Lucky Number 7: Dubai 7s Preview and USA Collegiate 7s National Championship Review

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WSWS DubaiNEW YORK, NY – 7 is the magical number in today’s article. We take a look at the Dubai 7s. This is the one legs where the Mens and Womens sevens world series circuit overlap. Besides making it rare it makes it twice the spectacle. Hopefully, there will be no freakish rainstorm to slowdown the action this year, like last year. We will also take a moment to review the USA College Rugby 7s National Championship.


Womens Division: When the pool draw came out last month, a large amount of attention was paid to the schedules leading into Dubai. Which teams went ahead and did warm-up tournaments and what players were made unavailable for National 15s duty.

Lets look at the pools and how we expect them to finish
Pool A: New Zealand, USA, Fiji, Ireland
This is a rather straight forward pool. The Black Ferns of New Zealand are reigning champs and the best in the world so they will easily finish first. USA should get by |Fiji in a tough match and new girls Ireland will get a rough initiation to the world of international 7s.
Pool B: England, Russia, Spain, Tunisia
The thing about this pool is that it is easy to pick who will finish first and last. England are light years ahead of anyone else in this group meanwhile Tunisia are still developing a presence beyond the African continent. That leaves Russia and Spain to battle it out for the number 2 spot and it appears too close to call. At a push, we would back Spain.
Pool C: Australia, Canada, France, Brazil
Australia are the favorites to come out on top in this pool. The will get strong opposition from Canada along the way. France will likely finish ahead of an improving Brazil side.

Here are the predictions:
Cup: New Zealand
Second: England
Third: Canada
Plate: USA
Bowl: Fiji

All the action can be seen live, all thanksgiving weekend beginning today 11/28/13 on WSWS.IRB.COM

Top Four Seeds
Top Four Seeds

Mens Division:
Here are the pools for the Dubai 7s occurring November 29-30 in Dubai, UAE. Non-Core team Russia is in a tough pool and it appears that USA and Canada are in the same pool and essentially the pool of death.

Lets look at the pools and how we expect them to finish
Pool A: New Zealand, Kenya, France, Portugal
New Zealand as the usually do will walk this group. The Paul Treu Era officially begins for Kenya 7s. Though we expect them to finish 2nd a slow start and bottom finish would not surprise as a result of the managerial change. France you would expect to win 3rd and Portugal last. However, Portugal are settling in under a new coach and France can be inconsistent at the best of times, so yet again, the 2-4 positions are too difficult to call.
Pool B: Australia, Wales, Scotland, Spain This is the most evenly matched pool. Australia based on their Gold Coast 7s performance should be favored to take the pool but they have a history of being unable perform beyond the GC7s. Wales had a decent GC7s but is still developing a core group, while Scotland have improved but are not an outright threat yet. Spain is dangerous in spurts but yet to do it for a whole tourney and they are still learning their new coach’s system. We are going to be smart not bet on this group.
Pool C: England, Fiji, Canada, USA
This is the group of death. It is impossible to call. 3 teams with new coaches and totally different expectations. England under Simon Amor are expected to win this group but they will face a very tough Fiji coached by Ben Ryan. The door is open for coach Geirant John’s Canada since he has the most stability with his side. John’s could sneak out a win against either or both of the big 2 as the players adjust to the change in leadership, though each nation have enough pedigree to overcome the coaching changeover. As we mentioned yesterday, the USA side is very young and dangerous. They will suffer growing pains in the first day before bouncing back in day 2.
Pool D: South Africa, Samoa, Argentina, Russia Samoa are the Dubai defending champions and are therefore expected to emerge number 1 from the group. Russia is the non-core side in the tournament and they will be properly beaten by the other 3 sides. This leaves South Africa and Argentina to battle for second. South Africa have the more dangerous game changing runners and playmakers, as a result they will finish ahead of the hard working Argentine side.

Here are the predictions:
Cup: New Zealand
Second: Samoa
Third: England
Plate: Canada
Bowl: USA
Shield: Portugal

All the action can be seen live, all thanksgiving weekend beginning today 11/29/13 on WWW.IRBSEVENS.COM or Universal Sports

Ark StUSA Collegiate 7s National Championship
The USA Collegiate 7s National Championships occurred this past weekend in Greensboro, North Carolina and it was a case of deja vu for most of the spectators. There were repeat winners in the Mens and Womens division. There was new winner of the Men’s Open division, which is in its first year and combines a 8 Division 2 schools and  several small schools.

In the Mens Division, Arkansas State won for the second straight year. The Red Wolves looked dominate throughout and made their repeat no surprise. This performance will put pressure on the Collegiate Rugby Championship 7s Invitational  tournament run by United World Sports to send them an invite. They may not be as big a name as some of the other programs due to not have an popular NCAA D1 American college football name.  However they will bring up the level of the competition which will make it a better tournament. In the Womens Division, Norwich completed a 3-peat and seem to be head and shoulders above the competition. They are on another level when it comes to collegiate womens 7s. The Principia Thunder Chickens won the inaugural Open division and hopefully this division will continue and allow small schools like Prinicpia the opportunity to become a national force.

Here are the results:
Cup: Arkansas State
Second: Saint Mary’s College (CA)
Third: Dartmouth
Plate: Life
Bowl: Arizona State
Shield: South Carolina

Cup: Norwich
Second: James Madison
Third: Penn State
Plate: Indiana
Bowl: Texas
Shield: Princeton

Mens Open:
Cup: Principia
Second: University of Wisconsin-Stout
Plate: Sonoma State
Bowl: New Hampshire

After the tournament, USA Rugby named All-Tournament teams for each division. The select sides were voted on by a handful of coaches and other observers at the National Championships. Click on the link to see players that will be likely on the national stage soon for the Mens and Womens eagles. Of the MVPs listed the one that may be joining Polar Bear and the Mens 7s program sooner rather than later is Dylan Carrion of Arkansas State, winner of the Dave Sitton Memorial Trophy Winner  for tournament MVP.

Action from the 2013 USA Rugby College 7s National Championship matches on ESPNU.  Click on the link for the schedule.

That’s it for now… feel free to comment below, look for and “Like” our Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Page and follow us on Twitter @RugbyWrapUpJunoir BlaberDJ EberleNick HallJames HarringtonCody Kuxmann and Declan Yeats, respectively.

And until the next time… stay low and keep pumping those legs.

About Junoir Blaber 868 Articles
Born in Osu, Accra, Ghana, West Africa, Junoir Blaber is a rare commodity; while most Ghanians eat, sleep and dream Soccer (football), Junoir is all about Rugby. A self-proclaimed Rugbyologist, he has been involved in Rugby as a ref, coach, administrator and player since Columbus discovered Ohio. His useful/trivial rugby knowledge qualify Blaber as RWU's Senior Correspondent & known in rugby circles as The Rugby Rain Man. He can also be found moonlighting for our American partners at