Men's Signes Cup - All-Tournament Team:
Will Chevalier (Chicago Lions) - Men's Tournament Most Valuable Player
Dion Crowder (Westside Ronins)
Shane Donovan (Westside Ronins)
Alex Dorrier (Chicago Lions)
Mosese Lawasava (Westside Ronins)
Gonzo Mendoza (Chicago Lions)
Pat Moulder (Austin Huns)
Emanual Roberts (St. Louis Bombers)
Tim Stanfill (Life West Gladiators)
Norvell Stewart (Denver Barbarians)
Evan Williams (Old Blue of New York)
Alex Wormer (Denver Barbarians)
Women's Signes Cup - All-Tournament Team:
Allison Hale (American Rugby Pro)
Bridget Kehle (Scion Rugby)
Nikki Kenyon (Washington Athletic)
Jenny Kronish (Boston Belles)
Erica Legaspi (Washington Athletic)
Kati Lohas (Rocky Mountain Magic)
Jessica Lu (Scion Sirens)
Jade McGrath (Scion Rugby) - Women's Tournament Most Valuable Player
Rachel Pavo (Life West Gladiatrix)
Nene Persinger (Life West Gladiatrix)
Megan Sanders (Washington Athletic)
Sam Sullivan (Rocky Mountain Magic)
Men's Silver Cup - All-Tournament Team
Conrad Bontrager (Detroit Tradesmen)
Paula Balekana (Rugby HTX)
Alex Elali (Dallas Rugby II)
Kopelani Fuimoona (Oregon Sports Union)
Chris Genbino (Westside Ronins II)
David Hightower (Beltway Elite)
James Muse (Belmont Shore Rugby II)
Brian Ptomey (Grand Prairie Mavericks)
Dakota Reistad (Belmont Shore Rugby II)
Jacob Soriano (Beltway Elite)
Max Tacket (Rugby HTX)
Drew Wasikowski (Grand Prairie Mavericks)
Date: August 14-15, 2021
Location: Starfire Sprots, Tukwila, Washington
Men's Final Standings
1. Chicago Lions - SIGNES CUP CHAMPIONS
2. Westside Ronins
3. Denver Barbarians
4. St. Louis Bombers
5. Austin Huns - PLATE CHAMPIONS
6. Life West Gladiators
7. National Athletic Village (NAV)
8. Old Blue of New York
9. Belmont Shore Rugby - BOWL CHAMPIONS
10. Northern Virginia Rugby (NOVA)
11. Schuylkill River Exiles
12. Atlanta Old White
13. Mystic River Rugby - SHIELD CHAMPIONS
14. Washington Athletic (WAC)
15. Rugby HTX - SILVER CUP CHAMPIONS [and Challenge Match winners]
16. Oceanside Chiefs
17. Dallas Rugby
18. Beltway Elite [2nd Place Silver Cup; and so on]
19. Grand Prairie Mavericks
20. Oregon Sports Union (ORSU)
21. Old Mission Beach Athletic (OMBAC)
22. Optimus Rugby
23. Detroit Tradesmen
24. Silicon Valley Rugby
25. Belmont Shore Rugby II
26. Westside Ronins II
27. Dallas Rugby II
28. Chuckanut Bay Geoducks
29. Oregon Sharks
30. Santa Monica Dolphins
Women's Final Standings
1. Scion Rugby - SIGNES CUP CHAMPIONS
2. Life West Gladiatrix
3. American Rugby Pro (ARPTC)
4. Washington Athletic (WAC)
5. Rocky Mountain Magic - PLATE CHAMPIONS
6. Oregon Sports Union (ORSU)
7. Tempe Ninjas
8. Optimus Rugby
9. Boston Belles - BOWL CHAMPIONS
10. Chicago Lions
11. Chicago North Shore - SHIELD CHAMPIONS
12. Northern Virginia Rugby (NOVA)
13. Santa Monica Dolphins
Originally posted by Alex Goff at Goff Rugby Report | Edits made to include the event's proper title
Scion won the Women's National 7s Championship and it's really not sufficient to say just that.
