CHESTER, PA – After attending a “rugby event” in Albany with fellow RWU correspondent DJ Eberle (don’t miss his chat with Will Holder of Team USA) on Friday, we made the rather mundane/numbing drive from the New York State capital along I87 and the NJ Turnpike to Chester, PA.. But once we hit the Commodore Barry Bridge and the spectacular setting that is PPL Park, we started to perk up… We hustled through the bustling Fan Fest and 9,617 in attendance to rendezvous with another RWU correspondent, Jake Frechette. It was time for some slick, sleek and super-fast rugby, in the form of the CRC 7s Invitational.
You know a day’s a good one when it flies by – and Saturday’s schedule flew by in a blur of high socks, larger players then we’ve seen in a while and flashes of neon-colored cleats. And that was just during the warm-ups.
One of the more exciting matches we saw was the Kutztown vs Dartmouth match, which saw Dartmouth tie the game at the half after the hooter and repeat the feat in dramatic fashion after the final hooter. But to do so, Madison Hughes – who has been spending time with Matt Hawkins’ Team USA Sevens squad – had to coax a drop-kick conversion over the crossbar from about five meters from the touchline. An angled kick with a degree of difficulty and pressure only the likes of Sir Jonny Wilkinson could understand – and nail it! Oh, and if you heard what seemed like a South African accent coming from a handful of Kutztown players, it’s becuase someone with some forward thinking made it so South Africans can get in-state tuition in the state of Pennsylvania – or so we heard in the press box. We haven’t verified that yet, but if it’s true we certainly hope a kid that grows up in the Keysto ne State gets that same deal if he wants to go to school in South Africa!
And we’ve got another big day ahead of us. So, if you want to see some top-flight 7s and stars like Team USA’s Seamus Kelly of Cal, then tune in on your TV or get down here to PPL… Either way, we’ll have it all covered for you.