Saturday, August 26, 2017

RugbyTown 7s Quarterfinals Set

The quarterfinals of the RugbyTown 7s are set. Utah were the first to book their ticket but were eventually joined by Tiger Rugby, Army, Air Force, Fiji, Ramblin Jesters, the Royal Army, and Azul. Specifically the quarterfinals will feature: Utah vs. Azul, Ramblin Jesters vs. Air Force, British Army vs. Tiger Rugby, and Army vs. Fiji.

Having gone 3-0 on day one Utah just needed a win in their only pool play match on day two to advance to the Cup quarterfinals. They had to work for it and they didn't look their sharpest but they prevailed 14-12 to go 4-0 in the pool. The next match put second place up for grabs as Tiger Rugby squared off against Denver. The Denver Selects have looked dominant at times but also human and that was the case one against as Tiger Rugby won 21-14. Full credit to Tiger Rugby. We didn't give them enough credit heading into the match and they've played really well, enough to secure second in the pool on point differential. The RAF Spitfires equaled Tiger Rugby and Denver on eight points with a 21-19 comes from behind win over the Upright Rugby Rogues to end their day but their point differential wasn't as good.

Take the jump to read more.

Pool A
Utah 14-12 RAF
Tiger Rugby 21-14 Denver
RAF 21-19 Upright Rugby Rogues

Pool B pretty much went according to script. The Army needed to beat the Coast Guard to advance and they did that convincingly 48-0.  The result was disappointing for the Coast Guard as they had an outside chance of making the top two had they been able to pull of the upset. Unfortunately for them Army have been very, very good on the weekend  with players like John Cullen certainly grabbing the attention of national team selectors. The Air Force advanced to the quarterfinals and the Armed Forces Championship with a 29-12 win over Navy.

In the final match in Pool B the Navy and Marines drew 12-12 to each finish with three losses and one draw.

Pool B

Air Force 29-12 Navy
Army 48-0 Coast Guard
Navy 12-12 Marines

In Pool C Fiji Savu got off to a slow start on day one but were able to turn it on against the Maple Leafs, winning 38-0. Maybe it was the heat and the travel but against Canada they were finally able to find a lot of space. That win set up a winner take all match against Atavus to finish pool play. It was arguably the best match of the day came as Fiji edged Atavus for a spot in the quarterfinals. It started with the try of the tournament so far. Starting a good 10 meters behind his opponent Tim Stanfill turned on the burners to outrace the Fijian, grab the ball before it went into touch, and then athletically touched it down for the opening score. Each team played attacking, attractive rugby in the match trading tries. It was another effort from Stanfill that brought daylight between the two sides and put Atavus up 19-7. However, Fiji struck right back to make it 19-14. Atavus had a chance on the restart but a trysaving tackle from Dion Crowder prevented the try and on the ensuing possession Fiji scored to take the lead and the win.

The match between the College All-Americans and the Ramblin Jesters was also a winner take all match. The Jesters have been the surprise side of the weekend and they rolled once again. They were nearly unstoppable against the College All-Americans. The Jesters have been so good at forcing the defense to commit numbers and then finding the right offload. With their win over the College All-Americans they move on the quarterfinals.

Pool C

Fiji Savu 38-0 Maple Leafs
Ramblin Jesters 38-12 College All-Americans
Fiji Savu 21-19 Atavus

A near winner-take-all match was also on tap in Pool D as the SoCal Griffins and Azul squared off. The Griffins were able to get on the board first but Azul answered with three tries of their own. At least one was from Colton Cariaga and Mike Ziegler. Both the Griffins and Azul deserve a lot of credit for bringing in outside players to make sure that the top of the top had a chance to play at the tournament. In addition to Cariaga and Ziegler Azul had the likes of Matt Houston and Ahmad Harajly on their roster. The Griffins brought in several players from the Northeast, like Vini Daley. Despite another try from the Grifins Azul was able to pull away in the second half to win 26-12.

In the final pool play match of the day the SoCal Griffins need a result against the British Army to potentially make the quarterfinals. Unfortunately for them the British Army showed the same form they had on day one. They led 19-0 at the break and rolled from there.

Both Glendale and the Cayman Islands were set for the Shield or Bowl heading into the day but both came out attacking. In the end the physicality of the Merlins was enough to see them through 29-7.

Pool D

Azul 26-12 Griffins
Glendale 29-7 Cayman Islands
British Army 31-0 SoCal Griffins

Cup Quarterfinals

Utah vs. Azul
Ramblin Jesters vs. Air Force
British Army vs. Tiger Rugby
Army vs. Fiji

Bowl Quarterfinals

Denver vs. Navy
All-Americans vs. Glendale
SoCal vs. RAF
Coast Guard vs. Atavus

Tournament Finished

Upright Rugby Rogues
Maple Leafs
Cayman Islands

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