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There were blowouts and close calls all through the DI-AA rugby scene this week, but the higher-ranked teams all came out on top.
In Northern California, both league games came down to a single points, with #9 Sacramento State edging Stanford 23-22, and #15 Chico State beating #23 Santa Clara 43-42.
“Our league is going to be super tight,” said Chico Head Coach Mitch Jagoe. “I think everyone is playing good rugby.”
Chico was in a barnburner the week before, losing 32-27 to Sacramento State. Obviously giving up 74 points in two weekends isn’t idea.
“Yes, defense is an issue,” said Jagoe. “We are going to have to get it together before Stanford next weekend.”
Karl Schmeigel, Scott Luis, Jim Beahm, Mike Morello, Tyler Poland, and Michael Deel scored tries, for Chico, with the winning try coming from rookie forward Jimmy Burrows. Michael Keane’s four conversions were as much the difference as anything else.
In the end, Sac State leads NorCal with a 2-0 record, but it’s clearly not going to be that easy for them.
In Southern California, recently unranked San Diego defeated UC Irvine 42-27 and #3 UCSB beat Southern Cal 76-6.
For UCSB, hooker Rob Corsi scored four tries, and the Gauchos did well to dominate set piece possession, winning close to 100% of the scrums in the second half.
Man of the match was Jonathan Prickett as UCSB improve dto 3-0, just one standings point behind 3-1 San Diego.
In Texas, Sam Houston and North Texas were both winners, but every is chasing Texas and Rica at this point.
In the Northwest, #17 Oregon State won 46-5 over Western Washington behind wing Nate Kimmel’s five tries. OSU has the best record in the NCRC at 3-0, but UBC has played one more game and at 3-1 has more points in the standings … for now.
Washington State improved to 1-1-1 with a 14-0 shutout of up-and-coming Idaho.
The South was plenty active. Life’s B side thumped Middle Tennessee State 107-3, while Kennesaw State was 51-7 better than Emory.
Georgia, #8 Florida, #7 LSU and #4 Tennessee all won. Tennessee dominated restarts to keep getting the ball back on their way to a 56-0 defeat of Alabama. Scrumhalf Joe Brink and fullback Nathan Ring both scored two tries for the Volunteers.
In one of the real upsets of the weekend, Vanderbilt defeated Ole Miss 31-12.
“They are the one really strong scrummaging pack we’ve come across,” said Mississippi’s Bradley Yandle. “They were strong in the lineouts, too. We wanted to spread our line, but they were really strong in the forwards and it was tough. It was a step back for us, but maybe this is a good time for it.”
Ole Miss drops to 2-1, Vanderbilt up to 1-2.
And the Atlantic Coast Rugby League started, with Clemson putting up 100 over Georgia Tech, with No. 8 Matt Fetty logging four tries.
DI-AA Scores from Feb 25
Florida State (#21) ppd Florida International
Florida Atlantic 0-20 Central Florida
Middle Tennessee State 3-107 Life B
Kennesaw State 51-7 Emory
UC Santa Barbara (#3) 76-6 Southern Cal
San Diego 42-27 UC Irvine
Georgia 38-19 South Carolina
Kentucky 0-49 Florida (#8)
Vanderbilt 31-12 Ole Miss
Tennessee (#4) 56-0 Alabama
Auburn 0-50 LSU (#7)
North Carolina 29-17 Wake Forest
Clemson 100-0 Georgia Tech
N.C. State 14-31 Virginia Tech (#22)
Sam Houston State 54-24 Baylor
Houston 5-46 North Texas
WWU 0-46 OSU (#17)
UW ppd CWU
WSU 14-0 Idaho
Sac State (#9) 23-22 Stanford
Santa Clara (#23) 42-43 Chico (#15)
Latest DI-AA Standings