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The Sideline Whisperer
The Sideline Whisperer
Florida Men´s Division II inaugural games
Ahhhh, it feels so good to be back.
For a minute there, I thought I might have to take a season off as the future of this web site was in major doubt, but thankfully some nice people came through to help Charlee Velázquez, the guy who makes this great online place for Florida ruggers happen. If there is anyone who does more for the sport in this state than Charlee, I don't know them yet.

Posted on 12/10/2015 12:04:00 PM

Florida Rugby Union Men
Division 2
2017-18 Season
Florida Rugby Union Men
Division 3
2017-18 Season
Florida Rugby Union Women Division 2
2017-18 Season

The Sideline Whisperer is a member of the Florida Rugby Community that makes predictions for the Men's D2/D3 Championships and the Women's D2. Occasionally he may take on other topics. He has decided to remain anonymous. (And it's not me!). Thanks and enjoy!

-- Carlos "Charlee" Velázquez
Rugby in Florida CEO.




Of course, as per usual in December, only D2 is back in action, as the scheduler loves the D3 sides to take a lengthy winter break for some reason. It's not like we live in the frigid north with snow already on the ground, but as we all know, Florida Rugby is a different animal, one that can't be tamed. Just look at the Orange Cup casualties already (Miami and Tampa looks like they will only be fielding one side this season). In Florida, rugby for many people is just something they might do if they don't have a boat to go on, or a hog to hunt if you live north of Jupiter. Of course, those of you who read this column are the real die hards! Anyway, as long as rugby here and this web site are still around, I'll still be predicting. Hopefully you readers appreciate what I do, although I do appear to have some competition popping up with someone posting a preview-type story on the FRU site this week. Problem is, it reads like it was written by one of those Nigerian email scammers. LOTTERY YOU WON! SEND TO ME MONEY NOW! By all means, cause pain to your brain by reading that, and then come back here to digest some literary Tylenol. Oh, and don't forget to email me with any comments, criticisms, dirty jokes, Trump propaganda, or ways to rid the world of ISIS. We all haven't had enough of those last two in our inbox/timelines recently, right? Email is [email protected] Division II (Schedule and standings on Orlando vs. Miami Tridents - Wow, a seriously interesting matchup to start us off here. Orlando are the defending state champs, while the Tridents showed some big-time improvement last year and I have a feeling they will be in the Final Four when all is said and done in 2015-16. As many teams have found out over the last few seasons, it's hard in this state to repeat as champion. This year, with many teams apparently improved, it might be even harder. The big question for the visitors here is that Miami sides aren't traditionally strong starters. The Tridents lost three of their first four games last season, although that one win was a home 52-25 demolition of these same Griffins. They managed to salvage a 5-6 season, finishing just one spot out of the playoffs. Orlando bounced back from their early defeat last year to win 8 of their 10 games, but looked out of sorts in the Florida Cup, losing to Tallahassee and Jacksonville in the group stages. Reading too much into that preseason event would not be wise, though, and while this one will be close, I think the home team scrapes it. Orlando 28, Miami Tridents 25 Fort Lauderdale vs. Miami RFC - The Knights have undergone some changes since losing in last year's championship game, especially at the coaching position, where there are already on their second coach of the season! They might also be missing a couple of key players from their great 2014-15 campaign, but they are still a pretty talented squad and have some new additions that could definitely help out. The Bumblebees are also sporting a new management team after winning just a single game last year, and didn't play particularly well in the Florida Cup. I have a feeling this one could get a little ugly. Fort Lauderdale 45, Miami RFC 10 Boca Raton vs. Naples - The Hammerheads took home the title at the Florida Cup, defeating every west coast team and the Tridents without losing a game. Sure it's only a preseason event but that's still no easy feat, and I have a feeling that Naples will be significantly improved from their 1-8 record a year ago. Boca, meanwhile, lost to Brevard in the Florida Cup group stage and then fell in the plate final to hosts Sarasota. My sources tell me Boca also lost their captain in that game to a nasty leg injury. In this fixture last season, Boca knocked off Naples 29-7, but I think the result might be reversed this time. I just like the Hammerheads' preparation and their upward trend to cause an upset. Naples 24, Boca Raton 19 Jacksonville vs. Tampa - Jax have taken some heavy losses this preseason to a variety of teams and will be looking to make the playoffs again this season. Last year they started off hot, winning five of their first six games - two against Krewe - before limping to the finish line and then getting battered by Fort Lauderdale in the semifinal. Tampa struggled to a 2-8 record last season and if their preseason is anything to by, it might be another year to forget coming up. The fact their B team isn't making the trip to Weston for their first Orange Cup match of the season tells me numbers aren't great, and thus I like the home side in this one. Jacksonville 30, Krewe 12 Last season: 51-17-1 (73.9%) All time: 152-51-1 (74.5%)

Code updated: 02/07/2018 13:04

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