FRU MEN D2
1. Hammerheads (35) v Miami RFC (12)
Tory Williamson can score tries, but just can’t seem to understand that the ball has to go through the posts afterwards. Johnny Lindsey and Tyler Pigott could be the best 8/9 combo in south Florida, but unfortunately for them, the Tridents exist. A highly cohesive Stomp Waffle Hammerheads should have an easy day with a traveling Miami Bumblebees. Let’s hope their B side match goes off so both of these clubs can continue thriving.
2. Bay Area (19) v Tridents (46)
Only thing that could hold back the Tridents now is traveling since we all know how much Miami boys complain about having to go anywhere past Broward county. Manuel Krause has been an absolute menace at the back of the scrums, and Mauro and Fede have been the most dynamic half back duo of the season so far. Bay Area is looking hot at the D2 level, but they’ll be the quiet girl that leaves the party an hour early in this match. Tridents run up the score enough to get Jonathan Colecraft-Peters on for his signature 75 minute try in the corner.
3. Orlando (12) v Boca (17)
Going to need a whole lot of lighter fluid if we want this one to be a barn burner. Both teams averaging 15 points or less per match so far this season. For Orlando, Connor Murray is a black hole at 10 as the ball can’t seem to leave his orbit. Boca has Henok Germain at the wing, but he should probably switch to track considering how many times he touches the ball. I have a feeling this turns in to one of those forwards vs forwards slug fests that characterizes the extremely high level of rugby being played at the D2 level.
4. Tampa (33) v Ft Lauderdale (12)
Ft Lauderdale proved me wrong last week. Doubtful it happens again with Tampa at home and coming off a bye week, although I’m sure the livers were putting in work during Gasparilla. Ft Lauderdale is one of those non Xplorer users, so I can’t provide any insight that isn’t already provided by the Boz on Facebook. FTL, they may be SAF, but not so much this weekend.
FRU Women’s D2
5. Orlando W (0) v Jacksonville (20)
Prediction stands whether this is a forfeit or not. Sinners put in way more effort on the social media trail, and for that, they are saints. Look for the women of Duval to bounce back from a thrashing at the hands of Tampa. Hoping that Orlando can use the spring to emerge from the winter snow. Always good to have unified clubs across all levels of the game.
6. Tampa (55) v Ft Miami (10)
Look for this one to get uglier than a red headed step child. Fort Miami has only a hope of being the tallest speed bump in Tampa’s path to a Florida championship. Sam Black will be looking to command the team, returning as captain in an attempt to repeat this year. Good luck to anyone trying to stop them.
7. Palm Beach (33) v Brevard (12)
DING DING DING. It’s the Tridents Match of the Week. Thanks to the Tridents for sponsoring the work of volunteers, rather than just complaining and criticizing without offering any change. Rematch of the D3 championship of the last who knows how many years. Palm Beach hasn’t cooled down since last May, and I don’t think Hybrid and Roper are enough for the Red Eyes in this one. Maybe if Ryan Falzoi wasn’t wearing a XXL jersey, he’d be a better fullback. All the props to Brevard for continuing to punch above their geographic weight class, but I’ve got the Panthers using Visine to clear the Red Eyes on Saturday.
8. Jacksonville (12) v Daytona (17)
QUACK QUACK goes this week’s Lame Duck match. Jacksonville losing on the road to a Sarasota team that looked like it had a front row player at every position. Daytona has yet to put up a point in this year’s competition, but that just might change against a downtrodden Jacksonville team. Looking for Daytona to pull out the upset in a very winnable game. If Jarrod Lanza’s team prevails, I will go nuts.
9. Claymores (31) v Treasure Coast (12)
The third year for the Claymores has them seeing some positives. Look for their speedy wings to take advantage of a freshman Treasure Coast that will need all hands on deck if they wish to contain Orlando Part 2. Hopefully we see a positive atmosphere that elevates both of these newly founded clubs. Wish I could say more about this match, but some teams just really don’t like using Rugby Xplorer.
10. Ave Maria (0) v Miami (27)
The third match of the season for both of these clubs, and we have yet to see any minutes, but that is set to change on Saturday, allegedly. Ave Maria recently elevated to varsity status and Miami has more money than they can put through their nose. Despite all this, both teams have already bought their annual passes for the struggle bus. Let’s see if some leadership and organization can earn either team a strong finish to the season.
11. St Thomas (21) v Eckerd (28)
Very excited to finally get to see Gavin McLeavy’s debut at the collegiate level with the new varsity program here in the sunshine state. Low enrollment numbers might be the only thing that does them in and an equally well coached Eckerd uses their reserves to power through in what we hope is a tight one.
12. UF (27) v FIU (32)
We’ll call this one the Sewer Series because of how many Rats will be on the pitch. Look for FIU to dominate the scrums in this one with their burly #3. I hear his kids will soon be playing with him at FIU. Scoring sheet will be littered with names Evan Haigh can’t pronounce.
12. UCF (35) v FAU (10)
It looks like the perennially slow starting UCF is taking off to the races quicker than usual this year. Perhaps the Gators caught them sleeping, but UCF will be wide awake at home after two games on the road. FAU will be no stranger to missing the posts this season, but I don’t think this one comes down to missed conversions like last week.
14. USF (32) v UNF (14)
The Bulls are seeing red after charging on the road for two straight wins. UNF finished in the semis last year but might have taken a step back in 2024. UNF relies on their pack, but USF has captain Matt Bradley leading the way to shut that down and a backline that will probably tear the Ospreys to shreds. Dead naming the Deadbirds, love that. Bulls probably have just enough gas left in the tank to handle a slightly sloppy team from Jacksonville.
15. UCF W (65) v Eckerd (5)
Much like the D2 women’s competition, there’s going to be a clear favorite in this conference. Eckerd and UF will most likely be battling out for second place, but at that point they’ll just be competing as to who gets to stand in UCF’s shadow. Hope to see film from this, should make for a great highlight reel.
16. Cardinal Gibbons (25) v Key Biscayne (24)
Gibbons always picks up after their wrestlers come back midseason, but I’m not so sure they’ll be able to help what looked like a destitute attack against Okapi. Rats do well to kick for territory and take shots at the post, but those frail bodies might not do much to slow down the thundering thighs of the Chiefs on that narrow field. Look for Gibbons to bounce back, but perhaps without the dominance we’ve been used to seeing the last few years
17. Wellington (10) v Okapi (48)
Despite the rising cost, I am putting all of my eggs in the Okapi basket. Great structure on and off the pitch. I would say that they are the figurehead of what all clubs should be in Florida, but they don’t have a women’s team. Okapi uses well trained forwards, skillful and quick backs to breeze through to the playoffs while everyone else works to catch up and adjust.
18. Tampa (17) v Jacksonville (12)
Don’t know too much about these teams. Both were super-hot contenders a couple of years ago, but now looks like even a compass couldn’t put them on the map. Giving advantage to the home team, however Jacksonville always seems to find some burners that will torch you on the wing. Toss up here, let’s see how the rest of the season shakes out.