College Sevens Update: Qualifiers And Candidates

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St. Joseph's won the Mid-Atlantic Rugby Conference Men's D1 Sevens Championships on Saturday in Morgantown, WV, and, as a result, qualified for USA Rugby's national championships.

However, the Hawks are slated to go to the Collegiate Rugby Championship on June 2-3 in Chester, PA, and there's a good chance they won't compete in both tournaments. The USA Rugby Men's D1 College 7s National Championships take place May 18-19 in Glendale, CO.


St. Joe's players dedicated the win to Mark Dombroski, their freshman teammate who tragically lost his life after playing in a tournament in Bermuda. That's his No. 15 jersey being held up in the picture.

Jimmy Wolfer continues to impress for the Hawks. West Chester and St. Joe's were undefeated in pool play, and SJU went on to defeat WCU 19-12 in the final.

Meanwhile, in a non-qualifier that nonetheless has important ramifications, Kutztown won the Saratoga 7s in Saratoga Springs, NY.

The Golden Bears beat AIC 24-5 in the final. Keagan Barnes led Kutztown on the day with six tries, while Dmontae Noble added five. The Barnes and Noble combo threw the book at the opposition all day long and helped set up scores for Jason DeNofa and Joe O'Shields, who each scored four. The Bears have won six out of six tournaments this season and 13 out of their last 14.

Kutztown will go to the USA Rugby Championships and the CRC, while AIC is looking for an at-large bid for USA Rugby's event in Glendale.


Big 10

Wisconsin defeated Ohio State 26-5 in the final to win the conference. This after surviving an overtime semifinal against Michigan State.

"We played our worst game of spring in the final," said Ohio State head coach Tom Rooney. And Wisconsin had a very strong game."

Michigan beat Michigan State for 3rd. Wisconsin is already set for the CRC, and are looking to attend both the USA and CRC tournaments.



Division 2

In D2 men's college sevens action, Montana State won the Rocky Mountain Conference and garnered a spot at the D2 sevens championship in Glendale.

Northern Colorado, Colorado Mesa, Montana State, and the University of Colorado all advanced to the semis from pool play. UNC downed Colorado, while Montana State beat Mesa to make the final.

In the final game, Montana State scored the game-winning try with no time remaining to beat UNC 19-17.

Elsewhere, Tulane won the Deep South championship. However, that is no longer an automatic qualifier due to there not being enough teams competing in the conference. As a result, there are now 10 qualifiers for a 12-team D2 national tournament. Two at-larges will be needed.

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The other day I was thinking about fly-halves in the MLR -- since that is my position -- and I got to thinking how few American players there are playing fly-half in Major League Rugby. The only ones I could think of off the top of my head were Ben Cima (SEA), Scott Dean (SEA), Tadgh Leader (NE) and Zinzan Elan-Puttick (AUS) -- and it's worth noting that both Leader and Elan-Puttick grew up playing rugby in Ireland and South Africa respectively. 

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Rees' Pieces Vol. 6: Is There Too Much Emphasis On Test Rugby?

My name is Alex Rees and  I am introducing a new FloRugby column titled "Rees' Pieces". I currently play rugby in Austin, Texas for the Austin Huns and the Austin Gilgronis, as well as write and create content for FloSports. 

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The sport of rugby features members and participants from every corner of the world, so naturally you will hear various bits of lingo around the game. If you're new and learning about the sport, one of the best things to do is watch rugby and listen to the commentators, who will explain what is going on and why.