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After a weekend off for the Rugby World Cup 7s, club teams from four regions completed their qualification for Nationals in New York City, N.Y. on August 11-12. With 19 spots already wrapped up, the Frontier, Midwest, Pacific North, and Red River held their final tournaments on Saturday and now the likes of the Denver Barbarians, Metropolis, Life West, and the Washington Athletic Club and more are going to the Big Apple to battle for the championship.
With three bids at stake for the Frontier, it came down to the Denver 7s to sort out who would advance to Nationals. It was actually very simple as three teams attended the event and those squads are now going to NYC. Coming into the tournament, the Denver Barbarians were in first followed by Bulldog Rugby and the Kansas City Blues. All three teams stepped on the field on Saturday, while fourth place, Peaks Rugby, failed to attend the final two qualifiers.
The Barbarians secured the top seed in the region by defeating Bulldog, 21-19, in the final. Michael Al-Jiboori earned the MVP honors and will hopefully lead his team to title this year. Bulldog will be the second seed and the Blues take third.
As for the women’s qualification, the Kansas City Jazz is basically in. After winning the first qualifier, the second event was canceled due to weather. According to the USAClub7s.com website, no points were doled out for the second event but it is indicated that the Jazz “advanced to Club 7s Nationals” with no highlight. It is probably safe to assume that KC will represent the Frontier.
It is turning out that New York City will be a Metropolis party as both its men’s and women’s sides are going dancing in two weeks. At the Midwest Championship, the men of Metropolis avenged an early loss to blank the Cleveland Rugby Academy (CRA), 34-0, in the final to book its trip to NYC. CRA came into the championship in eighth place and now is going to Nationals.
After winning the last two qualifiers, the Chicago Lions finished off their Midwest campaign with a dominant 29-7 victory over Metropolis. The women of Chicago hope to build off its seventh-place finish at Nationals last year and will use their momentum to propel them higher.
It was a busy day at the Tacoma Aroma 7s as four spots were decided at the Pacific North Championship. Teams from Northern California and the Pacific Northwest competed in the event and four squads walked away with their postseason dreams alive.
Four teams battled for three spots for the women and the competition has been tight all season. Oregon Rugby Sports Union (ORSU) and Life West won each qualifier they have participated in this summer while the Washington Athletic Club (WAC) and the Berkeley All Blues were one step behind. In Tacoma, the tournament was set up as a round robin and Life West took the first seed going 3-0, WAC was second at 2-1, and the All Blues beat out ORSU for the third spot with a 17-10 win.
With only one bid at stake for the men, WAC will return to Nationals after defeating a five-team field for the championship. In the final against Life West, WAC raced out to a 19-0 lead and survived a furious comeback for the 19-14 victory.
The final Red River qualifier was a mere formality as all New Orleans had to do was to take the pitch. The Big Easy is going to the Big Apple, but unfortunately, the squad was stopped in the semifinals against the eventual champion, the Austin Huns. With the semifinal loss, the Dallas Reds took the Red River #1 seed, even though they already secured its admission to Nationals with the Eastern Open win.