BOULDER, Colo. – After a midweek match in the West and the Allied Rugby Conference having a second consecutive week off, Week 16’s slate in Division 1A rugby is a bit thin. Still, at least two conference matches figure to be highly competitive and there are some non-conference opponents that should prove to be strong tests for a number of D1A teams.
Saint Mary’s vs. UC Santa Barbara
The Gaels’ visit to Santa Barbara looks to be a lopsided affair on paper. Saint Mary’s is coming off of a loss to a physical Brigham Young University team. The 1-3 Gauchos should provide Saint Mary’s with an opportunity to rest a handful of starters, while giving younger players valuable playing time.
Davenport vs. Lindenwood
Both Davenport and Lindenwood have played some solid rugby in recent weeks yet each team is still looking for their first D1A win of 2014. Both teams are coming off of heartbreaking losses; Lindenwood losing by four to No. 2-ranked Life and Davenport falling by five points to No. 3-ranked Arkansas State. No victories will come easy in the Mid-South, so expect both Davenport and Lindenwood to leave it all out on the pitch Saturday.
Colorado State vs. Colorado
After a couple of postponed matches in Week 14, the West Conference opened play last week in exciting fashion. Colorado State and Colorado ended up on opposite ends of tight finishes in conference contests. The Rams could not take down Air Force, losing 29-24, while the Buffs used a late try to overcome Wyoming.
The in-state grudge match between these two clubs is always intense, but Wyoming’s Wednesday upset of Air Force puts additional incentive on the game. With a win, Colorado can put early distance between itself and the rest of the pack. Colorado State, on the other hand, can even the entire conference at 1-1 with a win, or risk falling to the bottom of the West if the Buffs prevail.
Saturday’s non-conference matches include a battle between the Big Ten and the ARC, Army getting back on the pitch and Sacramento State hoping a trip to Oregon can halt its four-match losing streak in California:
Oklahoma vs. Wisconsin
Arkansas State vs. New Orleans Rugby Club
Wheeling Jesuit vs. West Virginia
Sacramento State vs. Oregon State
Army vs. Texas