March 30, 2023

Four Qualify for CRC in New York, Massachusetts, Virginia

With just three weekends of qualification left, the road to the 2023 Collegiate Rugby Championship is getting congested. Four early commuters earned qualification over the weekend, across Men’s Premier Cup, Women’s Division I Club and Men’s Small College. 

The Monumental 7s in Quincy, Massachusetts hosted by the New England Free Jacks had the largest field of any automatic qualifier yet, with 16 teams vying for two bids to the Men’s Premier Cup. With two capped Eagles on the squad in Will Chevalier and Noah Brown, Indiana took the title over St. Bonaventure, both advancing to the big dance.

The opening round in Quincy provided one resounding upset, UMass defeating Iona. The 11th-seeded Minutemen upset the Gaels, semifinalists at last year’s CRC, 26-21, before losing to the Bonnies in the quarterfinals. Bonaventure then dispatched of the defending CRC champs, Kutztown, 24-12 in the semis. KU won their two opening matches by a resounding combined score of 98-0. 

The Hoosiers beat Colgate 48-0 in their opener and Nazareth 26-7 in the quarterfinals. Indiana turned it up again in the semis, torching AIC 43-0 before defeating St. Bonaventure in the final. 

In Women’s DI Club, Cornell and Pitt emerged from the Upstate New York 7s at St. Bonaventure with automatic bids. The Big Red won the tournament outright, but the Panthers also punched their ticket to nationals as the top Allegheny performer. 

In men’s small college, Christendom won the Cardinals Conference 7s Saturday at the Virginia Military Institute. The Crusaders had already earned a bid in February, so runners-up Richmond claimed the second bid to the 18-team CRC field. 

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