You are here
PHILADELPHIA — The New York Rhinos and the Ontario Blues were on the PPL Park pitch for a while in between two Collegiate Rugby Championship matches Saturday - 48 minutes, to be exact.
The match between the domestic select side and the Canadian squad - a 79-43 Blues win - was an exhibition for the 'Super Sevens' rugby format. Normal sevens rules apply, but instead of two seven-minute halves, 16-man rosters are used for 12-minute quarters with rolling substitutions during dead-ball periods.
"(Ontario) scored 70 points," former Iona College player and current Rhino Kyle Granby said. "If I was one of their fans, I would love that right now."
The Blues - who had participated in a previous Super Sevens trial - subbed at each dead ball period while the Rhinos opted to make personnel changes roughly every 5-6 minutes.
"Both teams went into it with a bit of unknowing," former Lindenwood fullback Morgan Findlay said. "I believe the gameplan opens up a lot more strategy, rather than just playing to your system. The subbing is a key component: how to use your subs. When to use your subs. Knowing when the tank is empty."
Ontario led 43-19 at the half before New York outscored the Blues 24-5 in the third period to make the score 48-43.
"We're just coming off of fifteens," New York's Kyle Granby said. "We weren't really playing great sevens ball. Both teams weren't really working it wide. Their gameplan was to smash us up the middle.They had some bigger guys. We had speed, we should have passed it wider."
The 48-minute format is designed to be commercially viable and act as a gateway to developing a professional domestic sevens league.
"The downside of normal sevens format is that it only goes for a weekend and it only happens a couple times a year," Findlay said.
Comprised of players from clubs spread throughout the Northeast, the Rhinos came together and trained twice before the trial.
"As with most games, it takes sort of the first seven minutes to get your fluidity and your composure with guys you haven't played with before," Findlay said. "I think towards that third quarter we had it, but by the end it was a bit too late."