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With Club Regionals less than a month away, the conference playoffs are set to begin this Saturday. For the regional round of the National Playoffs on weekend of May 19-20, the Midwest plays the winner of the Atlantic North and the Mid-Atlantic match-up in Obetz, Ohio and the Red River battles the Pacific Rugby Premiership champion in Fort Worth, Texas.
The Midwest season was completed in the fall and the champion, Metropolis, decided to forgo its bid to Nationals. The second place Chicago Lions will take its place in Obetz, Ohio and face the winner of the Atlantic North versus Mid-Atlantic match.
The Lions have been preparing for Regionals with wins against Charlotte, the Chicago Griffins, and the Detroit Tradesmen and will play Old Blue and the Cleveland Crusaders in the coming weeks.
The Mid-Atlantic played its final regular season test on Saturday and it shook up the playoff seeding. With the Norfolk Blues’ defeat of the undefeated Rocky Gorge, the Blues take over the #1 seed and will host the Potomac Exiles this Saturday. Gorge will play the Pittsburgh Harlequins in Columbia, Md. in the second semifinal before the MAC Championship on May 5th.
The Atlantic North representative at Regionals will be the team with the best regular season record. In the fall, the three clubs of the conference participated in the American Rugby Premiership with Glendale and Life. Old Blue decided not to pursue a postseason berth this season so the only teams left were New York Athletic Club at 4-2 and Mystic River at 1-4. There are two games left on the schedule with NYAC on the road to Mystic River on April 28th and at Old Blue on May 5th.
Like the Mid-Atlantic, the Red River concluded its regular season on Saturday. The Austin Blacks and the Dallas Reds both won this past weekend and ended with 9-1 records. Tied with 44 standing points each and splitting the season series, the third tie-breaker of the head to head point differential decided the #1 seed.
The Austin Blacks scored seven more points than the Reds against each other, therefore Austin takes first seed and Dallas is second. The Glendale Merlins are third with a 5-4-1 record and Dallas Harlequins took fourth place at 2-7-1.
The DI Red River Playoffs begin on Friday, May 4th at the Round Rock Multipurpose Complex in Round Rock, Texas. Austin will play the Harlequins and the Reds battle Glendale in the semifinals before the finals on Sunday, May 6th.
Pacific Rugby Premiership
The last Saturday of the PRP is upon California and there is a three-way tie for first place. With the top two spots advancing to the PRP final, OMBAC and Belmont Shore are first and second according to the tie-breakers and SFGG is in third.
For the final week of the regular season, all teams are in action with OMBAC hosting Santa Monica, Belmont at Life West, and SFGG traveling to Olympic Club. If OMBAC and Belmont win and earn the bonus try point, both teams advance to the PRP final. If SFGG collects all five points against Olympic and one of the top two falters, Golden Gate is in.