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Monday, June 6, 2016

ODA Selects Take Home Inaugural Rugby Utah 7s State Championship

Press Release

Salt Lake City, UT—Rugby Utah, the state’s sanctioned governing body for the sport, crowned its 2016 7s State Champion at the Salt Lake City Regional Athletic Center after the ODA Selects beat the West Valley Lions by the score of 57-10.

The ODA Selects had a mixed day finishing tied for the top of their pool after a 2-1 start, but hit their stride in the knock-our rounds. The ODA Selects took the #1 seed out of Pool B on points differential and leveraged that into the State Championship title.

With many of the ODA regulars back playing with their parent clubs the ODA Selects were a mixed group at the disposal of ODA Head Coach Ben Nicholls. And with the mixed group, it seemed, as the tournament went on, improved game-by-game.

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“Today was a positive start to the 7s season,” Nicholls said, “There was a lot of raw talent on show today with many exciting prospective players. Our Selects team did a great job against some great teams and we’re looking forward to bringing back some of our core ODA players and strengthen it with adding some of the talent we saw in display today.”

Topping Pool A were the West Valley Lions coached by former USA National Team member Joe Lomu. The Lions ran away with the #1 seed out of Pool A going undefeated against the Royals, Spartans and Park City Haggis.

The semifinals were won handily by both the Lions and the ODA Selects by beating Southern Utah 7s (20-12) and Park City Haggis (38-10) respectively.

The title match was a hotly anticipated match, but it was the ODA Selects that scored early and often to eventually run away with the win led by a duo of hat-trick scorers in the form of former University of Utah All American Don Pati and current BYU All American Josh Anderson.

Despite their loss in the title match Lomu and the Lions held their heads high and spoke to the success of the inaugural Rugby Utah 7s State Championship.

“I’m super proud of the boys today.” Lomu said, “We had an inexperienced team but a whole lot of heart and talent. We’re excited about being a part of Rugby Utah and USA Rugby after our club has for a long time been a social club. This tournament was a great start to that. We have a lot of work to do, but I’m confident that our guys can compete at a high level.”
All match results can be found at https://www.rugbyutah.com/high-performance/rugby-utah-state-7s-championship/.

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