The 2017 USA Rugby Emirates Airline Club 7s National Championship will take place Aug. 12-13 at the National Sports Center in Minneapolis. All matches from the two-day championship event will air on The Rugby Channel.
LAFAYETTE, Colo. - Twelve of the 16 spots in the men's bracket of the Aug. 12-13 USA Rugby Emirates Airline Club 7s National Championship have already been awarded. Saturday, July 29's Midwest and Pacific North 7s Championships will determine which four teams stake claim to the final four places at next month's championship event at the National Sports Center in Minneapolis.
MIDWEST 7S CHAMPIONSHIP
A series of three regional qualifiers have determined the top six teams from the Midwest competition that will play in this weekend's championship event. The Chicago Lions head into the qualifier the favorite to nab one of two Midwest seeds to Nationals. After opening the summer series with a second-place finish, the Lions have reeled off tournament wins at Rock 'n' Roll 7s and Legacy 7s.Led by nine-time capped Eagle JP Eloff, the Lions also have a host of talented players representing D1A Rugby schools like Davenport, Indiana, and Lindenwood.
The only team outside of the Lions to have won a Midwest event this summer is Metropolis. The men from Minneapolis opened the summer in winning fashion by taking the top prize at Madtown 7s, and have not finished worse than third during the Midwest series. Metropolis has not qualified for the Club 7s National Championship since 2003, but with this year's event being hosted in its backyard, the team will be desperate to reach the Midwest Final in Cincinnati.
31 out of this year's 47 qualifying tournaments are now complete, and the 2017 USA Rugby Emirates Airline Club 7s National Championship field is starting to come into picture. As of July 8, three teams have already officially qualified, and another handful are more or less de facto qualified by their performance thus far.
Like the Atlantic North Region, the Red River has seen three different teams take first place over the region’s first three men’s qualifying events.
LAFAYETTE, Colo. - The busiest weekend of the summer of qualifying events for the Aug. 12-13 USA Rugby Club Emirates Airline Club 7s National Championship saw certain clubs distance themselves from the pack thanks to first-place finishes Saturday, July 8, while other regional competitions tightened as a number of teams picked up their first tournament victories of the summer.
A trio of teams, meanwhile, became the first of 32 sides to qualify for the 2017 Club 7s National Championship in Minneapolis, Minn. 2015 National Championship winner American Rugby Pro Training Center claimed the Red River's No. 1 seed to Nationals, and the Austin Valkyries punched their ticket as the region's second squad. On the men's front, reigning National Champion Rugby Utah has earned the right to defend its title after winning a second tournament in the Frontier Region.
Busiest weekend of the summer sees 20 teams win at 12 qualifiers, and 3 teams officially punch their tickets to Minnesota
LAFAYETTE, Colo. - The 16-team men's division and 16-team women's division at the 2016 USA Rugby Club 7s National Championships at Dick's Sporting Good Park in Commerce City, Colo., have been claimed after Saturday, July 30's, Midwest and Pacific North Championship tournaments.
The women of the Chicago Griffins will make their first Club 7s Nationals appearance after they downed Youngbloodz, 36-5, in the Final of the Midwest 7s Championship. The Griffins, although not thought of as regional favorites going into the summer, had won the previous two Midwest events and only looked stronger at Saturday's Championship. Youngbloodz did, however, qualify for their fifth consecutive Club 7s National Championship when they defeated Chicago Lions, 28-7, in the Semifinals.
While the women Lions fell one win short of a trip to Nationals, their male counterparts will head to Colorado as the Midwest's No. 1 seed after taking down 1823 in the men's Final. 1823 quickly built a 12-0 lead in the Midwest title game, but Chicago kept its composure throughout, and earned a late try to win the regional championship. 1823, which finished fourth at last year's Club 7s Nationals, will head back to the Championship event for the eighth time thanks to its 26-12 Semifinal win over the Cincinnati Wolfhounds.
LAFAYETTE, Colo. - The final nine seeds to the 2016 USA Rugby Club 7s National Championships at Dick's Sporting Good Park in Commerce City, Colo., will be earned over two regional championship events Saturday, July 30. In the Midwest Championship, 1823 Rugby and the Chicago Lions have hopes of qualifying both their men's and women's sides, while Life West and Seattle Saracens will have plans to do the same at the Pacific North Championship in San Francisco. Both qualifying events are chock-full of talented teams, making this weekend's top finishers honest contenders at the Aug. 13-14 National Championship event in Colorado.
Midwest 7s Championship
1823 Rugby has been the class of the Midwest's Eastern competition this summer, while the Chicago Lions have led the pack out of the West. Both appear to be the clear favorites to claim the two men's Midwest seeds to Nationals. The Chicago Blaze, Cincinnati Wolfhounds, and Cleveland Crusaders could sneak into the Cup Finals at the regional championship if either team can play its best rugby on Saturday. Meanwhile, Metropolis and the Milwaukee Barbarians have not shown the consistency this summer to make one think they could knock off either 1823 or the Lions.
