PITTSBURGH, PA: Welcome to the Steel City, home of the USA Club 7s National Championships. The Pittsburgh Harlequins (with a rumored club membership of over 2000) have wrestled away hosting honors from San Francisco – Golden Gate, the long-standing host of the 7s championships. That said, let’s finish our last can of Iron City Beer and give you the breakdown.
Pool A: Belmont Shore, Old Aztecs, Atlanta Old White, Titans
Pool B: Old Blue, SFGG, 1823, New Orleans
Pool C: WE Rugby, Middlesex, Seattle-OPSB, NOVA
Pool D: Chicago Lions, OMBAC, Schuykill River, Denver Barbarians
Pool A: Pedigree counts for a lot when developing and establishing a 7s program. That being the case, reigning champs Belmont Shore will take this group, followed by SD-Old Aztecs. Atlanta and Titans (Hawaii) will entertain but in the end they won’t make the cup round.
Pool B: SF-GG, 1823 and Old Blue NY are going to battle it out for the 2 spots available and New Orleans are the filler. Look for OBNY and 1823 coming out of this group, since the OBNY coach, Sean Horan, will feel extra pressure to justify his position as coach of the NYC7s team for the upcoming World Club Championships.
Pool C: Middlesex are on a great run as club in 15s and 7s but they are not at the level of their competition yet. Seattle-OPSB is stacked with players like Ben Gollings and NOVA have looked in great form. It will be those 2 that come out of the group with Middlesex and WE fighting to make the plate.
Pool D: Easily the group of death. However, if program pedigree is to count for anything, the OMBAC tops the group with Denver last. It will come down to points differential between Chicago and Schuykill River with the Lions winning, at a guess.
3rd place: Belmont Shore
Bowl: Schuykill River
Shield: Denver Barbarians
Hopefully, the winner and finalist of this tourney are eventually sent as the USA club representatives for the World Club 7s tournament being held in England in late August. The two current representatives were selections by USA Rugby and will each have 6 members of Team USA’s 7s Team added to them. The fact they were selections betrays the #workforit maxim and the process lacked transparency.
Pool A: San Diego Surfers, Boston Belles, ORSU, Philadelphia
Pool B: NOVA, Seattle Breakers, Detroit, Atlanta Harlequins
Pool C: Youngbloodz, D.C. Furies, Northeast 2, NOVA II
Pool D: Berkeley All Blues, Chicago Lions, Scion Sirens (D.C.), Combined Services
Pool A: San Diego and ORSU are the favorites to come out of this group with Philly and Boston Belles fighting for 3rd. This is the group of death, so don’t be surprised if there are upsets and the favorites don’t even make cup play.
Pool B: Atlanta will take this group with there being a 3 way battle for 2nd place. With nothing more than a coin flip, NOVA takes 2nd with Detroit 3rd and Seattle last.
Pool C: This pool is filled with teams that are viewed as threatening as other pools. That said, it will be DC and Beantown topping the group, with Youngbloodz 3rd followed by NOVA II – they take the place of the West seed as the West has chosen not to send a representative. Costs are our unconfirmed guess as to why.
Pool D: Berkeley and the Combined Services side look to be the pick of this group. Chicago finished 3rd and Sirens to finish last.
Cup: San Diego Surfers
3rd place: Atlanta Harlequins
Plate: Combined Services
Bowl: Northeast 1
The Womens Division contains teams on 2 very different tiers. This lends itself to WPL (current and former) teams, likely to dominate. However, there are a couple top Division 1 programs that could provide the odd good match, so you never know. The unexpected is why we play the game.
That is it for now, feel free to comment below, look for and “Like” our Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Page and follow us on Twitter @RugbyWrapUp, @JunoirBlaber, @Declan Yeats, @ckuxmann and @Ebstide52, respectively. And until the next time… stay low and keep pumping those legs.