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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Seattle-OPSB Win Club 7's National Championship


Seattle-OPSB capped off an impressive summer of sevens by taking home the U.S.A. Rugby Club 7's National Champions with a 26-5 win over the Denver Barbarians. Seattle-OPSB was expected to make the final while the Barbarians were a bit of a surprise. They only qualified for the national championships after winning their own tournament on the last weekend of the West sevens series. However, in the final that didn't show as the Barbarians proved themselves to be a strong team.

In the final both teams started out by making mistakes--a theme that would repeat throughout the match with the ref blowing his whistle quite often--whether it was a spilled ball or a knock-on and neither team had a clear scoring opportunity. It was Seattle-OPSB that would get on the bad side of the referee more often in the first half. After Max De Achaval wasn't taken out trying to send in a grubber in the try zone, the Barbarians restarted and found Logan Collins who powered over for the try. De Achaval's conversion missed putting the score at 5-0 to the Barbarians.

Take the jump to read more from the other matches as well a see complete scores.
However, the Seattle-OPSB could only be stopped for so long. Emosi Vucago knocked the ball out of De Achaval's hand right when Denver looked to get their second try. After a few bounces the ball found it's way into the hands of Kellen Gordon or who offloaded to Mike Nelson. Nelson then put on a burst of speed to go under the posts for the try. Vucago hit the penalty to put Seattle-OPSB up 7-5. That's how it would remain at halftime.

In the second half Seattle-OPSB came out more organized and playing like a team that had dominated all season. They were rewarded for their aggressiveness only a minute into the half when Kellen Gordon scored. Vucago made the big break while a series of nice passes eventually got Denver overloaded. Vucago made the conversion to bring the score to 14-5.

Seattle-OPSB then effectively sealed the match when Miles Craigwell found the corner and raced down field for the try. Vucago's conversion was no good meaning Seattle-OPSN led 19-5. William Rasileka then added another try to give Seattle-OPSB a 26-5 lead after the conversion.

Denver showed plenty of skill during the match. They were better at the breakdown not only in this match but also in the tournament. De Achaval played lights out for much of the tournament. He may not fit the typical profile of a player brought into 7's camp but he should certainly be considered.

Still, the Seattle-OPSB offense was simply took strong. They have some of the best players in the country and some of the best coaching. Players like Tim Stanfill and Kellen Gordon look like they could slide into the Eagles while Craigwell should probably be considered once again. After such a strong summer they are deserved champions.

Craigwell was named tournament MVP.

Photo: Seattle-OPSB Twitter

The teams they beat in the semi-finals--Old Blue and the Chicago Lions--faced off for 3rd place. Old Blue won 29-17 thanks to some hard running.Credit Old Blue for putting together a fantastic season. Despite playing is one of the weaker regions they showed they have plenty of quality. That should bode well as Steve Lewis, their head coach, is also the co-coach of the New York City 7's. They have very physical players that were able to out muscle their opponents all weekend.

Belmont Shore took home the Plate with a win over rivals San Francisco Golden Gate. Down five and with only a few minutes to go Jack Tracy broke through the SFGG defense to race in from the try. When Mike Teo hit the conversion it put Belmont on top 12-10. They would hold on for the win. Belmont will be disappointed not to take hom the Cup, just as they did the last two years, but the team has partially re-loaded and will be excited for the future. For SFGG, it was a so-so year. They dominated NorCal but couldn't overcome Seattle-OPSB either in the Pacific Coast Championship or in the Cup quarterfinals. Middlesex defeated Atlanta Old White for 7th place.

In the Bowl, New Orleans had no trouble with NOVA and then dispatched the Schuylkill River Exiles to make the final. There they met 1823 who had defeated WE Rugby 12-5 and then OMBAC 14-12 to reach the final. In the final New Orleans proved too much and took home the 12-7 win.  Schuylkill River beat OMBAC 17-12 for 11th place.

The Shield went to the Old Aztecs, who by their standards had a disappointing tournament. They beat the Titans 29-19 in the final. Before that they lost to OMBAC 14-12 in the Bowl quarterfinal before beating WE Rugby 17-12 in the Shield semis. The Titans lost to Schuylkill River in the Bowl quarterfinals before beating NOVA 33-7 in the Shield semis.

Day Two Scores:

Pool/Bracket
Bowl QF
Bowl QF
Bowl QF                  
Bowl QF
Cup QF
Cup QF
Cup QF
Cup QF

Shield SF
Shield SF
Bowl SF
Bowl SF
Plate SF
Plate SF
Cup SF
Cup SF

Shield Final
11th/12th
Bowl Final
7th/8th
Plate Final
3rd/4th
Cup Final
Team 1
San Diego Old Aztecs
1823 (Columbus)
Schuylkill River Exiles
Northern Virginia
Belmont Shore
Old Blue
Chicago Lions
Seattle OPSB

San Diego Old Aztecs
Titans
Old Mission Beach Athletic
Schuylkill River Exiles
Belmont Shore                             
Atlanta Old White
Denver Barbarians
Chicago Lions

San Diego Old Aztecs
Old Mission Beach Athletic
1823 (Columbus)
Middlesex Savages
Belmont Shore
Old Blue
Denver Barbarians
Score
12-14
12-7                
17-12
0-28
19-26
19-0
21-7
26-10

17-12
33-7
12-14
17-21
27-5
14-21
14-5
7-17

29-12
12-17
7-12
14-12
10-12
29-19
5-26
Team 2
Old Mission Beach Athletic
The Woodlands Exiles
Titans
New Orleans
Denver Barbarians
Middlesex Savages
Atlanta Old White
San Francisco Golden Gate

The Woodlands Exiles
Northern Virginia
1823 (Columbus)
New Orleans
Middlesex Savages
San Francisco Golden Gate
Old Blue
Seattle OPSB

Titans
Schuylkill River Exiles
New Orleans
Atlanta Old White
San Francisco Golden Gate
Chicago Lions
Seattle OPSB


1 comment:

  1. Is maurice clarett playing rugby? Expected to see him or hear about him playing w/ the squad from Ohio.

    ReplyDelete