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The women's bracket at the Midwest Championship is a bit more cluttered. The beginning of the summer belonged to 1823, but it has been the Chicago Griffins that have won the past two qualifiers out of the region. Additionally, the Chicago Lions and Youngbloodz have National Championship pedigrees, and will expect to claim one of two Midwest spots for this year's event. Not to be forgotten, the Grand Rapids Gazelles have looked very strong at points this summer, and the Cincinnati Wolfhounds have a first-place finish at Rock 'n' Roll 7s to boast.
Four competitive regions will settle which teams will represent that area at the 2016 USA Rugby Club 7s National Championships at Dick's Sporting Good Park in Commerce City, Colo. Additionally, three other regions are hosting qualifying events, giving teams one last chance to jockey for position ahead of their regional championship tournaments.
Pioneer 7s - Salt Lake City, UT
The new kid on the block in the Frontier Region, Rugby Utah's National Development Academy side, have already qualified for Nationals. This leaves the Denver Barbarians and Kansas City Blues to duke it out for the region's second spot at Nationals at this weekend's third and final Frontier qualifying event.
Neither of the two teams battling for a place at Nationals will be playing at home. The Barbarians placed third at the qualifying tournament in Denver, while the Blues also settled for third at their home event. Even though Utah's NDA has its spot at the Championship dinner table reserved, do not expect these young, up-and-coming athletes to take their feet off the gas in Salt Lake City.
In the women's Frontier competition, the Glendale Raptors have already claimed the region's representation to Nationals, and will make their first Club 7s Championship appearance since 2011.
Clubs position themselves for regional championship tournaments; Atlantic North set to qualify four teams
LAFAYETTE, Colo. - Six qualifying events for the 2016 USA Rugby Club 7s National Championships at Dick's Sporting Good Park outside of Denver highlight the weekend's action of club sevens. The Pacific Northwest, True South, and Western portion of the Midwest play their final qualifying event prior to Regional Championship tournaments, while the Mid-Atlantic and Pacific South compete in the ever-important third leg of their four-tournament series. In the Atlantic North, four teams will punch tickets to nationals in the region's final men's and women's qualifying events of the summer.
Saratoga 7s - Saratoga, NY
Tournament victories at Monmouth 7s and Newport 7s have Old Blue in fine shape to earn one of two men's qualifying spots for Nationals in the Atlantic North heading into the fourth and final qualifying event in the region. Although the boys from New York settled for third at last week's Hell Gate 7s, Old Blue would need to miss out on the Semifinals of this weekend's final qualifying event to be in danger of slipping out of the coveted top-two places in the Atlantic North standings, and with the potential return of Eagles Harry Higgins and Luke Hume to the lineup, it does not appear to be a likely scenario.
Mystic River's win at Hell Gate 7s boosted its hopes for Nationals, and the Division I National Champion currently stand five standings points ahead of New York Athletic Club. An appearance in the Cup Final this weekend books Mystic's ticket to Nationals, but with capable squads like the Connecticut Bulldogs and Village Lions capable of pulling off an upset, there is plenty to play for in Saratoga.
LAFAYETTE, Colo. - The 2016 USA Rugby Club 7s National Championships at Dick's Sporting Good Park in Commerce City, Colo., are less than a month away. Teams like Orlando Women's Rugby and Atlanta Old White, and Miami on the men's side, have qualified for regional championship tournaments. Other squads like National Development Academies American Rugby Pro Training Center and Rugby Utah look poised to not only earn a spot at the Aug. 13-14 National Championships outside of Denver, but do some serious damage once they get to Dick's Sporting Good Park.
Hell Gate 7s - New York, NY
The usual suspects from the men's premiere division in the Atlantic North again reached the Semifinals of the latest qualifying event, Hell Gate 7s, but this time it was Mystic River claiming first place.
The Division I National Championships in 15s beat the Old Blue in the Semifinals to set up a Final against New York Athletic Club - which bested the Connecticut Bulldogs in its Semifinal fixture. In the end, it was Mystic River's defense that led it to the top prize and 22 Atlantic North qualifying points by blanking NYAC, 24-0.
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The win inches Mystic to just three points behind Old Blue for the No. 1 seed in the region, though Mystic will be wise to keep one eye on NYAC. Athletic Club is just five points behind Mystic heading into this weekend's fourth and final qualifying stage, where the top two teams at the end of July 16's Saratoga 7s will advance to the Club 7s National Championships.
The women's side of the Atlantic North has been a one-way street, however, with Old Blue fending off the competition at will. This past weekend at Hell Gate 7s was no different as the 2014 Club 7s National Champion runner-up squashed the competition once again.
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.