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Gents to host Super League playoff

Dale Strode

There’s no rest for the Gentlemen of Aspen.

Fresh from two big wins on the road in Dallas last weekend, the Gents return to familiar territory this weekend when Aspen hosts a quarterfinal playoff game in the Rugby Super League.

The wins in Dallas over the New York Athletic Club and the Chicago Griffins qualified the Gentlemen of Aspen for the final four of USA Rugby’s national club tournament.

The Gentlemen will travel to Cincinnati on June 5-6 for the national club championships.

But first the Gentlemen must continue play in the Rugby Super League playoffs with a home game this weekend.

The Gentlemen played in the eight-team Western Division of the Rugby Super League, finishing as the No. 2 seed from the West behind the Denver Barbarians.

As the No. 2 seed from the West, the Gents will host the No. 3 seed from the East, the Potomac Athletic Club, in Saturday’s Super League quarterfinals. Saturday kickoff The game tentatively is scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday at Wagner Rugby Stadium in downtown Aspen, weather and field conditions permitting.

The game could be moved to another venue with daily updates available on the Gentlemen of Aspen’s hotline ( 947-5198).

Aspen was finishing just behind the Denver Barbarians in the Western Division of the Rugby Super League, Potomac finished third in the Easter Division behind first-place Life College of Georgia and second-place Washington, D.C. Rugby Football Club.

Four teams from each division qualified for the playoffs, with the quarterfinal round this weekend.

The other Eastern qualifier is Philadelphia-Whitemarsh, as the fourth seed.

OMBAC (Old Mission Beach Athletic Club) qualified from the West as No. 3 with Belmont Shore of California as the No. 4 seed. Belmont Shore is the defending Rugby Super League champion. First Super League title The Gentlemen of Aspen won the inaugural Rugby Super League championship in 1997, following the Super League crown with the Gents’ first national club championship.

Other quarterfinal matchups in Saturday’s Super League schedule: Philadelphia Whitemarsh at Denver Barbarians; OMBAC at Washington, D.C.; and Belmont Shore at Life. Potomac’s record Potomac lost twice during the Rugby Super League season. After opening the year with a 41-31 win over the Chicago Lions, PAC (Potomac Athletic Club) lost at powerhouse Life 48-8.

A win over Boston 30-16 followed for PAC.

But then Washington, D.C., rallied for a high-scoring 47-25 win over PAC in a big regional rivalry.

Potomac followed with three consecutive wins – 38-22 over the Kansas City Blues, 36-31 over Philadelphia-Whitemarsh and 34-20 over New York Old Blue.

The Gentlemen of Aspen put together another solid Super League season, suffering only a single loss. The rival Denver Barbarians pinned that 23-22 win on Aspen, pushing the Gentlemen into the second position for the Rugby Super League playoffs. Club championships The Super League matchup in Aspen Saturday will help prepare the Gentlemen for the USA Rugby national championships the following weekend in Cincinnati.

The Gentlemen will take on the Hayward Griffins from Northern California in the national club semifinals on June 5.

In the other national club semifinal, Old Blue of New York will take on Golden Gate on June 5 in Cincinnati.


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