Plenty of surprises in Day Two of the Men’s 7s National All-Star Championships at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., as both pool winners from Friday lost.
The All Americans were dumped by previously 0-3 Northeast 24-7, and the Pacific Coast, which had looked untouchable, lost 19-14 to Southern California in the cup semis.
The Pac Coast now plays for third, while the All Americans were able to rebound with a 22-14 defeat of the South behind tries from Tim Stanfill, Will Holder, Muhammed Abdul-Shakoor and Bubba Jones.
“Stepping up on Day Two is very important,” said USA Head Coach Al Caravelli. “That’s all part of the scouting process.”
Caravelli’s list of players he might ask to stay Sunday morning for a scrimmage has dropped after some poor Saturday showings. He is still expected to name a group of between 14 and 20 to play Sunday.
“We see that some guys have talents, but aren’t ready, and some teams have adjusted,” said Caravelli. “Northeast did well against the All Americans because Brennan Moore is very good on the high ball and Dom Wareing is a good kicker.”
“They dominated the restarts and we gave up a lot of penalties, deservedly so,” added All Americans Head Coach Alex Magleby.
Caravelli will likely make another list of players who have potential, but aren’t ready now. He will meet with those players.
Some, of course, will come from the All Americans. Head Coach Magleby has said all along that while winning is important, so is showcasing and testing players.
“We had to test players,” he said. “An athlete can train well and score well in fitness tests, but we have to see whether he can execute under pressure in a match environment. That way we find out now who’s there and who’s not there, instead of Coach Caravelli finding that out in an IRB tournament.”
Magleby has been changing the lineup every game to find out who has the goods, and at what positions.
“If we’re asked Saturday night whether a player who was good at flyhalf can also play scrumhalf, we have to know that answer,” he said. “USA Rugby is investing in us being here and we need to come out of it with as much experience and information as we can.”
Meanwhile SoCal Head Coach Craig Hartley did not feel like his team upset Pacific Coast.
"We were one poor decision away from beating them yesterday, and today the guys played to the game plan really well and their defense was outstanding," he said. "I was really pleased with how they performed, but I didn't think we were too far away from them on Friday."