The end of the season is near, and TRU/RRRC Playoffs are on the horizon. Playoffs can be difficult to navigate, even before we start throwing in acronyms and decimals – so we are here to help. In this summary you will find all of the information surrounding the qualification process for the 2021-22 TRU/RRRC Championships, as well as who are the likely top seeds for qualification for each division. Let’s dive in!
First thing to cover – when and where are the TRU/RRRC Championships? TRU/RRRC Championships are to be held at Burr Field, the home of the Austin Blacks, on April 23-24th weekend (the weekend after Easter). For more information on what happens after the TRU/RRRC declares its divisional winners, check out the bottom of this post.
Well this one is easy – the top of the table in Men’s Division 1 after regular season will hoist the trophy. There will be no Men’s Division 1 Championship match played on April 23rd weekend.
All signs point to the Dallas RFC to take this one. The key to this was the bonus point Dallas gained in the loss against the Austin Blacks in December, and the one they denied to Austin in February. If Dallas can beat Grand Prairie with a bonus point, they will win. Dallas took home the win 31-12 in the last meeting of the two teams, and Grand Prairie currently sits 1-5, so the odds are in Dallas’ favor. But if Dallas wins against Grand Prairie and doesn’t score four or more tries – it will be the Austin Blacks who take the championship. See, the Austin Blacks scored four or more tries in all six of their matches including the loss to the Dallas RFC, earning them six bonus points for tries. Dallas relied on penalty kicks in their loss to the Blacks in December, so they have one less. So if Dallas beats Grand Prairie with four or more tries – it’s Dallas*. If Dallas wins with less than four tries AND Austin beats the Huns and the Harlequins scoring more than four tries per match – it’s Austin.
*If this happens and Austin also wins by scoring more than four tries in both matches, it’s a tie in bonus points and goes to head to head contest. As both teams won a match, it then turns into a head to head point differential which Dallas will win.
The overall 1st seed in the standings will host the overall 2nd seed on May 7th, 2022.
The sHARCs are at the top of the table with maximum bonus points, but they have played two more games than Colorado Grey Wolves who are also undefeated. Austin is 1-3 and Denver Black Ice is 1-2. All signs point to the match in May as sHARCs versus Colorado Grey Wolves, but the location is still to be determined as the final matches play out.
We have the Men’s D1b competition and Men’s D2 competing in this division. The top seed of each will face off against the 2nd seed of the other; D1b #1 vs D2 #2 and D1b #2 vs D2 #1 on Saturday April 23rd. The winners will play in the RRRC Men’s Division 2 Championship Match on Sunday April 24th.
Men's D2 - Current Status
Let’s start with the D2. San Antonio is undefeated with maximum bonus points. They have two matches left against the other top two teams – The Woodlands and HURT. If San Antonio loses both matches, without gaining bonus points in the losses AND The Woodlands and HURT win the rest of their games (with The Woodlands beating HURT but HURT scoring more than four tries or gaining a bonus point in that loss), AND HURT beats San Antonio by more than 14 points, San Antonio will not make the playoffs. That’s a lot that would have to happen in order for San Antonio to miss out.
For the second place in D2, it’s between HURT and The Woodlands. HURT has one game less played but ties the Woodlands in table points. It is more likely that HURT will advance, but The Woodlands have more matches with over four tries scored and more bonus points gained in losses. We might have to wait until the last weekend for these teams to confirm their standings.
Men's D1b Current Status
For D1b, there might be too many games left to play to figure it out. Austin Blacks D2 are currently on top with 30 points, but if they lose all three games and Dallas and the Austin Huns start a wild winning streak, the Austin Blacks are out. Even Fort Worth has a chance if Dallas and the Austin Huns start losing all games, and they win the rest of theirs with bonus points. Long story short – too many matches left to sort this one out now.
Four teams head from the regular season to the Championship weekend on April 23-24th. The top team from each subdivision (D2 North and D2 South) will automatically advance. The next two teams will be decided by highest weighted average competition points [wACP] (ie. competition points earned/total available competition points) among the remaining four WD2 teams. This change in format was also decided on the March RRRC Competitions call due to a change in the North teams. Seeding between the top four teams will be by wACP, and in the case of a tie, average point differential [APD]. #1 vs #4 and #2 vs #3 will be on Saturday April 23rd, followed by the championship on Sunday April 24th.
Both teams at the top of their divisions are undefeated: Little Rock and San Antonio. Little Rock has really only played one match, and that was in December against the Dallas RFC. DARC forfeited to Little Rock and Dallas, giving them both a bonus point win to add to their total (which counts for table points but not to be calculated in APD if needed). San Antonio on the other hand has played all their matches, and won them convincingly. San Antonio will likely be the #1 seed entering playoffs, with Little Rock a likely #2. As for #3 and #4, Dallas RFC is 0-1, not enough information to go on there. Round Rock Rage and Austin Valkyries are tied with 7 competition points, but Austin has one more game played than the Rage. Unfortunately too many games left to play to predict the rest of the playoff bracket.
As usual, this one seems the most complicated. We currently have four regional subdivisions of the Men’s D3 Competition – D1c, D3 Central, D3 North, D3 South. The fifth regional subdivision (D2b) was decided to be played out as friendlies for the 2021-22 season by the clubs involved.
