ROCKY GORGE WINS RUGGERAMA 7S OVER SCHUYLKILL RIVER
Rocky Gorge brought home the NOVA Ruggerama 7s trophy by defeating Schuylkill River, 40-26.
Original Post by By Evan Lappen of RUGBYTODAY | 07.11.16
Mirroring its success in 15s, Rocky Gorge brought home the NOVA Ruggerama 7s trophy by defeating Schuylkill River, 40-26. Gorge was lucky to survive pool play and then edged Northern Virginia (NOVA), 12-10, in the semifinals. The young team composed of mostly newly recruited college players met the undefeated Schuylkill River in the final. The Exiles beat Gorge earlier in the day, but in the final, Gorge pulled away late to earn its first Mid-Atlantic 7s qualifier victory. In the Women’s Premier bracket, Scion Sirens won its second straight qualifier besting NOVA, 29-12.
On sweltering hot Saturday at Morven Park in Leesburg, Va., 38 teams in five divisions gathered for the Mid-Atlantic Conference’s second national qualifier. For the Men’s Premier division, NOVA, Washington, Pittsburgh, and the Washington Irish were in Pool A and Schuylkill River, Rocky Gorge, Baltimore-Chesapeake, and Norfolk in Pool B.
NOVA and Schuylkill River emerged from pool play undefeated with Pittsburgh and Rocky Gorge advancing with the next best records. Pittsburgh went 2-1 in the early rounds, while Gorge was 1-1-1 and needed help to reach the next round. In the semifinals, Gorge clipped NOVA, 12-10, and Schuylkill River bashed Pittsburgh, 31-14.
“It was up and down for us as we didn’t play very well in the pool games,” Rocky Gorge 7s coach Chuck Moore said. “We are still coming together as a 7s programs and we are very young. We are still figuring things out and we squeaked through to get into the semifinals. In the semifinals, we finally got everything together and beat NOVA on the last play of the game.”
The final was rematch between Schuylkill River and Rocky Gorge where Schuylkill won 19-7 earlier in the day. In an incredibly close scrappy game, Schuylkill led 21-14 at the half. The clubs exchanged tries to begin the second half until Aki Raymond tied the match for Gorge at 26-26. With two minutes left, Nick DiMichele and Raymond scored back-to-back tries off kickoffs to seal the 40-26 victory for Gorge and earn their first qualifier win.
“It was a back and forth game and they were up five minutes into the second half,” Moore added. “We came back and at the three minute mark, we scored a try and won two kickoffs in a row and scored tries off them immediately to go up… They finally decided to pull it together as a team and play defense. It all came together for us.”
For the Women’s Premier, the Scion Sirens dominated the competition on their way to 29-12 tournament title win over NOVA. Scion scored 186 points in five games and did not surrender a point until the final. In the eight team bracket, Scion, Pittsburgh, NOVA, and Philadelphia advanced to the knockout stage. Scion blanked Philly, 31-0, and NOVA handled Pittsburgh, 29-14, in the semifinals.
The third leg of the Mid-Atlantic 7s series is next Saturday in Columbia, Md. for Rocky Gorge’s Slug 7s.
Updated 17:49 – 25 Jul 2016 by Randy Helsman