It’s always exciting to perform well when you debut at a sevens event. And so it was for Air Force A, though success was hard fought at every stage.
In pool play, Air Force A met firm opposition. They dropped a match to the Kings and went 2-1-0 after 3 matches. The tie-break on points for put Air Force A and MRFC through to the semi-final as seeds 2 and 3.
In pool B, the Celtics were the only team with a perfect record and took the first seed. Gorilla Rugby out of Texas, another debutant, finished as the 4th seed with points for again needed to tie-break with the other 2-1-0 teams from pool A.
Air Force and Celtics both eked out 1-try margins in the semifinals to advance to the final. After a fierce battle, Air Force A appeared to have the fitness to carry them past the Celtics for the Championship.
Boasting up to four sides at prior tournaments, perhaps it was not surprising that the Blues (Kansas City, MO) finished pool play undefeated with BOTH the first and second seeds.
In a repeat of the 2018 competitive final, 4th-seeded MRFC1 (Milwaukee, WI) met in Blues 1 in the first semi-final. Unlike the comprehensive win by Milwaukee last year, this match was a tight one. At the final whistle, Blues 1 narrowly defeated MRFC1 24-19.
On the other side of the bracket, Blues 2 dominated the Celtics (Green Bay, WI) with a score of 26-7.
In the all-Blues final, the first XV were victorious 34-7.
Heading into the 2018 Lakefront 7s, Milwaukee RFC held the record for the most championships in the modern era with four trophies since 2009. This past weekend they extended their record to five.
The day started well for MRFC with a 38-7 victory over Wisconsin Rugby Club (Madison, WI) in the first match of Pool A in the Men’s Competitive bracket. But they hit a bump in the road in their next match versus the Blues (Kansas City, MO) who won handily 24-7.
The loss made the 3rd pool match for MRFC a crucial one. Not only would they have to win the match but they would also need a huge point differential to win the necessary 4th-seed tie-break in a 12-team bracket. MRFC took this seriously with a well-deserved and comprehensive 54-7 win versus Des Moines (IA). The 47-point differential was just 3 points better than the next team with a 2-1 record (the Milwaukee Barbarians).
After narrowly making the playoff bracket, MRFC met the Heathens, a traveling side from Iowa. Having found their rhythm, MRFC continued to dominate and secured their first shut-out of the day with a 33-0 win.
In the other semi-final, the Blues met the Gazelles (Grand Rapids, MI) and racked 54-0 shut-out of their own to set up a pool-stage rematch versus MRFC.
In the championship match MRFC dominated both territory and possession to keep the Blues at bay. With few errors and constant pressure on defense, MRFC controlled all phases of the match. At the whistle, MRFC took the championship with a final score of 27-0. (more…)