The Las Vegas Invitational boasted a number
of international teams, and the Women’s Elite 7s was no exception. The
competition was rife with national team players, and the Adler 7s from Germany
emerged from the incredibly talented pack to the top of the championship podium
The German team was the top-ranked squad in
pool B, but opened up their day with a tough 21-19 loss to the Guelph Gryphons.
Guelph won Canada’s collegiate championship last year and surprised Adler
during their opening match. The team regrouped, however, and ended with a 2-1 record
after shutting out Penn State University (31-0), which was asked to join the
Elite division to even out the competition, and The Mighty Rucks (24-5), an
all-star squad highlighted by former USA 7s Eagles like Jenn Starkey, Dana
Creager and 15s Eagle Jamie Burke.
Their solid performance on day one sent
Adler to the Cup quarterfinals against Chile, which has burst onto the scene as
an up-and-coming threat in South America. The national team had defeated South
American champion Brazil, which finished fifth in the Women’s International 7s
Invitational, in 2011.
But the smaller, yet quick Chilean team was
no match for Adler, and the German squad advanced to the semifinals after a
The Boston Belles were up next. The 7s-only
squad rostered players from Boston as well as the Berkeley All Blues, and were
undefeated until this point. Players like Jess Peterson, Danielle Miano and
Phoebe Boone helped a 24-19 win over Provo in the Cup quarterfinals.
Finalists in last year’s Club 7s
Championship, the Belles couldn’t withstand Adler’s attack, and the Germans
moved onto the final with a 33-7 semifinal win bolstering their confidence.
Their toughest match of the day evolved
against Dog River Howlers, a Canadian all-star team with six capped players
from six provinces, and led by captain and Canada international Maria
Jaworski. The Howlers are well known at the LVI, and 2012 marked the first
event in which a women’s team participated (their Open Division side won the
The Howlers advanced to the final after a 19-0 Cup
quarterfinal win over Guelph, and then a 12-0 over international all-star team
But the German team kept stride and bettered the
Canadians 19-7. Excellent fitness and an uncanny cohesiveness awarded the squad
the LVI’s first Women’s Elite 7s championship.