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The Northern California men’s club 7s series goes into its final weekend a little shaken up after an eligibility issue pushed three teams down in the standings.

At issue is the fact that three clubs had players switch club registration late, and as a result have had to forfeit their points earned in the opening tournament of the three-tournament series.

One team, Diablo Olde Gaels, transferred two players before USA Rugby’s July 1 deadline, but too late to be eligible to play in the opening tournament (a player must have applied for a transfer before Midnight on July 1 AND before he plays in the relevant tournament).

As a result, Diablo’s two players, Miles Honens and George Liddicoat, are now eligible and should play this weekend, and were eligible for last week’s tournament, but not for the first one.

One player each for the East Palo Alto Bulldogs and Santa Rosa transferred too late to be eligible at all, and so should not play any more in the qualifiers.

(Note: USA Rugby’s rules allow a player to participate as long as he has submitted a transfer request. However, if a transfer is denied, a club runs the risk of getting those games nullified. In addition, the CIPP date of a player on USA Rugby’s website is the date the transfer was confirmed, not the date it was submitted. Hence Honens and Liddicoat are listed as having registered with the Olde Gales on July 5, when in fact they submitted their request some days earlier.)

The entire process took a while to confirm because the Northern California RFU, burned as they have been in recent years by lack of clarity in the rules, wanted to make absolutely sure they had the rules right.

Because of the forfeits, Santa Rosa loses seven points in the standings, EPA five, and Diablo two. All the remaining teams from the 1st tournament move up, so Olympic Club gains a point, Sacramento Lions and Fresno gain two, and San Jose gains three.

Last week, SFGG once again took the top spot, and lead the series with the maximum of 16 points. Olympic Club took second (for the second time, as it turned out), and sit 2nd overall with 14. The Lions were 5th last week and now sit 3rd with ten points.

San Jose, Diablo (3rd this past weekend), and Fresno are all tied with six points. San Jose, having scored the most tries of those three, actually sits 4th. (Teams that forfeited points also forfeited any tries they scored. Diablo came into last weekend with zero tries, and scored an astounding 18 on the day).

This coming weekend, the teams all converge on Sacramento for the final tilt. SFGG and Olympic Club have clinched a place in the top four, thus ensuring that they will be in Seattle July 20 for the Pacific Coast Championships. The Sacramento Lions need to finish 6th or better to ensure a top four spot.

In the end it will come down to San Jose, Diablo, Fresno, East Palo Alto and Santa Rosa. Those five teams are essentially fighting for the final spot at the Pacific Coast finals.



Northern California Series

Played

Pts

1

SFGG

2

16

2

Santa Rosa

2

3

3

Olympic Club

2

14

4

EPA Bulldogs

2

5

5

Sacramento Lions

2

10

6

Fresno

2

6

7

Diablo

2

6

8

San Jose

2

6