73

-59

0

0

0