With only one qualifier on the books over the weekend, it will be West teams dictating most of the movement. The one non-West team to do something of note was New Orleans, who won Cape Fear. That same team will be competing in the South Championships, and they join the list at No. 25, knocking out the Chicago Griffins.
WE Rugby makes a drastic jump from 16 to four after dominating the competition in Kansas City’s qualifier. The Houston-area team gave up less than a try a game while averaging over 28.
WE Rugby is 10-1 in qualifiers this summer, with the lone loss coming to the Blues, who we also rate highly. In their wins, they’ve not just gotten by, they’ve pummeled teams. Considering both WE Rugby’s record and their All-American laden roster, we’re confident they’re a top-five team.
The Blues slip a bit after finishing third in their own tournament, but they were walking wounded, so we don’t punish them too much. Wing Kenny Scott left the tournament early with an allergic reaction, speedster Drew Haig suffered a hamstring injury and KC’s top playmaker, Ed Mills, was on holiday out of the country. The Blues should be closer to full strength in Denver.
Glendale also falls, while Denver climbs. The Barbos didn’t swap out a ton of youth for experience from the first qualifier to the second – Jake Humphrey and Taylor Howden are still no shows – but the Barbos were playing better, and it seems clear Mark Bokhoven’s coaching this young team up.
The Raptors, on the other hand, have no excuses. They had a strong squad but were upset by Omaha, a team that rarely plays in West qualifiers, in pool play. The blunder prevented Glendale from scoring any points in KC. Both Denver and Glendale need to win in a couple of weeks to hold onto hopes of reaching Nationals.
The Dallas Harlequins don’t fall much despite missing out on the knockout rounds in Kansas City. The Quins came up short on point differential after finding themselves tied with Denver and Kansas City with 3-1 records after pool play.
||Kansas City Blues
||Old Puget Sound Beach