Article by Alex Solmon | Originally published at usarugby.org
LAFAYETTE, Colo. - The Life West Gladiatrix and 1823 have made inroads in returning to the Club 7s National Championships after winning qualifying tournaments over the weekend.
Northern California's best met at Modesto 7s where the Gladiatrix were forced to make a quick turnaround from their June 4 National Championship victory in 15s in order to advance in the women's bracket. Life West did not display any lingering effects of its long 15s season by going 4-0 on its way to a tournament victory. The Gladiatrix's toughest test came in a 22-14 defeat of the Berkeley All Blues. The loss to Life West was the only defeat of the day for the winners of the 2011 and 2013 Club 7s National Championship.
In the bottom half of the pool, San Francisco Golden Gate refused to head home without a win, beating the San Jose Seahawks, 26-12.
Santa Rosa Rugby, which won the Division I Northern California North Division in 15s this year, surprised many when it took first place in Modesto's men's competition. After starting the day with a 12-12 tie against the East Palo Alto Razorbacks, Santa Rosa reeled off three straight wins, including a 20-10 win over Life West in the Final.
The Pacific Rugby Premiership's Olympic Club and the San Francisco Golden Gate Rhinos battled for the event's third-place finish. In contrast to the 15s season, O-Club got the better of its rival, 26-19.
Both East Palo Alto and the San Jose Seahawks were able to end their days with wins, whereas the East Bay Gaels and Sacramento Lions will have some additional momentum to build prior to June 25's Sacramento 7s.
In the Midwest, 1823 got back to its winning ways after manhandling the field at Cin City 7s. The select side from Columbus, Ohio, submitted two squads for the event, with its top team hammering the opposition, 141-7, prior to its Final versus the Cleveland Crusaders. The Crusaders, like 1823, submitted two sides and played very well, but could not keep up with 1823 and dropped the Final, 24-14.
Beyond the Cin City Finalist, the Cincinnati Wolfhounds looked primed to compete for a Midwest bid to Nationals. The Wolfhounds submitted two teams and were near unbeatable after falling to Cleveland in the teams' first pool match of the day.
More of the same took place in the Women's Division, as 1823 rebounded from a loss in pool play to take first place. The Cincinnati Wolfhounds got the best of 1823, 36-15, but when the dust settled, the two teams were paired again in the Final. Fixing some mistakes the team learned from its previous outing against Cincinnati, 1823 scored five tries to down the Wolfhounds, 31-17, and raise the Cin City's first place trophy.
The Eastern portion of Midwest's Competitive Region does not get back on the pitch until Rock n' Roll 7s in Cleveland on July 9. However, the Midwest's West teams get their first taste of qualifying sevens rugby this coming weekend at Madtown Rugby 7s in Madison, Wisc.