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The Kansas City Blues claimed their home qualifier Saturday to take pole position in the Frontier 7s series. They went undefeated on the day, with the lowlight being a tie against Omaha in pool play, to win Heartland 7s for the third time in four years.
With just five teams in the qualifier bracket, they all played a round-robin with the top four reaching the semifinals. The host Blues entered two squads into the competition, and their developmental side went winless in pool play to miss the semis. Glendale finished second in the round robin, the Denver Barbarians third and Omaha fourth.
Denver and Glendale were both pretty slim on the weekend. The Raptors are experiencing a rough summer after the Pacific Rugby Premiership championship campaign has taken its toll on the lineup. Injuries are abound and the Raptors are down considerably from seasons past. Denver traveled without heavy hitters Maximo de Achaval and Martin Iosefo, and they Barbos should be much more competitive when the series returns to Denver for the final tournament. In their semifinal meeting, the Raptors edged their rivals 17-14.
The other semifinal was a rematch of the most exciting round-robin game. Earlier in the day, the Blues raced out to a three-try lead on the G.O.A.T.S before making a few too many subs. Omaha rebounded to draw with the home team, 26-26. The rematch wasn't remotely similar, as the Blues thrashed Omaha 46-0.
Kansas City was, save the lapse against the G.O.A.T.S. earlier in the day, the class of the tournament by some margin, and it showed in the final, when the Blues beat Glendale 40-7. Kansas City is incredibly deep and hungry for another run at the national title after finishing third last summer. The fact that nationals is being held just a three-hour drive up I-35 has increased the Blues' appetite.