March 18, 2024

Thunderchickens, Crimson Hawks, Crusaders Qualify for CRC

Three teams clinched bids to the Collegiate Rugby Championship Saturday, winning automatic qualifiers across Men’s Premier Cup, Division II and Small College divisions. 

Principia went undefeated to win the City 7s in Kansas City, MO, defeating Iowa Central in extra time, 12-7. Both the Thunderchickens and Tritons were dominant en route to the final. Principia defeated Pitt State, 45-0 in its opening match, Drury, 26-7, in the quarterfinals and Southern Nazarene, 27-0, in the semifinals. Iowa Central won, 43-0, over Colorado’s second side in the opening round, Missouri, 32-21, in the quarterfinals, and Kansas State, 33-0, in the semifinals. 

Back-to-back defending Division II national champion Indiana University of Pennsylvania defeated Miami (OH), 22-12, to win the Allegheny Conference Championship Saturday at the Fortress in Obetz, OH, becoming the first DII men’s team to qualify for nationals. The Crimson Hawks defeated Western Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky and Middle Tennessee State en route to the final, and the Red Hawks scored wins over Kent State, WKU and MTSU.

Dom Holmes was outstanding for IUP, suffering through a stitched-up finger to score six tries on the day. Matt Fry for Miami was also especially disruptive on defense. 

Also being played in Obetz was the first of nine regionally-based Small College qualifiers, which Christendom won to become the first Small College team to punch its ticket to the CRC. Franciscan scored with 30 seconds remaining in the final and opted to kick long on the restart, but the Crusaders found a gap and scored with no time left to claim victory, 34-29.

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