The two top teams from each regional subdivision will advance and play quarterfinals on the weekend of April 9th, all subdivision winners will host. All 2nd place seeds from each regional subdivision will travel on April 9th. Subdivision winners will be determined by standings points within the subdivision, and the application of the Tie-Breaker Policy, if necessary. The seeding of the top 8 teams will be determined by weighted average competition points [wACP] (ie. Competition Points Earned/Total Competition Points Available). Should there be a tie in wACP between regions, the seeding will be determined by average point differential [APD] excluding forfeits.
The RRRC Board also voted on an additional addendum during the March RRRC Competitions call, that should this initial seeding require two clubs from the same regional subdivision to play in quarterfinals, instead the higher seed will play the next lower-seeded team from a different subdivision. Winners from the quarterfinals will play on April 23rd in Austin. Teams will not be reseeded after the Quarterfinal round. The top seed emerging from the Quarterfinal round will play the bottom seed, and the remaining two Quarterfinal winners will play each other, regardless of whether the teams are from the same subdivision. The final will be on Sunday April 24th.
OK, so that’s a lot. Hopefully it’ll make more sense when we unpack the current status below.
Men's D1c - Current Status
The Austin Blacks are undefeated with two matches left to play. They will be the top seed out of their regional subdivision. The second place is currently Dallas, but they only have one match to play where the third place Austin Huns have three. With only two table points separating these teams, Austin will need to pull out at least two wins if Dallas wins their last match. Austin can also ramp up the point scoring, and get away with one win and scoring more than 4 tries in all three matches to tie Dallas (if Dallas wins with more than 4 tries) to tie in table points and win the head to head point differential to go through. If Grand Prairie can beat Dallas and the Austin Huns AND the Austin Huns only win 1 of 3 final matches, Grand Prairie will go through as the second place
Men's D3 North - Current Status
Shreveport is 4-0-1 with one game left to play. They will likely go through as the top seed, unless Alliance secures three bonus point wins. Otherwise Alliance and OKC will battle it out for second. With three games left to play between these two sides, it’s still anyone’s game. OKC recently tied Shreveport, a notable scoreline that bodes well for the Tribe entering the final stretch.
Men's D3 Central - Current Status
In D3 Central, Fort Hood is still undefeated with two games left to play. They still must replay Alamo City and winless McAllen, giving them a good chance of advancing as the top seed. Alamo City and the Other Rugby Club are tied in table points, but ORC has only one match left to play. Alamo City has to travel to McAllen and face off against Fort Hood, two tall orders. ORC hosts McAllen at the end of the season. Alamo City will need all the bonus points they can get to widen the distance between them and ORC and take the second spot.
Men's D3 South - Current Status
Lastly, D3 South. The Houston Arrows and Bay Area are both 4-1, but the Arrows have a few more tries scored, giving them the lead in the table. Galveston and Corpus are both mathematically out of the equation – so the Arrows and Bay Area will be the seeds advancing, likely Arrows as #1 and Bay Area as #2 if they both win on the weekend.
So that’s WHO will likely be involved in the quarterfinals. But how will they be seeded? With so many unknowns, we won’t dive too deep, but take the Austin Blacks and Fort Hood as our example teams. Both on course to be winners of their subdivisions, so they would expect to host a lower-seeded second place team. In terms of overall seeding, both have a wACP of 1.00, so we turn to APD. The Austin Blacks have an APD of 56.83 and Fort Hood of 37.5. So the Blacks would be the #1 seed slated to play the #8 seed and Fort Hood would be #2 taking on the #7. If the #8 seed is also a D1c team, then the Austin Blacks will play the #7 seed, and the #2 will take on the #8.
The Men’s Division 4 competition will not have a final match at the 2021-22 TRU/RRRC Championship this year. They may play an exhibition match, but with only three teams involved, no formal championship will be held.
The Women’s Division 3 competition will not have a final match at the 2021-22 TRU/RRRC Championship this year. They may play an exhibition match, but with various clubs fielding seven players or less, there is no championship that can take place.
After the TRU/RRRC Championships
And THEN what happens? The three RRRC Champions from the April 23-24th weekend (Men’s D2, D3, and Women’s D2) will proceed to the Gulf Coast Super Regional Tournament (National Round of 8) on May 7th and 8th. Location: Aveva Sports Complex, Houston, Texas.
The Red River Men’s D2 Champion will face the True South Champion on Saturday May 7th. Winner of that will play the winner of the Carolinas/Georgia vs Florida on Sunday May 8th.
The Red River Women’s D2 Champion will face the Florida Champion on Saturday May 7th, and if they win, will face the winner of the True South vs Carolinas/Georgia match on Sunday May 8th.
The Red River Men’s D3 Champion will face the Southern Conference Champion on Saturday May 7th. There will be no semi-final.
And after that...
Winners from the Super Regional Tournament will then proceed to the USA Rugby National Championship May 20-22, 2022 (location TBD).
Men’s D1 – Red River Champion (decided through league play) will play the Pacific Conference Champion on Friday May 20th. Winner will go to the final on May 22nd.
Women’s D1 – Winner of the May 7th 1st vs 2nd seed will play a semi-final on Friday May 20th. Winner will go to the final on May 22nd.
Men’s D2 – Super Regional Champion will play a semi-final on Saturday May 21st. Winner will go to the final on May 22nd.
Women’s D2 – Super Regional Champion will play a semi-final on Saturday May 21st. Winner will go to the final on May 22nd.
Men’s D3 – Super Regional Champion will play a semi-final on Saturday May 21st. Winner will go to the final on May 22nd.
As always, scores and standings are provided by team-entered data on CMS. All opinions and comments are for fun and unbiased. Any comments can be directed to kat@texasrugbyunion.