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It’ll be Seattle and Old Blue deciding the USA Rugby Club 7s National Championship, after Seattle Saracens dispatched of Belmont Shore 26-5 and Old Blue came back to beat the Kansas City Blues 17-7 in the semifinals.
Old Blue is looking for its first National Title since 2005, while Seattle is seeking its third in four years and seventh all time.
In both semifinals, it took until the second half for the result to become clear. In the first, Belmont Shore had a prime scoring opportunity with an attacking penalty early on, but couldn’t make anything of it. Seattle didn’t have a sustained possession until almost four minutes in, but when they got it, it didn’t take Tim Stanfill long to strike from beyond midway for a try. Converted, it put Seattle up 7-0.
Belmont caught a break when Stanfill was sent off for playing Pase Iosia off the ball in the final minute of the opening half. This time Belmont was able to convert pressure into points, when Jack Tracy caught Seattle without anyone in the pillar position and darted in for a try. The conversion was missed, so Belmont trailed 7-5 going into halftime.
Seattle extended the lead 90 seconds into the second half, when William Rasileka crashed over from short range after a long series of passing from the defending champs. Cullen added another off a five-meter penalty to put the final nail in the coffin.
In the second semifinal, it took almost the full seven minutes for either Kansas City or New York to give, and it was Kevin Schwartze who first crossed over for the Blues. After trading turnovers and bits of good defense, Kansas City was able to sustain possession through multiple phases. It was a Gannon Moore break that set up the try.
Old Blue replied on the kickoff starting the second half, as Kansas City failed to make a tackle and Michael St. Claire ran in all too easily for the leveling try. Luke Hume found a gap and jetted through it shortly thereafter, putting Old Blue up 12-7 following the conversion.
The ensuing restart didn’t go 10 meters, giving the Blues a free kick at midfield. Kenny Scott made a dart up the right touch line, but didn’t back himself and wound up knocking on while being brought down. Old Blue went 90 meters the other direction, with the help of a Kansas City penalty, and St. Claire slid in for his second try.
In the end, Kansas City played mostly mistake-free rugby in their run to Cup semifinals, but made too many mistakes against Old Blue.