The team that draws players mostly from the Mid-Atlantic and has played excellent 7s for years, as virtually untouchable in chasing the Signes Cup in Tukwila, Wash. After giving up zero points in pool play, Scion eviscerated Tempe 48-7 in the quarterfinals, and dismissed Washington Athletic Club 29-12 in the semis.
That set the tone for the final, which Scion won 40-0 over Life West. It wasn't even close, really in any game. Scion outscored all opponents 247-19 over six games (that's an average of 41-3). Their passes hit players at pace, something few other teams succeeded in doing. Their tackles were sure, sure enough that no one needed to come out of position to help out. They were very, very quick over the ball. And they could run.
Jessica Lu, Lauren Rhode, Asinate Serevi, Kimber Rozier, and Emily Fullbrook, to name a few, were excellent in how they worked the edges, cut back into space they created, and worked with each other. It was all Scion all weekend.
Life West took second thanks in large part to an astoundingly physical performance over ARPTC in the semis. They just put a stranglehold on the Arkansas-based program and didn't let them get anywhere. Life West wasn't the quickest team, but they were the most powerful, and scored several tries from in close after making teams struggle to get out of their own 22.
Washington Athletic Club found enough space for the very speedy Erica Legaspi to race in for tries all weekend. But they didn't have enough power in the middle, and even a Legaspi try early in the 3rd-4th game wasn't enough as ARPTC worked their defense to force turnovers and score three to win 15-7.
Rocky Mountain was one of the joyous surprises of the weekend, playing a hard-nosed type of game where they often found themselves behind, but didn't wilt or cry. Instead they knuckled down, played good defense, and found scoring opportunities in the second half. The result was a 22-7 Plate Semifinal win over Tempe, and a rousing 39-7 defeat of ORSU in the Plate Final.
Belles of the Bowl
After going 0-2 in Pool Play, in close games, and being routed to the Bowl bracket, the Boston Belles poured it on.
Finding opportunistic ways to score and battling at every breakdown, the Belles beat the Chicago Lions in a seeding game on Saturday, and then beat NOVA 27-14 to make the Bowl Final.
There they met the Lions again, and held onto a tenuous 12-5 lead before Chicago scored once more. Held out wide, the Lions couldn't get the conversion and the Belles won the Bowl Final 12-10. Ultimately finishing the weekend 3-2, with a points for-and-against of 91-81, the Belles more than proved they deserved the be there.
Back to Scion
But the weekend belonged to Scion.
Scion Roster: Lucy Dawson, Donna Dzieman, Emily Fulbrook, Marisa Hall, Bridget Kahele, Jessica Lu, Katie Lutton, Jade McGrath, Dana Meschisi, Lauren Rhode, Kimber Rozier, Asinate Serevi, Charlotte Wallace.
Scion's rugby 7s was excellent. They understood the need to make good passes. They understood the need to fill space with more than one player. They understood how precision in tackling matters and precision in goalkicking can crush an opponent's spirit.
Originally posted by Alex Goff at Goff Rugby Report | Edits made to include the event's proper title
For the first time since 2007 the Chicago Lions are the National 7s Champions.
The Lions, playing an intelligent team-oriented style of rugby scored two quick tries on the surprise Westside Ronins in the final and held on 17-10. The Ronins had made the final by utilizing their pace and the smart support running of their more experienced heads, and could also unleash a nice vertical offload game.
But Chicago allowed them none of that, instead showing why making your one-on-one tackles is very important and making key turnovers in the rucks. It was a mostly young Chicago side with collegiates like Kai Carlberg, terran Meek, and Will Chevalier assisting recent collegiates like Tom Kacor and Jake Hidalgo. But they had talent all over and players with speed and agility.
