The two Texas teams proved their superiority during the 2015-16 Gold Cup, as Austin took first place ahead of Dallas on its way to a second consecutive appearance in the USA Rugby Division I National Championship. This year's competition between two of club rugby's most competitive conferences has taken a slightly different shape, however. The Chicago Griffins replaced the Kansas City Blues after a second-place finish in the 2016 Midwest Playoffs. Meanwhile, a Red River representative still sits atop the Gold Cup standings, but Metropolis is holding strong in second and hopes a successful weekend in Minneapolis - along with some help from the Blacks - can launch the club to first place ahead of the Reds.
The first set of cross-conference fixtures took place the first weekend of March in Austin, Texas. The Midwest sides not only had to overcome the travel to Texas but also their limited opportunities to train outdoors prior to heading south. As a result, the Blacks and Reds combined for a 3-1 record over the weekend, but Metropolis more than held its own. A late try by Dallas ruined Metropolis' chance of a March 3 draw to open the weekend, but the men of Minneapolis did not let that dampen their spirits ahead of the March 5 match against Austin. Wing Melvin Desouza dotted down twice and Metropolis earned a 32-12 road win over the Blacks to earn a weekend split against Red River's best.