NOVA STARTS MID-ATLANTIC WITH BLUE BALL 7S WIN OVER SCHUYLKILL RIVER
Northern Virginia (NOVA) bested Schuylkill River, 19-15, to win the Men’s Premiere Division
Original From RUGBYTODAY By Evan Lappen | 06.28.16
The Mid-Atlantic Conference began its summer 7s series on Saturday with the Wilmington Rugby Club’s Blue Ball 7s at Alapocas Run State Park in Wilmington, Del. A total of 31 clubs came together representing five divisions to start the 7s season. In the Men’s and Women’s Premier finals, Northern Virginia (NOVA) bested Schuylkill River, 19-15, to win the Men’s and Scion edged Philly, 24-14, on the Women’s side.
The Men’s qualifier included a six team field with Schuylkill River, the Pittsburgh Pandemonium, and Washington in Pool A and NOVA, Baltimore-Chesapeake, and Rocky Gorge in Pool B. Last year’s MAC 7s Champions, the All Army 7s, is not participating in the conference this summer.
NOVA emerged from pool play unscathed followed by Rocky Gorge with a 2-1 record. Washington and Schuylkill River also advanced to the semifinals with a 1-1-1 records. After blanking Rocky Gorge to start, NOVA survived a 7-5 scare from Washington and beat BC to close pool play. For Schuylkill, it tied Washington, beat Pittsburgh, and lost to Rocky Gorge, 19-10.
In the playoffs, Schuylkill River won its rematch against Rocky Gorge, 24-5, and NOVA edged Washington, 19-10, to reach the final. The semifinals set up a final between two teams that have historically excelled at 7s in the Mid-Atlantic.
The cup final was one of the closest matches on Saturday with NOVA completing its undefeated run with a 19-15 win over Schuylkill. Both teams exchanged tries over the course of the game with Adam Henderson and Brady Harrington scoring for NOVA and, finally, Toshi Palamo touching the ball down to win the game.
Commenting on the match, NOVA coach Clarence Williams said, “We had some good fortune. It was back and forth game. Schuylkill was tough as always and they played solid defense and were fit and committed.”
“We were fortunate to keep possession in the last moments of the game,” Williams added. “We had a lot of phase play and we were able to push over for the game-winning try. We were able to get through a really tough defense by sticking to our patterns.”
The Women’s qualifier featured seven teams with Scion, NOVA, Pittsburgh, and Philly advancing out of pool play. In the semifinals, Scion beat NOVA, 19-12, and in the one of the narrowest victories of the tournament, Philly clawed past Pittsburgh, 26-24. For the final, Scion came out on top winning 24-14 over Philly to claim the first place prize.
The summer 7s series in the Mid-Atlantic continues in two weeks with the Battlefield 7s in Leesburg, Va. on July 9th.
Updated 18:00 – 25 Jul 2016 by Randy Helsman