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The Sideline Whisperer
The Sideline Whisperer
Predictions for Saturday, March 1st. 2014
With about a month left in men's D2 and D3 regular season play, we're really coming down to crunch time in both divisions as teams either look to secure a playoff spot, try to get into a playoff spot or just play spoiler. Let's take a look at where each competition stands.

Posted on 2/28/2014 11:35:07 AM

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.





Division 2

Miami is 6-0 and has a 5-point lead at the top of the standings with four games to play, and a game in hand over the two teams behind them. Expected wins over Krewe and Orlando over the next couple of weeks should pretty much secure them the top seed and a home semifinal against the 4 seed.

Below the Bumblebees, however, there is a nice battle going on for the final three playoff spots. After losing their first two games, Boca Raton has come storming back to win five straight, and currently sits in second place at 5-2. If they can take care of Krewe and Tridents in their final two home games on March 8 and 15, then the second spot should be sewn up, but a stumble in either of those two contests will leave that slot wide open.

Should Boca win their next two, it will likely leave a three-way battle for the final two playoff spots between Fort Lauderdale, the Tridents and Krewe. The Tridents have four games left while FtL and Tampa only have three, but the Tridents have by far the most difficult schedule remaining. After the long trip to Jax this weekend, they have to face Fort Lauderdale, Boca and Miami RFC, who have a combined record of 15-5. However, the Tridents do have a one-point edge and a game in hand over Krewe, whose fate will be decided in the next two weeks with two very difficult games against Miami and Boca. If Tampa loses both of those games, they are likely to be looking in at the playoffs from the outside, unless the Tridents also somehow manage to lose out.

Below that, we have Jacksonville, whose playoff hopes are hanging by a thread. Sure, they might have three wins, but two of those have come against winless Daytona, and the other against Orlando, who, along with Naples and Daytona, are out of playoff contention.

Divison 3

Undefeated Sarasota remain the class of this division, and will move into first place this weekend if they can beat visiting Brevard, which they should. With the Pelicans and Indian River already out of contention, that leaves four teams fighting for the final three playoff spots, and trying to avoid that fourth seed, which would mean a road trip to Sarasota in the semifinals.

Palm Beach devoured everyone in their path before being halted by the Surge two weeks ago, and will have had exactly a month off to think about that loss by the time they take on Gainesville on March 15 in their next scheduled contest. If the Hogs take care of visiting Boca Raton this week and Sarasota win out, that contest on the 15th will probably only matter for home field advantage, as the Panthers and Hogs will then likely be cemented in the 2 and 3 spots, meaning a rematch in the semifinals. That would leave Brevard and Boca battling for the final seed.

Ok, with that out of the way, let's take a shot at predicting this week's results:

Division 2

Miami RFC (6-0) at Tampa Krewe (4-3) - A semi-test here for the Bumblebees, but one that they have to ability to pass without too much trouble. Krewe were pushed to the edge by Orlando last week, a fact that doesn't bode well for this matchup. A loss here for Tampa would probably mean a must-win on the road next week at Boca if they want to remain in the playoff hunt. Desperate teams can sometimes play their best rugby, but I just think the yellow and black will have too much for the home side in the end. Miami RFC 32, Krewe 18

Miami Tridents (4-2) at Jacksonville (3-3) - A very, very, very intriguing game here. It's a long, long trip for the Tridents, who are coming off a tough loss to Lauderdale and face the rematch of that matchup next week. A loss here could be devastating with the difficulty of their remaining games, and could potentially leave a slight gap open for Jax to get back in the playoff race. While part of me wants to pick the home side in a slight upset, they haven't beaten anyone decent yet this season, so I'm not going to. Miami Tridents 33, Jacksonville 25

Daytona (0-8) at Fort Lauderdale (4-3) - The Knights have won three of four to vault into playoff contention, and should be able to dispatch the Coconuts after their long trip south. Hopefully FtL isn't looking ahead too much to their big contest next week at the Tridents. Fort Lauderdale 42, Daytona 0

Naples (2-4) vs. Orlando (2-5) - Not much to see here in this basement battle featuring two teams with nothing to play for. Move along. Naples 25, Orlando 22

Division 3

Boca Raton (2-2) at Gainesville (2-1) - Like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get with Boca's D3 side. As with most 'B' sides, they have plenty of available talent to pull from for home matches. However, things get dicey on the road, especially for long trips like this. Their loss at Brevard is an example of that, and even though the D2 side is off this week, who knows what rag-tag side the Bucs will take up north. Gainesville will be motivated by trying to avoid the potential of them dropping down to the fourth spot and a trip to Sarasota, and should prevail handily here. Gainesville 30, Boca Raton 17

Brevard (2-1) at Sarasota (3-0) - Brevard aren't who they were last year, clearly, having only squeaked by Boca and Pelicans. Meanwhile, the Surge roll on with their Dai Morgan-led charge towards the state title game. Wake me up when we get to that final, please. Thanks. Sarasota 45, Brevard 5

Pelicans (0-4) at Indian River (0-3) - Someone has to win this one, right? Meh, maybe not. Pelicans 20, Indian River 20 

Last Week: 0-1

Season: 30-9 (76.9%)
All-Time: 79-27 (74.5%)

Don't forget to email me at [email protected] should you have any comments, criticism or general banter.


Picture by Facundo Fabbri. 

Code updated: 02/07/2018 13:04

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