This weekend, the top senior club teams in the USA will face off in Obetz, Ohio to stake their claim at the 2019 National Championships! All matches will be broadcast on FloRugby. Or if you’re attending in person, purchase tickets.
Women’s Division I: Austin Valkyries vs. Northern Virginia Rugby: 7pm ET Saturday June 1
For the first time in ten years, Northern Virginia Rugby will have a shot at the Women’s Division I title. Their opponents will be the Austin Valkyries, who are making their first appearance in the National Championship. Despite being two of the most prominent sides in club rugby, neither team has been able to capture the national title. Both teams have had seasons filled with ebbs and flows. The Valkyries have proven to be a team of perseverance. After starting the season off at 1-3 they bounced back to win four in a row and qualify for the second seed from Red River in the playoffs. They demonstrated their resiliency yet again when they came from behind to take down a rampant Glendale Merlins D1 squad. Their will power and ability to bounce back will undoubtedly be tested again this weekend. NOVA, similarly, did not start off the season as well as they closed it out. Kicking their campaign off with a 1-1 start, NOVA has since rattled off seven consecutive wins and show no signs of slowing down. They’ve demonstrated an ability to play from the front, as well as chase teams down when they are behind. No more so, than when they came back from an early 21-8 deficit in their semifinal against Raleigh Venom to win, 51-26. Both teams play as one and are incredibly strong. It will be hard to separate the two on Saturday and this game will likely come down to a few key plays late in the game.
Final Score: Austin 22 NOVA 24
Women’s Division II: Sacramento Amazons vs. Harrisburg Rugby: 3pm ET June 2
The final game of the weekend will pit two offensive powerhouses against each other, the Sacramento Amazons and Harrisburg Rugby. This year has been about redemption for the team from California’s capital. After a superb regular season last year, they looked primed for a deep post season run, but it wasn’t to be. This year they have learned from their lessons and look like a team on a mission. Their opponent Harrisburg, has been equally dominant and have been playing at a level far above any of the teams they’ve faced. While they are not the biggest side, they have no problem matching up against teams that try to physically bully their opponents. Solid tackling technique and some of the most dedicated players in the country all play into their stout defense. They will need to rely heavily on their technique against the Amazons. The Amazons are a team which uses its size advantage to get over their opposition, and once they have worn the defense down they use their speed to pile on the points. One of the downfalls the Amazons is their inability to sustain a performance for 80 minutes. This will be something Harrisburg looks to exploit. If Harrisburg can withstand the physical onslaught for the opening passages of the game and keep Sacramento from building an early lead, they will then look to use their speedy backline to exploit holes within the Amazons defensive line. However, Harrisburg may not have faced a side as physical as the Amazons all year. Both teams will be brimming with confidence as they head into the fixture and for good reason, however, they both know they will be in for a fight. This matchup will turn out to be a chess match and the slightest misstep could prove to be the difference.
Final Score: Sacramento Amazons 55 Harrisburg 40