Lions Academy: 2019 NY 7s Men's Premier Champs

Lions Academy New York 7s

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The Lions Academy fought off two huge comeback efforts in the semifinals and finals of the New York 7s to take home the Men's Premier Cup championship. 

A mixed bag of players from around the around Ontario area, the Lions Academy is a young group that proved to be too much for the competition. 

They moved comfortably through their pool, going 3-0 with a 31-12 win over a strong Pokemoto side, a 34-5 victory against Rouge Samurai, then a 24-12 win against Liberty 9410. 

That set them up for a semifinal clash with Beltway Elite, who went 2-1 in pool play after defeating Rugby Quebec 15-12 and the Pacific Island Warriors 38-14, and losing 15-12 to Roots Rugby. 

In the semis, it was Pokemoto against Roots, and Beltway Elite against the Lions. 

Roots took care of Pokemoto fairly comfortably, winning 24-12. The other semifinal, however, was extremely close. 

After quickly falling behind 5-0, the Lions reeled off 22 unanswered points to claim a 17 point lead with under two minutes remaining. 

But all of a sudden, Beltway cranked up the intensity and scored two tries back-to-back to pull within five points with 30 seconds remaining. 

The ensuing kickoff was a great one, but it went unclaimed and bounced into touch for a Lions lineout. They completed the throw-in and ran through a couple of phases, but Beltway were able to hold them up in a maul and turn the ball over. 

However, time was up on the ref's watch and so the match was ended. An unfortunate circumstance for Beltway but it was a great performance from the Lions Academy. 

In the final, the Lions once again went down early, but they rallied to score four straight tries to work up to a 24-7 lead with four minutes to go. 

Then, in the blink of an eye, Roots scored two quick tries and all of a sudden it was 24-21 with two minutes to play. 

But the Lions again showed their resilience and notched a score of their own to halt the momentum.

They tacked one more on for good measure, and finished off the day undefeated to become the 2019 New York 7s Premier champions. 

Round 4: Super Rugby Aotearoa/AU Team of the Week

Codie Taylor, Crusaders

With the Australian Super Rugby teams entering the fold this week, the Super Rugby Team of the Week selection just got a whole lot tougher. There were plenty of great performances over the weekend, and a few names on the sheet that continue to show up week in and week out. 

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MLR Nationality Breakdown By Position: New England Freejacks

New England Free Jacks

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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10 Monday Notes: Hot Seats In NZ, Super Rugby Kicks Off In AUS

Reds, Harry Wilson

The gifts keep on coming, as Super Rugby AU's new season just got underway this past weekend with two scintillating matchups, while Super Rugby Aotearoa once again dazzled fans. 

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MLR Nationality Breakdown By Position: Houston Sabercats

Houston Sabercats

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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More Rugby! Super Rugby Australia Kicks Off With Reds vs Waratahs

Waratahs

Much to the delight of many rugby fans all around the world, Super Rugby began a New Zealand-only competition three weeks ago, giving spectators something great to feast their eyes on after a long rugby layoff since the start of the pandemic. Well, starting this weekend the rugby universe will be treated to another great competition, as Super Rugby now begins its Australian-only league. 

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TWO UNBEATENS REMAIN: Super Rugby Aotearoa Round 4 Preview

Richie Mo'unga, Crusaders

Through three rounds of Super Rugby Aotearoa, it's the Blues and the Crusaders who still remain unbeaten, while the Chiefs and the Hurricanes are still in search of a first victory on the season. The Highlanders, meanwhile, sit at 1-1 after two heart-stopping fixtures against the Chiefs and the Blues. 

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Date Set For New Zealand's North vs South Island Battle

Ardie Savea, All Blacks, New Zealand.jpg

For the first time since the mid 1980's, New Zealand is set to reintroduce the famous North vs South Island match on August 29th, pitting players from each of the two parts of New Zealand against one another to settle where the best rugby players in the country truly come from. 

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MLR Nationality Breakdown By Position: Colorado Raptors

Colorado Raptors

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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Could New Zealand Be Hosting The Entire 2020 Rugby Championship?

New Zealand v South Africa - Rugby World Cup 2019_ Pool B Warren Little Getty Images For World Rugby.jpeg

With much of the world shut down still thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, rumors are swirling that New Zealand could be home to the entire 2020 Rugby Championship. The past three weeks have seen the beginning of the Super Rugby Aotearoa, a competition involving just the four New Zealand Super Rugby franchises. 

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MLR Nationality Breakdown By Position: Austin Gilgronis

Gilgronis vs Toronto Arrows

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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