BOULDER, Colo. – The completion of D1A conference matches and the subsequent Canterbury D1A Top 20 have finalized the matchups for the 2015 D1A Playoffs.
Receiving First Round byes into the April 25 Quarterfinals are the four highest ranked Conference Champions: Air Force (West), Army (Rugby East), Life (Mid-South) and Saint Mary’s (California).
Qualifying for the Playoffs and competing for a spot in the Quarterfinals will be Cal Poly, Colorado State, Davenport, Lindenwood, Utah, and Wheeling Jesuit. Penn State is already into the round of eight after jumpstarting the D1A Playoffs with a resounding 33-8 victory over Big Ten Universities Champion Wisconsin. The Nittany Lions’ reward for their dispatching of the Badgers is a trip to Marietta, Ga., for a match against No. 1-ranked Life.
After finishing second in Rugby East, Kutztown remained in the top ten of the competition throughout the season, but will again opt to focus on sevens rather than participate in the D1A Playoffs. Additionally, the Red River will not place a team into the Playoffs after Oklahoma initially won the conference, but was forced to forfeit matches due to using ineligible players. Texas A&M, the squad the placed second in the Red River, finished the regular season ranked No. 18, which was not high enough to grant the Aggies a Playoff spot.
The three remaining First Round Playoff games will be played April 18, and hosted by the highest ranked teams that didn’t earn opening-round byes. No. 4 Lindenwood stays home to play the red-hot Rams of Colorado State, while Wheeling Jesuit’s strong spring nonconference run lands the Cardinals in Grand Rapids, Mich., where they will try and topple No. 3 Davenport. Finally, Utah’s hard-fought victories in the PAC Rugby Conference will keep the Utes home to face 2014 Quarterfinalists Cal Poly.
In less than three weeks’ time, the National Semifinals will be played May 2 – with each match being hosted by the higher ranked side. The winners of those two contests take the pitch at the Fifth Third Bank Stadium at Kennesaw State May 9, where 80 hard-fought minutes will decide the 2015 D1A National Champion. The D1A Final will be one of four National Championship matches played in Atlanta as part of the 2015 USA Rugby College 15s National Championships.
2015 D1A Playoffs:
Round 1 – April 11:
Penn State 33-8 Wisconsin
Round 1 – April 18
Colorado State @ Lindenwood
Wheeling Jesuit @ Davenport
Cal Poly @ Utah
Round 2 – April 25
Penn State @ Life
Winner of Colorado State/Lindenwood @ Air Force
Winner of Wheeling Jesuit/Davenport @ Army
Winner of Cal Poly/Utah @ Saint Mary’s