Chicago won their pool on Saturday albeit in very close games, but there's an adage that certainly Goff Rugby Report adheres to, and that's the idea that tough games in pool play make you ready for the tough games in the knockout rounds. Nothing was easy for Chicago, so they didn't wilt when National Athlete Village scored to lead in a defensive-minded quarterfinal. Instead they worked their opportunities and scored twice to eke out a 10-7 win.
They didn't wilt when, up 14-0 they saw the somewhat surprising St. Louis Bombers storm back. Instead, they calmed down and iced the game. That was Chicago.
The Austin Huns might count themselves a little unlucky against the Westside Ronins in the quarterfinals, but rebounded to take down Old Blue. For Old Blue it was a rough Day Two after looking so in control on Day One (see adage above and its converse). Life West, who had lost by only a conversion to St. Louis in the quarters opened up against NAV and with Tim Stanfill making key plays and Gavan D'Amore-Morrison doing the same, they pulled away 27-19.
So it was Austin vs Life West in the final and once again teams that played the better team game and played strong defense won out—the Huns took it 12-5.
The Bowl and Shield
Belmont Shore shrugged off a somewhat disappointing Day One to play the way they know they can. It was a looser, more fun Belmont Shore on Day Two and that led to a 24-7 defeat of Oceanside, and 19-12 win over Schuylkill River, and a 24-12 defeat of NOVA for the Bowl.
For host team Washington Athletic Club is might have been galling to see fellow Northwesterners the Westside Ronins make the Signes Cup Final, but they had to deal with an off performance. Not quick enough and not fluid enough they still made the Shield Final. Mystic River, however, ended their trip to Washington with a win 17-12 over WAC.
Because of the new format of two tiers, the top team in the Silver Cup was given the opportunity to play in a challenge match to see if they deserved to be in the top tier. Rugby HTX won the Silver Cup, and then played Oceanside, which had lost their Shield semifinal. The other Shield SF losing team, Dallas, did not play any more. Rugby HTX beat Oceanside 24-19.
Originally posted by Alex Goff at Goff Rugby Report | Edits made to include the event's proper title
Teamwork, lack of mistakes, and a little shot of athleticism saw the best teams through on Day One of the Men’s National 7s Saturday in Tukwila, Wash.
For teams that hadn’t played much over the last year or so—with some hardly playing this summer, either—the championship was most welcome, but at times certainly the clubs involved struggled to look polished.
Signes Cup Pool A
Among the teams that did look relatively polished was Old Blue New York, which ran the table 3-0 and did so in impressive fashion … mostly.
Old Blue strode by Schuylkill River in their opener 28-12, although that included a late try to ice it. They then held off a pretty determined St. Louis Bombers team that was one of the dark horses of the day, before putting away Dallas in perhaps their best performance pool play.
St. Louis were surprise winners over Dallas and surprisingly close to Old Blue, but by the end of the day hadn’t surprised anyone when they beat Schuylkill River. Bolstered by a couple of Lindenwood University guys, the Bombers did enough to make the Top Eight.
Signes Cup Pool B
The Life West Gladiators fell behind 17-0 in their opening game against the Denver Barbarians, and then poured in four unanswered tries to win that game 26-17. They allowed only 14 more points the rest of the day, dismissing Mystic River and NOVA to go 3-0.
A very balanced side with some experience and plenty speed, Life West also were consistent defensively, especially after that first seven minutes.
Amazingly, Denver picked themselves up after that stunning loss and won two in a row, with Jeremy Misailegalu and Malik Bryant making some big plays, to make the quarterfinals.
Signes Cup Pool C
The teamwork of the Chicago Lions was excellent, and they needed all of it as while the Lions won all three of their games, every one was a nailbiter.
A one-try win over Austin, a one-point win over Oceanside, and another tight one 17-12 over Washington Athletic Club sealed the deal. WAC needed that win to get a shot at the top eight, and they didn’t get it.
Austin rebounded from their opening loss to hold off WAC 19-10 and then race past a tiring Oceanside 38-12.
