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After facing off a number of times in the Frontier qualifier, the Utah NDA and the Kansas City Blues met once again in the USA Rugby Club 7s National Championship in Commerce City, Colo. It was all Utah in the final, who came away with an emphatic 48-12 victory.
Both teams went undefeated in pool play. Utah started strong yesterday with a thrashing of Little Rock but played a pair of tight contests with Belmont Shore and NOVA. The Blues knocked off the Austin Huns and then defeated the three time defending champions, the Seattle Saracens, before beating NOLA to cap off pool play.
The teams both won quarterfinals later Saturday night with Kansas City beating Belmont Shore and Utah eliminating Seattle. In the semifinals, Kansas City beat Chicago and Utah edged Old Blue to set up the final match.
Utah retained all of the possession in a dreadful first half for the Blues. Kansas City botched the opening kick leading to a scrum in the opening moments. Don Pati took the ball from the center of the field, dummied and sprinted through a gap to score in the right corner. A minute in, Utah led 5-0.
The NDA doubled its lead after the ensuing kickoff. The ball went to touch for a Kansas City lineout but the Blues knocked the line out forward. Jared Whippy broke through and faked a switch. The BYU product faked out the Kansas City fullback and went in next to the post.
It went from bad to worse for Kansas City. The Blues mishandled two more kickoffs leading to two more quick tries. The third try of the game came as a result of a kickoff that bounced. Meio Kuli picked up the ball and tiptoed down the sideline to extend the lead to 17-0. Minutes later Robert Ah Sue scampered in down the right sideline and cut inside to make it a 22-0 lead.
Once again Kansas City couldn’t handle the kickoff and it resulted in another score. Pati found a gap for his second of the game to the left of the posts and a 29-0 lead.
The first half ended the way it started for Kansas City. Utah retained possession on the kickoff and took the Blues took a penalty inside five meters. The referee spoke to the Blues and issued a yellow card for backchat. Utah dotted down one more time at the break to take a 36-0 lead.
Kansas City won its own kickoff to start the second half and struck back. Despite being down a man the Blues broke into the score sheet through Raniera Takarangi.
Whippy ended any hopes of a miraculous comeback moments later. A well executed off load allowed the BYU product sprinted down the right sideline for a 41-5 advantage.
Pati dragged several defenders for a ride to the goal line with less than two minutes to go. Utah put an exclamation on the game, swinging the ball wide and 48-5 lead.
Kansas City added one consolation try later in the match but it was all Utah with the 48-12 victory.
In its first year in the competition, Rugby Utah claimed its first USA Club 7s National championship. Don Pati earned the MVP award for his great play all weekend.