Habits can be hard to break, Old Blue and New York Rugby Club proved that this weekend, at the Showdown at the Shore in Lincroft, New Jersey. Old Blue won its third consecutive qualifying tournament and New York won their second, both teams as a result getting one step closer to qualifying for the National Championships. While they were busy winning their divisions, Mystic River, New York Athletic Club (NYAC), Beantown and Boston Rugby were all busy jockeying to get as many qualifying points as possible.
On the men's side of the tournament, it was another week and another championship for Old Blue. They were able to push their competition throughout the group stages of the tournament. They opened their accounts with a win against Connecticut Bulldog 63-0, after that impressive win they continued to work their way through their pool including a 29-7 win over their B-Side team. In the finals, they had had a tough slate of games. Their semifinal was against their championship game opponents from the last two tournaments, Mystic River. While the setting for their match may have been different, the result was the same; Old Blue wining and advancing through to their third qualifying championship. After the Old Blue B side lost narrowly to NYAC it would an all New York final. In a tight exchange, Old Blue prevailed added another trophy to the cabinet. NYAC and Mystic River were busy too, competing for seedings. As it currently stands, Old Blue has the first seed and that is secure; Mystic has the second and NYAC sits in third. The final arrangement of these seedings will be solidified after the Saratoga 7s this weekend.
For the women, due to the small pool of teams participating in the qualifiers, the tournament was played in a round robin style. New York were feeling confident about their chances after being untouchable in their last tournament, and it showed. They went through the entirety of the competition only being scored on twice. As they were busy locking up their second consecutive tournament championship, Boston Rugby and Beantown Rugby were busy fighting it out over who would come in second. Beantown finished second in the first qualifier and Boston 3rd; this time the tables turned. Boston and Beantown are now locked in a dead heat for second in the qualification race. The qualifiers will likely be determined by who wins their head to head match-ups in Saratoga. It promises to be a tight and tense affair.