Signes Cup Pool D
Maybe the tightest pool of the day saw the Westside Ronins out of the Seattle Area shake things up. With the ageless Mike Nelson leading the way and always dangerous Shane Donovan Moore also finishing off tries, and Lauina Futi a stepper hard to stop, Westside worked the ball nicely from sideline to sideline and were quite happy to surprise their opposition.
A very capable Atlanta Old White side found themselves a bit shocked as the Ronins beat them 24-17, came back to beat National Athletic Village, and then edged Belmont Shore 15-14 in a nailbiter.
Like other teams, NAV was unable to practice much, if at all, because of COVID restrictions but they managed to play well when they assembled. This side had ability and speed but didn’t quite put it all together until the end of the day. It was their ability to make tacklers miss that allowed them to put 31 on AOW and take 2nd.
So the Quarterfinals look like this:
Old Blue NY vs Denver
St. Louis vs Life West
Chicago Lions vs National Athletic Village
Westside Ronins vs Austin Huns
The Bowl QF Matchups are:
Schuylkill River vs Mystic River
Dallas vs NOVA
WAC vs Atlanta Old White
Oceanside vs Belmont Shore
The Beltway Elite had a pretty strong competitive summer and were, perhaps, unlucky not to get into the Signes Cup. They tried to show that on the field and held Grand Prairie, Santa Monica, and Oregon Sharks to just one try in total in winning all three of their pool games.
OMBAC looked secure in winning their pool, and Rugby HTX did just enough.
The weird pool was Pool D, where Optimus edged Silicon Valley 12-10, Silicon Valley won comfortably over Westside Ronins II, but then the Ronins shocked Optimus 12-7.
So all three teams were 1-1, leaving points difference to figure it out. Silicon Valley, by virtue of that big win over Westside, took 1st.
So on to the Quarterfinals, where OMBAC was shocked by Grand Prairie 32-0, Beltway Elite edged Detroit Tradesmen 19-15, Rugby HTX beat Optimus, and ORSU edged Silicon Valley 19-17.
Grand Prairie plays Beltway in the semis on Sunday, and ORSU plays Rugby HTX.
Originally posted by Alex Goff at Goff Rugby Report | Edits made to include the event's proper title and competition information
With a weird number of teams in the Women's Signes Cup at the National 7s Championships some seeding games had to be played on Day One.
So we know a little bit more than we would normally know. Still, here's what happened:
Several teams had trouble connecting the dots early, but as time went on the teams that had enjoyed time together—Scion, ARPTC, Life West, WAC—started to show well.
Scion crushed all before them, racing through their pool without allowing a point and scoring 130 in three games. Yes, it really was that oppressive. Scion had pace to torch you on the outside and the power and understanding of space to hurt you on the inside.
ORSU kind of hung with them, and that proved to be prescient as the Oregon side beat Chicago and Santa Monica to take 2nd.
In a pool of only three teams, Life West just needed two wins to take the pool and they got them, showcasing a more physical approach to the game. Still they gave up only the one try. Perhaps the surprise teams was Rocky Mountain Magic, which ran in three tries to NOVA's two in the opening game of the day to win, barely, 15-14.
This pool of three almost ended up 1-1 for everyone as the Boston Belles caused ARPTC all kinds of issues. Twice the Boston team took the lead only to see ARPTC come back. The Arkansas squad retained their composure nicely, got some good work from Alli Hale and Autumn Locicero, who was exceptional out wide, to pull away 21-14. Hale scored the winner. Tempe finished 2nd at 1-1 and they also pushed ARPTC.
Smooth as you like and physically tough, as well, Washington Athletic Club rolled past Chicago North Shore 38-12 and Optimus 32-14 to take this pool.
So all of that set up some early seeding matches. WAC took care of Tempe, Life West beat Optimis, and ARPTC rolled past Rocky Mountain 40-5.
Those results were seeding games for the quarterfinals, and set up the following:
Scion vs Tempe
WAC vs Rocky Mountain
Life West vs ORSU
ARPTC vs Optimus
There seems to be a marked difference between the top four and the rest.
