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Nobody was more dominant at the New York 7s this past weekend than the NYAC collegiate side.
They began the day with a 38-0 victory over Rouge Samurai, then took down the Tsunami Misfits 41-17, before ending pool play with a 24-0 win against Stars Rugby.
They did finally run into some stiffer competition in the semifinals, where they took on the Piranhas from Montreal.
The Piranhas ran out to a 12-0 lead in the opening two minutes, but for the remainder of the match it was all NYAC. The boys from New York finished on a 31-5 run to win 31-17 and head into the championship game.
There they played Roots Rugby, and that one wasn't even close. NYAC won 38-12, putting an exclamation point on what was a phenomenal day of rugby.
Playing in their home city, the boys coasted through the competition all day. There was not a more balanced, more complete side across any of the divisions.
For starters, NYAC were simply ruthless on the restarts. The high-hanging kickoffs were generally landing at about 12-15 meters, allowing for a strong contest in the air. This allowed them to consistently control possession.
Once they got the ball, they were lethal. There were big, powerful runners in the forwards that owned the contact points, keeping them constantly on the front foot.
On the edges and in the center, they had some serious dangermen that threatened to score with every touch of the ball.
Then, perhaps most importantly, their halfbacks did a tremendous job of shifting the ball quickly and accurately to allow the plethora of threats to operate with time and space.
Too often you'll see guys in the middle tempted by the space in front of them; they'll carry the ball too far forward or try and do too much themselves. That ultimately just eats up all of the space for their threats on the outside.
The NYAC halfbacks didn't do that though. They moved the ball into the right areas while still holding the defensive line enough to open up gaps on the edge. It was very wise, impressive game management.
Deserved winners on the day, NYAC played smart, aggressive rugby en route to the championship.