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USA Rugby Men's D1 2014-2015 standings - week 1

Team (Rank Change)WinLossDrawStreakPFPA+/-BT*BL**Points
Metropolis (Minneapolis, MN) (up-arrow-green-16x16px+1)1001W431231105
Lions (Chicago, IL) (up-arrow-green-16x16px+1)1001W401426105
Barbarians (Milwaukee, WI) (up-arrow-green-16x16px+1)1001W321517105
Blues (Kansas City, MO) (up-arrow-green-16x16px+1)1001W291910105
Dragons (Davenport, IA) (down-arrow-red-16x16px-1)0101L1929-10000
Griffins (Chicago, IL) (down-arrow-red-16x16px-1)0101L1532-17000
Scioto Valley (Columbus, OH) (down-arrow-red-16x16px-1)0101L1440-26000
Wolfhounds (Cincinnati, OH) (down-arrow-red-16x16px-1)0101L1243-31000

* A bonus point is awarded for each match in which the team scores 4 tries or more. 
** A bonus point is awarded for each match in which the team loses by 7 or less.

The Men's Midwest Division 1 competition kicked off this weekend featuring the same teams from the 2013-2014 season and a full-sweep of bonus-point wins for the home sides. In the second and possibly final year of the relegation hiatus implemented by the Midwest Rugby Football Union during the league restructure of 2013, there is a lot on the line this season for all teams in addition to the desire to advance to the national championship.

Metropolis — ranked #1 in the Midwest last season — had convincing 43-12 victory over the Wolfhounds, last year's wooden spoon recipient. Despite the lop-sided score, Cincinnati are showing continual improvement vs. Metro when you consider the 61-0 loss a year ago and 38-7 result in April of this year. Expect Cincinnati to challenge every match this year, especially at home.

The Lions hosted Scioto Valley and captured a 40-14 win. The Lions stumbled early last year but came on strong towards the end of the season to finish in 5th place overall, just behind 4th-ranked Scioto Valley. Their clear win today over a higher ranked team could signal a resurgence on the 15s side for the perennial National 7s finalists. With lingering concerns over forfeits and abrupt scheduling changes, consistency and reliability — especially on the road — will be the key to a winning season for the Chicago side. 

The Barbarians got their season going on the right foot with a 32-15 victory over the Griffins. The match was closer than the score suggests, especially considering the 3rd-ranked vs. 7th-ranked matchup and the fact that the Griffins narrowed the score with a try at the final whistle in mixed weather conditions. The Barbarians showed lots of depth from the bench and most of the reserves were used, with standout performances from numerous players including collegiate All American Ben Landry who recently signed with PRM. With a full D3 schedule to fulfill, success for the Barbarians will depend on properly managing playing time, team selections, travel commitments, and the obligations of their growing list of high-performance athletes. 

In the final match of the day, the Blues hosted the Dragons. The 29-19 win by the 2nd-ranked Kansas City outfit was the narrowest scoreline in week 1, and could signify important gains by the Dragons who have been rebuilding for the last 2 seasons and signed a new coach this past spring. By any measure, today's result is quite a defensive improvement over their last match-up in March wherein the Blues won 54-11. 

Week 2 preview (6-Sep-2014)

Next week, the Griffins host Metropolis in what will be in interesting first away match for the Midwest champions. Expect the Griffins to keep it close in the first half but the fitness of Metropolis to to prevail in the end. It's unclear that the time of writing wether or not the D2 and D4 squads in Minneapolis have matches, but if they do, the match could be a toss-up if the visitors are forced to make the long trip to Chicago without a full complement of reserves.

The Dragons host the Lions and this match has the best potential for an upset in week 2. As noted above, the Dragons appear to be punching above their weight right now, and it will take a determined effort from the Lions to capture the win on the road.

The third match will be the Wolfhounds hosting Scioto Valley. After 1 week, we predict this match to be close, with home-field advantage perhaps delivering a win for Cincinnati.

  • Griffins (Home) vs. Metropolis
  • Dragons (Home) vs. Lions
  • Wolfhounds (Home) vs. Scioto Valley

Scores, Week 1 (30-Aug-2014)

  • Metropolis (Home) 43 - 12 Wolfhounds
  • Lions (Home) 40 - 14 Scioto Valley
  • Barbarians (Home) 32 - 15 Griffins
  • Blues (Home) 29 - 19 Dragons