BOULDER, Colo. – Kutztown University’s hunt for a second consecutive Rugby East title begins Saturday when the Golden Bears host Buffalo. The matchup pitting the reigning Rugby East Champion against one of three new teams to the Conference also opens league play in D1A.
The Bulls of Buffalo will surely be up against it as Kutztown is the most experienced and physically imposing team in the Conference. Although the Golden Bears lost one AIG All-American to graduation in Michael Lawrenson, Kutztown still has fellow All-American and scrumhalf Niku Kruger to lead the offensive attack. Kruger missed Kutztown’s recent two-match tour of Canada and should be eager to make an impact.
For Buffalo, pulling out a victory on the road against the No. 4-ranked team in D1A might be beyond their grasp. However, opening their campaign against the Pennsylvania powerhouse should slow the game down for the Bulls as they progress into their first campaign in Rugby East.
Staying in the East, St. Bonaventure opens up a brand new rugby pitch against Iona. The match was scheduled as a way to celebrate the grand opening of the field, and is considered a non-conference match with the two meeting again in October in an official Rugby East match.
In non-conference action, a Rugby East-versus-Mid-South match highlights a long list of inter-league games. Davenport will venture to State College to tangle with Penn State. Each team has National Championship aspirations, and the outcome between the two Saturday will not only hint to the strengths of the individual teams, but the strengths of their conferences.
In the Midwest, 2014 DIAA semifinalist Bowling Green faces Big 10 Universities’ Ohio State. The Buckeyes used a blistering second half to put away Buffalo with ease last week, and will need to play at that pace for 80 minutes to beat Bowling Green.
Big 10 Universities:
Ohio State vs. Bowling Green
Minnesota vs. St. Johns
Iowa vs. Iowa State
Indiana vs. Kentucky
Davenport vs. Penn State
Lindenwood vs. Palmer
Baylor vs. SMU
Oklahoma vs. OKC Crusaders
Texas vs. UT-Dallas
Colorado vs. Boulder RFC 2nd XV
New Mexico vs. New Mexico Highlands RFC
Iona vs. St. Bonaventure
Army vs. Cornell
Wheeling Jesuit vs. West Virginia