May 21—EAST AURORA, N.Y. — On the weekend of April 31-May 1, Monadnock Rugby Football Club traveled seven hours across New York state to compete for the first-ever USA Rugby Division IV Men's Club Rugby Championship, coming away with the championship.
Twenty-four teams — from four geographic conferences stretching across the mid-Atlantic states from Washington D.C. to New England — arrived to Knox Farm in East Aurora, N.Y. to battle it out. Some other divisions competed to advance towards the national final four tournament. The Division IV title was however determined as the Regions involved are the only ones with competitive Division IV Competitions in the U.S.
In the end, six senior men's and women's clubs earned regional championships, of which four will head to the big showdown, for their respective divisions. Host Buffalo Rugby Club, the Town of Aurora and Mark Gemerek and the Aurora Arsenal Soccer Club put on a commendable tournament and experience with their time and support leading up to and through the Festival. The Town and the Arsenal club went above and beyond to help make this a successful event.
"On Saturday [the New England Rugby Football Union] went 4-1 overall," said NERFU president Brad Dufresne. "Going into day two, we tried to maintain as much momentum as we could as an organization. Providence D-II women punched their ticket to the national tournament while Monadnock captured the D-IV men's super-regional title."
Dufresne, who is also a coach of Monadnock, said regarding the team: "It is a great community focused group of guys. We did a great job of recruiting this year, we got a couple of crossover athletes that really bolstered us and took us to the next level. We play in a really strong division in New England D-IV because we are trying to get that grass roots feel and encourage the community game. Monadnock men left it all out of the field and ended up with a nice 20-0 win for the super-regional men's D-IV title."