In the Bowl Bracket, Boston Belles kept their momentum going and logged their first win, beating Chicago North Shore 19-5. What that did was funnel North Shore to play their rivals Chicago Lions, the best of the non-quarterfinalists, in one Bowl semi. Boston now awaits the winner of Sunday's NOVA vs Santa Monica game to clash to fill out the other semi.
The Belles, however, had perhaps the most impressive performances for a team that lost their pool games.
GLENDALE, COLO. - After receiving over 50 declarations in the 2021 National 7s Intent to Participate form, over 40 teams have been invited or pre-qualified to the 2021 USA National Rugby 7s Tournament by the 7s Championship Committee.
Teams currently invited or pre-qualified will have until July 5 at 11:59 PM to confirm their official entry via payment of their entry fee, which is set to cover the costs of competition in 2021. The deadline for completion of the Intent to Participate Form has been extended for select women's teams* until July 1, and those teams will have also have until July 5 to complete payment.
As the United States emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic that largely shut down competitive rugby for much of the past year, this year’s National 7s Tournament will be formatted differently from those in the past. Constructed as an invitation-qualification hybrid event, the goal is to see as many teams possible at this year’s capstone event.
WIth that in mind, this year's tournament will be divided between the Signes Cup championship tier and the secondary Silver Cup tier. The teams that win the Signes Cup shall have their names listed alongside the previous national champions dating back to 1985.
The 7s Championship Committee initially identified criteria to 'pre-qualify' teams to the Signes Cup tier that regularly participate in the National 7s Tournament, so as to cut down on travel costs early and encourage participation. That criteria includes teams that:
Other teams that declared their intent to participate in either tier have the right to participate in the Silver Cup tier, and the 7s Championship Committee will review their summer 2021 results for inclusion in the Signes Cup tier.
For the 2021 National 7s Tournament, it is expected that the Signes Cup tier will feature between 16 and 24 teams for both the men's and women's competitions, with an additional 12 to 16 teams competing in the men's Silver Cup competition. As of June 28, it seems likely the women's competition will be a single tier (the Signes Cup) after the 7s Championship Committee received fewer Intent to Participate declarations from the women's community.
The full list of teams invited to participate, with a breakdown of their category, is as follows:
Category A: Pre-Qualified - Signes: This list of teams meets the criteria for pre-qualification to the Signes Cup competition, filled out their Intent to Particate Form, are invited to participate accordingly.
Category B-1: TBD - Signes or Silver: This list of men's teams has declared its intent to participate in either tier of competition and will have its 2021 tournament results reviewed by the 7s Championship Committee prior to August 1 for final determination of competition tier.
Category B-2: Signes Invited: These women's teams do not meet the pre-qualification requirements but filled out their Intent to Participate Form and are being invited to participate in the Signes Cup tier due to the low likelihood of there being two women's tiers of competitions in 2021.
Category C: Silver Cup only: This list of teams have either declared they are only interested in participating in the Silver Cup competition, or they are only eligible for the Silver Cup competition due to their eligibility status.
Category D: Only if Signes Qualified: This list of teams have declared they are only interested in participating if they qualify for the Signes Cup tier of competition. These teams may have their entry fee paid for by their union and will be able to advance at the end of their 2021 competition if they win their qualifying series.
Invited and pre-qualified teams will receive an email informing of them of their status and shall have until July 5 at 11:59 pm to register via payment of their entry fee.
*The deadline has been extended for any women's 7s team that participated in the 2019, 2018, or 2017 National 7s Championship event but did not complete their Intent to Participate form prior to June 24 at 11:59 PM. Teams that meet the pre-qualification criteria will be given the first chance to complete registration, followed by teams that participated in the finals in any way during 2017-2019.
GLENDALE, COLO. – Starfire Sports in Tukwila, Washington, home of MLR’s Seattle Seawolves, has been selected as the venue for the 2021 USA National Rugby 7s Tournament, to be held August 13-15. The tournament shall be presented by the Washington Athletic Club, who is the event’s primary sponsor.
