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The 1996 National Sevens Tournament played in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania in August, brought together sixteens teams from the USA’s Seven Territorial Unions. The path into the finals proved different from each of the seven territories with some offering tournaments, while others designated a squad.
The qualifying teams:
Northeast: White Plains, Montauk
MidAtlantic: NOVA, Maryland Exiles, Washington
Southern: Life, Charlotte
Midwest: Cleveland, Steel Valley
Western: Denver Barbarians, St. Louis Bombers
Pacific Coast: Tongan Yankees, Phoenix, Old Puget Sound
SoCal: OMBAC, Belmont Shore
NOVA defeated OMBAC 26-21 for the crown. NOVA lost to OMBAC in the 1995 championship match, and finished second in 1989, 1990, and 1991.
The event featured four pools of four teams via a seeded placement.
NOVA’s three pool victories featured wins against Steel Valley (42-0), St. Louis (20-14), and, finally, Phoenix (26-5). NOVA beat Montauk in the Quarters, and then a 26-19 narrow victory against the Yankees in the Semis.
OMBAC’s run started with wins over Life (21-17), Old Puget Sound (33-5), and Washington 19-17 in pool play. They easily beat Denver in the Quarters, and then defeated arch rival Belmont Shore in the Semis.
The result set up a rematch from the championship of 1995. The game see-sawed back and forth with OMAC ahead with a minute left. NOVA’s Prince Hill picked up a ball destined for touch and bounded down the field for the decisive try.
Hill was named MVP of the tournament. Robert Lockrem of Denver earned top try scorer with 12. John Hinkin from OMBAC and Lockrem lead all point scorers with 60. Hinkin managed six tries, and 15 conversions.
NOVA: Bell, Whelan, C. Campbell, J, Campbell, Dean, O’Conner, and Hill
OMBAC: Hodges, Schram, Komai, Spilken, Conahey, Delai, and Hinkin
Third place went to Belmont Shore who defeated the Yankees 41-10. Montauk beat Denver 17-14 for the Plate final.
Attendance bordered on one thousand.