Lindenwood repeated as Men's CRC 7s champion, defeating Life University 21-12 in the championship match Sunday in Chester, PA.
The tournament once again showed the difference between the very top teams and the rest, with plenty of competition within levels, but level-to-level it was evident some teams were just flat-out stronger.
This year Navy produced one of its best performances, making the semifinals. In addition, Kutztown, which had made the final before, won a dramatic quarterfinal in overtime over Saint Mary's, with Dmontae Noble the hero.
But Lindenwood, produced another strong team performance, with Wes White once against the power runner at the center of it all. Life put in a strong weekend, including coming back to beat Cal 19-17 after being 17-5 down. Harley Wheeler and Mitch Wilson were brilliant in that pool game, and the result hinged on a wild play in which Ryan Rees, being pushed into touch, managed to stay in just long enough to fling a back-handed pass that set up a try.
The CRC, with 24 teams, is a cruel host when it comes to making the Cup Quarterfinals. Six pool winners go, but only two second-place teams. Cal, which finished with the second-best points difference in pool play, didn't make the top eight because UCLA and Penn State tied, giving Penn State a better record than Cal (who were 2-1). So the second-place teams Penn State and Kutztown moved on, and Cal had to play for the Plate.
The Bears crushed all before them in running to that plate title, beating Wisconsin, Virginia Tech, and Clemson by a combined 122-5.
Clemson made the Plate Final after upsetting Dartmouth.
Other notable performances. Iona went 3-0 in pool play, including beating Kutztown, but drew Lindenwood in the quarters and lost 19-7. St. Bonaventure, after finishing 1-2 in pool play, ran the table to win the Bowl.
This is Lindenwood's second-straight CRC title, and the second straight time the Lions have won both the USA Rugby and CRC championship in the same season.
Cal, which did not play in the CRC in 2018, hasn't missed the final since 2012. This was Life's third visit to the CRC final, but the Running Eagles have yet to win.
2019 CRC Order of Finish:
3. Navy, Kutztown
5. Iona, Saint Mary's, Penn State, UCLA
11. Dartmouth, Virginia Tech
13. Arizona, Army, St. Joseph's, Wisconsin
18. St. Bonaventure
19. Notre Dame
20. Indiana, Colorado
22. South Carolina, Fordham, Temple, Boston College
Collegiate Rugby Championship 7s Invitational Historical Champions
|2019||Chester PA||Lindenwood||Life||Navy & Kutztown|
|2018||Chester PA||Lindenwood||UCLA||Arizona & Life|
|2017||Chester PA||Cal||Life||Lindenwood & Indiana|
|2016||Chester PA||Cal||UCLA||Kutztown & Arizona|
|2014||Chester PA||Cal||Kutztown||UCLA & Life|
|2013||Chester PA||Cal||Life||Navy & UCLA|
|2011||Chester PA||Dartmouth||Army||Utah||Central Washington|
|2010||Columbus OH||Utah||Cal||Arizona & San Diego State|