Located just south of Seattle along the banks of the Green River, Starfire was previously the host of the 2014 National 7s Championship – which was the first major rugby event to be held in the venue. The 2014 event was also considered one of the most successful versions of the tournament, as it featured full stands, tightly-competitive matches, and an environment like no other. The complex features a 4,500-seat stadium as well as 11 other outdoor fields and is located just 4 miles from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport – which in 2019 was the nation’s 8th busiest airport.
The National 7s Tournament is critical event in the landscape of American rugby. First started in 1985, the tournament has been the launching pad for numerous 7s standouts, including the two-time World Rugby Men’s Sevens Player of the Year, Perry Baker (Daytona Beach Coconuts / 1823 Rugby), and current USA Women’s 7s co-captain Abby Gustaitis (Northern Virginia Rugby).
“Over half the Eagles in the 2016 Olympics played in the National 7s Tournament – and many of them were first discovered there,” noted Erik Geib, who serves as the National Competitions Committee Chair that coordinates all club competitions. “And in 2018, every single player on the Men’s 7s team that won the Vegas stop on the World Series had played at the National 7s.”
The National 7s Tournament is also the marquis tournament for summer rugby competition in the U.S., as thousands of college players pour into 7s programs to participate in qualifiers for the event. This was further emphasized by Geib, who previously served as USA Rugby’s Club Department Manager and interim COO, as well as one of two Competition Managers for the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco.
“The college-to-club connection that is created from summer 7s is a really special thing,” Geib continued. “I believe that club rugby is the backbone of rugby in the United States, and to see clubs get stronger from these competitions is a win for everyone.”
The Washington Athletic Club, which sponsors both men’s & women’s 7s teams (including the 2019 Men’s National Champions), as well as college rugby’s prestigious Scholz and Sorensen awards, will serve as the event’s presenting partner. Hosting efforts are being led locally by Tony Ridnell, who is serving as the host committee’s Tournament Director.
“We are delighted to host the Club 7s Championships in Seattle this year,” commented Ridnell, a former CEO who has been based in the Seattle community for decades. “Coming out of the pandemic, we all want to see quality rugby and more importantly – quality events. Starfire Sports is a proven host facility, and the City of Tukwila has become a significant rugby contributor in recent years. Thanks as well to the Washington Athletic Club (WAC) for their continued support of rugby in the Pacific Northwest.”
Ridnell, a former Eagle who played in three Rugby World Cups, also played for legendary USA Rugby coach Emil Signes, whose name adorns the signature trophy for the event. Signes is remarkable in that he coached both the men and women’s national teams, and he was arguably instrumental in Rugby Sevens becoming an Olympic sport through his continuous advocacy of treating the women’s game as equal to the men’s.
As the United States emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic that has largely shut down competitive rugby for much of the past year, this year’s National 7s Tournament will be formatted differently from those in the past. Constructed as an invitation-qualification hybrid event, the goal is to see as many teams possible at this year’s capstone event.
“Our premise is to encourage participation by expanding the number of teams that play in the National 7s Tournament using an Open / Invitational concept,” stated Howard Kent, the Men’s National 7s Coordinator on the National Competitions Committee. “All teams that preregister for the 7s National 7s Tournament and make the effort to play in qualifying 7s tournaments are in the pathway for entry in the final. The top men’s & women’s teams will play in an upper tier competition at Nationals for the Signes Cup. The remaining teams that preregister for the National 7s Competition and qualify would play in a lower tier for the Silver Cup. Over time, this model should improve the quality on competition and depth of participation.”
Kent previously served as USA Rugby’s National 7s Commissioner and is serving with Scion Rugby founder Joanne Liu as co-chair of the National 7s Working Group for this year’s event.
Teams that are interested in competing at this year’s National 7s Tournament must complete the National 7s Competition Team Enrollment Form, also known as the National Intent to Participate Form, by June 23. Eligibility regulations & more information for this year’s event is available at usa7s.rugby or usaclub7s.com.