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Saturday, August 26, 2017

RugbyTown 7s Bowl Quarterfinal Recap

Denver earlier in the year at the LVI. 
Four teams disappointed to miss out on the Cup quarterfinals made up for it to a certain degree by advancing to the Bowl semi-finals at the RugbyTown 7s. Denver and the College All-Americans will square off in one semi-final while the SoCal Griffins and Atavus will be the other.

Denver were one of the teams disappointed to miss out on the Cup round. They were squeezed out of Pool A on point differential but took out their frustration on Navy with a 31-7 win to move on the Bowl semi-finals. Michael Al-Jiboori started things out for Denver and was followed up by Aki Raymond (twice) and Kevon Williams to lead 26-0 at halftime. Paul Eteaki scored in the second half while Thabo Moyo had a nice individual try for Navy at the hooter.

Facing Denver in the semi-finals will be the College All-Americans. They also rebounded from a disappointing pool play with a big win. They beat the Glendale Merlins 38-5. The College All-Americans simply out possessed the Merlins and given their chances Davenport's Reece Czarknecki scored two opportunistic first half tries. Travis Haugen had a nice effort for Glendale that was set up by interplay from Bryce Campbell and Seth Halliman but a try from Jihad Khabir gave the All-Americans a 19-5 halftime lead. In the second half Khabir spotted a gap in the defense to extend the lead. The All-Americans scored a couple more times to add to their tally.

Take the jump to read more.

The other semi-final will features the SoCal Griffins against Atavus. Arnold Meredith put SoCal up first in their match against the RAF Spitfires. The Spitfires had the bulk of the possession leading up to the try but SoCal's defense held firm. Pono Haitsuka would then extend the lead for the Griffins to 14-0. You could tell that the heat and altitude began to catch up to the RAF as SoCal began to score easier tries. Sione Masoe (twice), Mungo Mason, Vini Daley had tries as the Grffins won 40-0.

The win for Atavus wasn't nearly as straightforward. The Coast Guard had the bulk of the positive play early and justifiably scored via Eric Geckas to take a 7-0 lead. Atavus nearly responded right away with a long run but a superb bit of defense from the Coast Guard prevented the try. They then extended their lead on a nice set play at the lineout where they caught Atavus napping. Jethro Hauser, the previous defensive hero, scored to put the Coast Guard up 14-0. They then caught Atavus talking to ref allowing Geckas to score. At halftime the Coast Guard led 21-0.

Two quick tries from Atavus just a couple of minutes into the second, the first from Eminoni Mafi and the second from Tim Stanfill, put them right back in it at 21-14. Kitone Dawai Taliga would then add a third to knot it up at 21-21. William Rasileka then gave Atavus the go ahead score. Mosese Lalasava would score one last try to put it out of reach and complete the comeback.

Bowl Quarterfinals

Denver 31-7 Navy
All-Americans 38-5 Glendale
SoCal Griffins 40-0 RAF Spitfires
Atavus 31-21 Coast Guard

Bowl Semi-finals (Sunday)

Denver vs. All-Americans
SoCal vs. Atavus

Shield Semi-finals (Sunday)

Navy vs. Glendale
RAF vs. Coast Guard

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