What has been assumed for a while is now mathematically true: neither the Sacramento Express nor the San Francisco Rush will win PRO Rugby’s maiden championship. The title race is down to the Denver Stampede, Ohio Aviators, and possibly the San Diego Breakers after the Northern California squads officially knocked themselves out with this weekend’s results. Before getting into the matches themselves, here’s the math. The best case scenario for the Express would garner them a total of 30 points in the standings, fewer than the number of points that…
PRO Rugby has released the match-day 23s for the four teams in action this weekend. The rosters are starting to become more stable from week to week, but there are still new players trickling into the league. The most notable new name this week is Eric Fry. The 38-cap USA Eagle from Davis, CA joins his hometown Sacramento Express as they come back from a long break. Here’s the latest on that move and other changes this week in PRO Rugby.
This week’s matches include two results that are upsets if you’re going by the standings but aren’t completely out of left field to anyone paying close attention to the form of these teams. On Saturday, San Francisco, whose improvement finally bore fruit with their win against Ohio in week 7, faced a San Diego team that has slipped over the past few weeks. On Sunday, a white hot Ohio squad went head to head with a Denver team that has come very close to losing their unblemished record in their…
This past weekend’s match was the first of a three week stretch where teams will find themselves short-handed due to the international break. San Diego was clearly hit harder by their losses, while Ohio saw a few reinforcements come in and put in huge performances. Meanwhile in international play, the USA Eagles are still in camp but PRO Rugby players have already made an impact for Canada and Tonga.
Sunday’s top of the table clash between Denver and San Diego may have been the most highly touted match since the league’s debut and it certainly didn’t fail to live up to expectations. San Diego was within reach of first place going into the match while Denver fought to keep their spot on top of the standings as well as keeping their record unblemished. The result was a spectacle of pure aggression with a few key plays ultimately shifting the outcome.
The finalists for PRO Rugby’s team-naming competition have been unveiled for about a week now and many of the reactions have been uncomplimentary, to say the least. Some of the criticism has been nit-picky but branding is important enough that being a little overly critical is acceptable. Personally, I would have gone in a different direction for just about every single team but there are a number of names here that I think are surprisingly clever.
This week was a telling one for the California PRO Rugby teams as the league enters the international “break”. Sacramento, San Diego, and San Francisco all continued in the direction that their momentum was carrying them, for better or worse. San Francisco secured a breakthrough victory, Sacramento’s slip has finally shown in the standings, and San Diego proved that they are still the top challenger to the front-runner Denver.