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OMBAC defeated Belmont Shore II in the final of the Belmont Shore 7s to take the #2 seed from Southern California to the national 7s club championships.
The result might well have elicited a sigh of relief from USA Rugby, as now Belmont Shore won’t be petitioning to have their 2nd side accepted into the national tournament.
This year, a new eligibility rule was passed by the Club Strategic Committee which prevented any club from entering more than one team in the national championships (the practice had been common beforehand).
USA Rugby didn’t make much of an effort to publicize the rule, and several clubs around the country were under the distinct impression they would be able to enter two teams. In the end, Boston got a waiver, because of extenuating circumstances, and Belmont Shore, having won the first SoCal Qualifier (and the #1 seed from SoCal), was hoping to challenge the rule, as well.
Belmont Shore Director of Rugby James Walker decided to sit several high-profile players who could have played for Belmont Shore II – players such as Tai Enosa, Matt Hawkins, and Shalom Suniula. Walker wanted to keep those players available for his #1 side, and ran on what was almost a 3rd side this weekend.
Still, that team did well enough to make the final, before being upended by OMBAC.
Boston also failed to qualify a 2nd team.