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Two days, 19 teams, five pools, and 50 matches. A big weekend of rugby came down to two teams for the title at the URugby Sevens Virginia Beach featuring the ACRC 7s at the Princess Anne Athletic Complex in Virginia Beach, Va. Kutztown and American International College (AIC) matched up in the Cup Final, where six tries powered the Golden Bears to a 36-27 victory.

The title is the fifth tournament win for Kutztown this spring. The Golden Bears are 38-2 in 7s this semester.

“It was an excellent final as far as the athleticism and aggression on both sides,” Kutztown assistant coach Larry Chester said. “Both teams battled. Kutztown had a little bit left in the tank and a deeper bench...We are very proud of the fact that our guys stayed within our system for the entire weekend. They did a great job doing exactly we wanted them to do and the result was another successful tournament.”

The clubs were divided into five groups for pool play on Saturday. Kutztown, AIC, St. Joseph’s, Stony Brook, and Kutztown II were the winners of the pool play. Sunday began the playoffs where AIC, Buffalo, St. Joseph’s, Old Dominion, Kutztown, St. Bonaventure, and Kutztown II advanced in the tournament. In the semifinals, AIC defeated St. Joseph’s 38-5 and Kutztown beat Stony Brook, 31-7.

AIC began the final with possession going from sideline to sideline where Jihad Khabir raced around the wing running through a tackle for a 40-meter try in the corner. The conversion missed, AIC led 5-0. Kutztown responded on a penalty restart, when the ball was spun wide to Alex Faison-Donahoe to beat two defenders for the tying try.

Recognizing an open lane off a ruck, Seth Halliman hard stepped to the inside and ran past the defense for the AIC’s second try under the posts. Khabir made the kick to make it a 12-5 score. Kutztown came right back, scoring on the next possession when Faison-Donahoe split the defenders out wide for a 50-meter try. The Golden Bears kept up the energy as Trent Hensley picked off an offload and brought it back 70 meters for the try. A missed conversion ended the half, and Kutztown led 15-12.

Kutztown got the ball to start the second half and wasted little time as Wesley Hartmann took an offload and broke a tackle for a 25-meter try. Nu’u Aiava made the conversion to extend the Kutztown advantage to 22-12. On the ensuing kickoff, the Golden Bears recovered the ball and got it across to Faison-Donahoe on the right wing to beat three tacklers to the corner for the score. The kick from the sideline was successful to further extend the lead to 29-12.

Immediately on the next kickoff, AIC’s Adrian Ray went high to grab the kick and turned and sprinted 60 meters to dive for the try to get his team back in the game at 29-17. After a yellow card to Kutztown, the Yellowjackets kept the momentum and scored as Marcus McIntyre broke through two tackles for the try to cut the lead to seven points, 29-22.

AIC continued to pressure Kutztown, but unfortunately for the Yellowjackets, after a stolen lineout and penalty the Golden Bears worked quickly to find space in the middle for a Robert Stortz try. With Aiava’s conversion, Kutztown was up 36-22 with little time remaining. AIC was able to get one more try on the wing from Christian Adams, but it was not enough as the whistle sounded and Kutztown celebrated the 36-27 victory.

"It was excellent final as far as the athleticism and aggression on both sides. Both teams battled. Kutztown had a little bit left in the tank and a deeper bench," said Chester. "For the entire year, we’ve played 40 games and we’re 38-2. The entire sevens season this season we’ve empowered all 12 guys. That’s our thing and we want to empower every guy on our roster to play to get them a lot of minutes. So our bench is pretty deep."

“As far as our defense, we didn’t get our width early enough so after a few phases,” AIC head coach Josh Macy stated. “KU was able to make some good ground on the outside and that really hurt us a lot. We turned over two of our own lineouts late in the second half in their half of the field. You just aren’t going to beat a team like Kutztown when you make those kind of mistakes. We got better in a lot of ways in this tournament. We like playing Kutztown, we’re both highly ranked teams and in the region, we’re each other’s best competition.”

With the 2015 Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship on the horizon at the end of May, Chester said this tournament was great to help Kutztown get ready. “It was a two-day tournament that is prepping us for the CRCs. 10-minute halves in the final, also prepping us for the CRCs. We are looking at the big picture, so every tournament is prepping us to get us to that last and final game at the CRCs.”

Saturday Scores
Hartford 21 Miami (OH) 14
Kutztown II 14 Old Dominion 12
St. Joseph’s 31 Dayton 5
AIC 43 Bentley 0
Temple 25 East Stroudsburg 5
Buffalo 12 Heat Elite 5
Kutztown 37 Cincinnati 5
St. Bonaventure 42 Rutgers 5
Stony Brook 33 UMass Lowell 5
Old Dominion 24 Hartford 5
Kutztown II 17 Miami (OH) 5
AIC 29 East Stroudsburg 7
Buffalo 42 Dayton 0
St. Joseph’s 24 Heat Elite 0
Kutztown 43 Rutgers 0
St. Bonaventure 22 Cincinnati 0
Temple 12 Bentley 10
Stony Brook 26 Villanova 10
Kutztown II 26 Hartford 12
Old Dominion 35 Miami (OH) 14
St. Joseph’s 24 Buffalo 12
Dayton 31 Heat Elite 10
Kutztown 36 St. Bonaventure 5
UMass Lowell 31 Villanova 0
AIC 34 Temple 12
East Stroudsburg 19 Bentley 17
Villanova 21 Cincinnati 12
Rutgers 29 UMass Lowell 15

Sunday Scores
Villanova 15 East Stroudsburg 7
Dayton 21 Hartford 14
Rutgers 12 UMass Lowell 7
Temple 28 Miami (OH) 14
Heat Elite 24 Cincinnati 10
Dayton 31 Rutgers 17
Hartford 24 UMass Lowell 14
East Stroudsburg 14 Miami (OH) 5
Temple 44 Villanova 0
Buffalo 21 Old Dominion 12
St. Bonaventure 19 Kutztown II 7
Heat Elite 33 Bentley 15
East Stroudsburg 25 Hartford 19

Cup Quarterfinals
AIC 28 Buffalo 7
St. Joseph’s 29 Old Dominion 10
Kutztown 26 St. Bonaventure 7
Stony Brook 26 Kutztown II 5

Cup Semifinals
AIC 38 St. Joseph’s 5
Kutztown 31 Stony Brook 7

Bowl Final
Temple 28 Dayton 26

Plate Final
St. Bonaventure 31 Buffalo 5

Cup Final
Kutztown 36 AIC 27