Friday, August 10, 2018

Club 7s Preview & Predictions

One of the best things annually about the Club 7s Nationals is that it can be very unpredictable. That may make providing accurate predictions difficult but at the same time it raises the level of excitement around the tournament. This year should be no different. There are certainly favorites on both the men's and women's side of things but at the same time you can bet that there is going to be a surprise or two in store.

The tournament kicks off tomorrow (Saturday) with pool play. It will be streamed on FloRugby beginning at 10:00 a.m. et/7:00 a.m. pt.

Pool A: Denver Barbarians, Mystic River, Atlanta Old White, Belmont Shore Gold

Let's start with a team that might be a surprise: Atlanta Old White. They have put together some decent tournaments in the past and if things go their way early they could gain a lot of momentum. That said, they will be up against it with some very strong teams. The Denver Barbarians are always one of the teams to beat and this year will be lead by the likes of Mikey Bateman and Michael Al-Jiboori. We think the Barbarians advance along with Mystic River. Having seen their fair share of success at the 15s level Mystic River has the players to be a big factor. Plus, they are playing close to home. We think it will be between them and Belmont Shore Gold for one of the top two spots with Mystic River taking it.

Take the jump to read more.
Pool B: Washington Athletic Club, Metropolis, Santa Monica, NOLA

This is a pool with four very solid teams. It would not be crazy at all to think that each of these teams could make a run. If we had to pick we'd have Washington Athletic Club as the top team in the pool. They have always been a very side and this year should be no different. Metropolis have several players on their roster that followed former head coach Nate Osborne down to the NOLA Gold this year. They are going to come up against some of their teammates who are on NOLA. Then there is Santa Monica who had a good year in SoCal. If we had to pick two we're going with WAC and Santa Monica.

Pool C: Old Blue, Dallas, Cleveland Academy, Kansas City Blues

Old Blue should be the class of this pool. They are another traditional power and they will be playing at home. That is a huge benefit to the club and they will be looking to make a strong showing. To us they should easily top their pool. The question is who will come in second. Dallas have had another strong year. The Kansas City Blues survived the very, very tough Frontier to make the tournament and they have made it deep in the competition before. To us it is going to come down to them and Dallas for the second spot. The Cleveland Academy came out of the Midwest and have good players but at a new tournament it is a whole other level.

Pool D: Belmont Shore, Bulldog Rugby, Beltway Elite, NYAC

This is the Pool of Death. Every single one of these teams are a threat to win the overall title. NYAC, like Old Blue, will be playing at home and will be very motivated. Despite not having what you think as prototypical 7s players they have always done very well. Now not having to travel they should succeed. Beltway Elite have been the class of the Mid-Atlantic and are a 7s focused side. Belmont Shore came out of the very tough SoCal while Bulldog did the same from the Frontier. We think it is that seasoning that is going to serve one of those teams well. If we had to pick we'd say that Belmont Shore and NYAC have the edge.

For a preview of the women's tournament we highly recommend checking out the work from Jackie at The Rugby Breakdown. We also suggest you donate to her while you are there. 

No comments:

Post a Comment