Create a free account to unlock this article!
Already a subscriber? Log In
The toughest pool in the USA Rugby Women's Club 7s Championships is Pool B.
It's actually not really that close. Every single one of the teams in this pool could win it all.
San Diego Surfers were finalists in 2017 and have won this championship twice. The Berkeley All Blues have also won this championship twice. ARPTC has won it once. The Chicago Lions? OK, they haven't been national champs, but they have won three tournaments in a row in clinching the Midwest.
ARPTC White tied with its Blue partner team as the top team in the Red River. Chicago was the top team in the Midwest, and San Diego tops in Southern California. Only Berkeley didn't win its region, coming third in the Pacific North, but Berkeley was second in the Cape Fear 7s and right behind Life West in two NorCal qualifiers.
You get the picture. All four teams are exceptional.
That's why we call it the Pool of Death. There's no real favorite. You could play very well and go 0-3. We kind of think we could see three teams for 2-1 in this group or two go 2-1 and two finish 1-2. It's that sort of situation.
Teamwork and smart coaching from Irene Gardner. Overall Berkeley is an athletic team that will need to be physical as well. They don't have high-profile summer additions, but that doesn't matter.
This is a very young team with a ton to prove and nothing to lose. If they can put aside some jitters, they can open things up with superior teamwork, skills, and fitness.
The Lions have done so well this season that they will field their first women's 15s side in competition in the fall. It's a major step forward to be here, but this Lions team, with Betty Nguyen having a huge season, is perhaps as polished as any in the pool.
Highlights form our women’s 7s Midwest Championship final win using @flowmotion. Support them in their fundraising for Nationals by coming to their guest bartending event at Irish Eyes on Sunday 1-5pm or donate at https://t.co/J6hAeHAua7 pic.twitter.com/VAAknUK1NV— Chicago Lions Rugby (@clrfc) August 3, 2018
The Midwest season was probably the toughest in the country, and Chicago, after losing in the semis in the opening tournament, won the next two qualifiers and the championship tournament. They are so good at letting the ball do the talking.
San Diego Surfers
The Surfers qualified early in the spring but they do that every year and seem to handle it OK. This team has some big names on it — Meya Bizer, Tia Blythe, Ashlee Byrge — and that's just the Bs! There is no doubt they can get back to the final again.
Our Pick: Well it is the Pool of Death. It is a group that could go any of a number of ways. We'll go with Chicago, because they have been the most consistent. But, as ARPTC jefe Jules McCoy told us this week, Sevens is a fickle mistress.