The Runner Sports

USA Rugby Club 7s National Championships: Rugby Utah Selects Repeat, Seattle Atavus Reigns

The 2017 USA Rugby Emirates Airlines Club 7s National Championships have come to an end. What started back in June as a gauntlet of tournaments ended in a two-day series of sprints to the finish line with Rugby Utah Selects repeating as men’s champion and Seattle Atavus claiming the women’s crown.

Women’s Club 7s National Championship:

The Seattle Atavus squad claimed their first title defeating the San Diego Surfers 26-14.

Tied 7-7 at the half, Seattle came out strong scoring on the initial possession when Erica Legaspi finished off a long run. San Diego countered with a strong effort tying the match at 14 but Seattle scored 12 unanswered to take the title. Seattle simply denied the Surfers possession after San Diego’s second try with a ball control offense and a solid defensive effort.

In the women’s 3rd place, aka the bronze medal, match, Life West Gladiatrix beat defending champion Scion Sirens 5-0 shutting out the Sirens with brilliant tactical defense.

Claiming the remaining hardware would be New York Rugby 19-12 over American Rugby Pro for the Plate, Glendale Merlins took the Bowl from Orlando Rugby 26-12, and host Minneapolis defeated Atlanta Harlequins 29-7 for the Shield.

Men’s Club 7s National Championship:

Rugby Utah Selects repeat as men’s champion after a close battle with the Denver Barbarians. Joshua Anderson planted the seed in the closing seconds, with the conversion from in front of the sticks for a 22-21 victory.

The match’s questionable play came with just under 50 seconds to play, Denver leading 20-15. The Barbarians had space to gain territory and eat up precious seconds to preserve their lead when Maximo de Achaval kicked away. Randy Pati chased down the kick and with some slick sidestepping to avoid being isolated, passed to Jared Whippy, who moved the ball to center pitch with a pass to Gabriel Ruflin. Ruflin offloaded to Vernon Ale, whose brilliant offload led to Anderson’s 45-meter run to score. Jared Whippy added the clutch conversion for the win.

After losing to Denver in the final minute, newcomers Washington Athletic rolled over Belmont Shore 38-19 to take the bronze.

In other matches, the Plate went to Old Blue, who beat Bulldog Rugby 19-14, Dallas Rugby took the Bowl from host Metropolis, and Charlotte Rugby defeated Beltway Elite for the Shield.

The USA Rugby Club 7s season has come to an end but the start of Club 15s literally starts in just a few days. For you 7s fans don’t worry, Dubai kicks off the HSBC World Series on December 1.


-By Jason Graves