The Mid-Atlantic Rugby Football Union 7s season comes to a head this Saturday when teams converge on the Princess Anne Athletic Complex in Norfolk, Va. for the MARFU 7s Championship Tournament. The tournament will feature three pools: men’s premier, women’s premier and men’s open.
|Schuylkill River will be competing for a bid to nationals at the MARFU Championships in Norfolk, Va. this Saturday.|
The men’s premier pool features some heavy match ups. Schuylkill River, Pittsburgh and Wilmington make up pool one while Maryland Exiles, Kutztown and hosts Norfolk Blues comprise pool two.
Table leader Schuylkill River, most recently winner of the Richmond Monk Vaughan 7s Tournament this past Saturday, starts off the Premier play in the tournament against Wilmington before playing a cross-pool match against Norfolk in the second round. Norfolk was present at the Richmond 7s and gave Schuylkill River their toughest match of the day, losing a hard-fought 14-12 contest. The Exiles finish their pool play against Pittsburgh and look to continue their good run of form.
“Our goal has always been work hard, play good 7s and that will put us in a position to win,” Schuylkill River captain Pat Boyle said. “So far it’s worked well, now we need to deliver this Saturday.”
Maryland Exiles, runners-up at the Richmond 7s, play Norfolk in the first round and take on Kutztown’s 7s squad in the second round. Unfortunately Maryland and Schuylkill River won’t play each other in the pool rounds, but should they both advance to the semis and final, could set up a rematch of the Richmond final, which Schuylkill won, 26-5. Maryland finishes off their pool rounds with a crossover match against Wilmington.
Wilmington, Pittsburgh and Kutztown all could make a push to unseat Schuylkill River and Maryland. Norfolk is a solid, competitive squad, but cannot catch the leaders in the standings. The two teams that finish first and second in the standings will earn spots in the USA Rugby 7s Club Championships on August 6-7 in San Francisco, Calif.
The women’s premier bracket is stacked as well, with Northern Virginia, Severn Exiles and Philly in pool one and DC Furies, Norfolk and NOVA 2 in pool two.
NOVA and DC Furies look to be the two best teams in the women’s bracket but the competition is close and Severn River could make a push for a bid to nationals. Like the men’s premier bracket, the top two teams in the MARFU will move on to the women’s national tournament in August.
NOVA played in the Richmond 7s Tournament and had enough depth to field three sides. NOVA I went undefeated, beating their second and third sides, Severn Exiles and James River in the process. This weekend the team will have to muster past Philly and Severn Exiles to make the tournament knockout rounds.
The men’s open pool has eight teams competing. Baltimore Chesapeake, Rocky Gorge, Richmond Lions and Schuylkill River’s Open side face off in pool one. Severn River, Northern Virginia, Washington Irish and Virginia Beach contest pool two.
All teams except for Schuylkill River Open and Rocky Gorge competed at the Richmond 7s. Washington Irish lost a disappointing opening match to Lions Grey, 33-7, before demolishing Roanoke, 68-7. They then took out Virginia Tech and edged Baltimore Chesapeake in the semifinals to set up a rematch with Lions Grey in the final. Washington earned a measure of revenge for the earlier loss by beating the side, 26-10, to take the open qualifier title.
Richmond Lions could challenge again for the open championship, but look for NOVA to put up a strong fight. The north Virginia team and 2010 MARFU champs won every pool match last weekend and only lost to Lions Grey in the semifinals before dropping a disappointing third-place match, 21-0, to Baltimore Chesapeake.
Baltimore Chesapeake is at the top of the open standings and with a strong showing this weekend could widen the gap between their closest points opponents Rocky Gorge and Severn River. The open teams can’t advance to nationals so the only things on the table this weekend for these teams are MARFU bragging rights.
Time: Teams: Pool:
10:25 a.m. Baltimore Chesapeake vs. Schuylkill River Open Open 1
10:25 Severn River vs. Virginia Beach Open 1
10:25 NOVA vs. Washington Irish Open 2
10:50 Rocky Gorge vs. Richmond Open 2
10:50 Severn Exiles vs. Philly Women 1
10:50 Norfolk vs. NOVA 2 Women 2
11:15 Schuylkill River vs. Wilmington Premier 1
11:15 Maryland Exiles vs. Norfolk Premier 2
11:15 Pittsburgh vs. Kutztown Premier Crossover
11:40 Baltimore Chesapeake vs. Richmond Open 1
11:40 Schuylkill River Open vs. Rocky Gorge Open 1
11:40 Severn River vs. Washington Irish Open 2
12:05 p.m. NOVA vs. Virginia Beach Open 2
12:05 NOVA vs. Philly Women 1
12:05 Furies vs. NOVA 2 Women 2
12:30 Schuylkill River vs. Norfolk Premier Crossover
12:30 Pittsburgh vs. Wilmington Premier 1
12:30 Maryland Exiles vs. Kutztown Premier 2
12:55 Baltimore Chesapeake vs. Rocky Gorge Open 1
12:55 Richmond vs. Schuylkill River Open Open 1
12:55 Severn River vs. NOVA Open 2
1:30 Washington Irish vs. Virginia Beach Open 2
1:30 NOVA vs. Severn Exiles Women 1
1:30 Furies vs. Norfolk Women 2
1:55 Schuylkill River vs. Pittsburgh Premier 1
1:55 Maryland Exiles vs. Wilmington Premier Crossover
1:55 Kutztown vs. Norfolk Premier 2
2:40 W Pool 1 #1 vs. W Pool 2 #2 Women Semi
2:40 W Pool 2 #1 vs. W Pool 1 #2 Women Semi
2:40 W Pool 1 #3 vs. W Pool 2 #3 Women 5th/6th
3:00 Open Pool 1 #1 vs. Open Pool 2 #2 Open Semi
3:00 Open Pool 2 #1 vs. Open Pool 1 #2 Open Semi
3:25 Premier Pool 1 #1 vs. Premier Pool 2 #2 Premier Semi
3:25 Premier Pool 2 #1 vs. Premier Pool 1 #2 Premier Semi
3:25 Women’s Semifinals Losers Women 3rd/4th
3:50 Women’s Semifinals Winners Women Championship
4:10 Open Semifinals Winners Open Championship
4:35 Premier Semifinals Winners Premier Championship