Report has Utes rugby team joining new Pac-12 division

BY HUGH BROWN

Rumors are still flying as to the fate of DI-A rugby next year with the betting money on either a total reorganization or a disbanding of the 2-year-old elite college rugby division.

RugbyMag announced that the Pac-12 is forming its own rugby league for the 2013 season. Thus far, RugbyMag reports, its members are California, Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon State, UCLA and Utah.

As for the makeup of next years team, the Utes will lose nine seniors, including two members of the USA All-American team, Les Soloai and Nick Mostyn. Danny James was a Sevens All-American, while Timote Houma, Scott Metcalf, and Shawn Quigley were exceptional players.

Add to this list Alex Muehle, Tyler Peterson, and David Barlow, although Assistant Coach Rob Kiingsford said there is a chance that both Mostyn and Muehle could have some eligibility left.

The Utes hope to fill these voids with new freshmen, excellent players from the reserve 15s squad, and two returning missionaries: Hayden McMullin and Zach Colton.

And if you missed it …

DARTMOUTH WINS SEVENS CHAMPION AGAIN: The Utes, who won the sevens title in 2010 and finished third in 2011, did not participate in the 2012 championship held in Philadelphia during the first weekend of June.

The sixteen schools that qualified played on June 2 in four pools with the top two teams from each pool advancing to the quarter-finals on Sunday, June 3.  On Saturday Life won Pool A (19-17 over Penn State, 33-7 over Temple, 36-12 over Wisconsin) with Wisconsin finishing second (19-15 over Penn State and a 12-12 tie with Temple).  In Pool B Dartmouth went 3-0 (31-5 over Delaware, 31-7 over Maryland, 28-0 over Florida) and Delaware took second (17-10 over Florida and 38-14 over Maryland).  Pool C saw Arizona finish first (33-12 over Oklahoma, 33-7 over Texas, 38-0 over North Carolina State) and Texas second (17-14 over N.C. State and 28-19 over Oklahoma) and California won Pool D (21-10 over Navy, 29-0 over Notre Dame, 29-5 over Army) with Navy upsetting Army for second (34-14 over Army and 19-15 over Notre Dame).

On Sunday Life edged Delaware 12-7, Dartmouth swamped Wisconsin 35-5, Arizona beat Navy 26-5, and California blasted Texas 54-5.  In the semi-finals Dartmouth scored the last two tried to get by Cal 21-19 and Arizona beat Life 19-12.  Arizona lost its star player with a broken arm in the second minute of the final and Dartmouth went on to defend its 2011 title by defeating the Sun Devils 24-5.  More than 10,000 fans attended the Sunday matches.

Dartmouth’s head coach now moves on to take over as the head coach of the United States’ Eagles sevens team as they prepare for the 2012-13 IRB touring season and the 2016 Olympics.

SUPER LEAGUE AND D1 CLUB CHAMPS CROWNED: Old Puget Sound Beach and the New York Athletic Club made it to the championship match of the Super League in Seattle on June 2.

OPSB came in as one of the best offensive sides in the country while NYAC prided itself in being one of the top defensive clubs.  The match was tightly contested and went down to the wire before New York prevailed 32-29.

Utes head coach Blake Burdette played for the NYAC before making the Eagles. Former Utah Warrior Mike Palafau started for OPSB and scored a try.

New York defeated Life 38-12 and Old Puget Sound downed San Francisco Golden Gate 39-6 to reach the finals. Belmont Shore from Southern California won the D1 Men’s Club Championship as they beat Glendale (Colo.) 34-11 on June 3.  Belmont beat Metropolis 37-3 and Glendale defeated Palmer 34-10 in the semi-finals the day before. Belmont Shore completed its season undefeated.

 

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