What's On Tap: May 20 2023

The final weekend before Memorial Day is here, and a thrilling month of May concludes with two more tournaments, an two exciting full-game matchups, and preparations for the Parallel Cup from the national women’s team.

Here’s a quick look at what’s on tap for the weekend:

80/35 Des Moines 10s Tournament
First games 10am CDT – Des Moines Rugby Club, Des Moines, IA
Pool A: Des Moines Roosters (0-0), Kansas City/Oklahoma, Minnesota Freeze [Ice Dogs], Chicago Swans (0-0)
Pool B: Minnesota Freeze (Yetis), Denver Bulldogs (0-0), Wisconsin Wombats (0-0), St Louis Blues (1-0)

One of the biggest events of the midwestern footballing calendar is back in the Hawkeye State, as the hometown Roosters welcome in seven other clubs to see who will rule the small-sided game.  Named for the two interstates that intersect in Des Moines, this is the ninth edition of this tournament, started back in 2013.  

The Denver Bulldogs are the defending champions, and though they always do well at the 80/35, they’ll have one of the two Minnesota teams, Wisconsin, and St Louis fighting them to get out of Pool B.  The home side gets former champion Chicago, an intriguing KC/Oklahoma combination, and the other side representing the Freeze.

North Texas Devils (1-1) vs Baton Rouge Tigers (0-3)
10:30am CDT - Celebration Park, Allen, TX

A month after traveling next door to Louisiana, the Devils welcome in the Tigers for what will officially be the first ever match between the two sides.  They didn’t meet at the Baton Rouge Invitational, an afternoon that saw the Tigers fall to Birmingham and Houston while NTX gained a split.  The Tigers’ numbers are growing steadily as they look to bring enough for either a split D3 or solid D4 presence to Nationals, while North Texas is on the hunt to add to their wins total ahead of regionals.

Three Rivers Cup
Atlanta Kookaburras (0-0) v Rome Redbacks (0-0) v Birmingham Bushrangers (1-1)
First Game 1pm EDT - Grizzard Park, Rome, GA

Wayne Kraska’s Rome Redbacks have been hard at work growing the game in North Georgia and throughout the Southeast. That effort will be shown this weekend at the second edition of the Three Rivers Cup at the Spiders’ Web in Rome.  The Kookaburras won the initial carnival last year by a single point, edging out Birmingham on percentage after both teams went 2-1.  It’ll be the first intersquad match of the year for the two Georgian teams as they prepare for a Nationals run, while the Bushies come off a split in Baton Rouge to open the season on April 22nd.

Ohio Valley River Rats (0-0) v Nashville Kangaroos (1-0)
10:30am CDT - Seneca Park, Louisville, KY

Winners at home over Columbus to open the season in April, the Nashville Kangaroos head to the Lou to face the River Rats.  The 'Roos have won five in a row over the Valley, and will try to continue the trend against the veteran laden home team.

USA Freedom Camp – Philadelphia, PA, Friday-Sunday

Three months exactly remain until the USA Freedom play their first competitive match in six years.  Preparations for Christina Licata’s side ahead of the 49th Parallel Cup match in Racine, Wisconsin click into high gear ahead of their matchup against Canada.  Best of luck to all of the athletes heading to Philly!

Photo: Julie Chipp Gnos


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