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Written by Alex Goff    Sunday, 28 August 2011 01:05    PDF Print Write e-mail
Refs Praised by Coach
Sevens - All-Stars

Winning Men’s 7s All-Star coach Craig Hartley made a point Saturday night of praising the officials at the tournament.

“I know we won, but that’s not the point; we had penalties called against us and they were the right calls. The level of officiating has risen with the level of play at this tournament,” Hartley told RUGBYMag.com. “The referees, the touch judges, the in-goal officials … they weren’t perfect, but they really did a tremendous job.”

 
Written by RUGBYMag Staff    Saturday, 27 August 2011 23:00    PDF Print Write e-mail
Photo Gallery: NASC 7s
MultiMedia - Galleries

Photos courtesy USA Rugby.


2011 National 7s All-Star Championships

 
Written by Jackie Finlan    Saturday, 27 August 2011 20:41    PDF Print Write e-mail
East Coasters Return Home with NASC Wins
Sevens - All-Stars

Chula Vista, CA - The middle of the pack has been decided at the Women's National All Star 7s Championship.

Katie Dowty's try was one of the NRU's three against the West.


The Northeast was coming off a 15-0 loss to the Pacific Coast in the Cup Semis, while the West had dropped its second match to the USA Developmental squad to head to the third place match. The Mustangs had surprised the NRU during pool play, winning 12-5, and earning the second seed out of the pool.

But the Northeast was prepared for the rematch, and won 15-0. Kitt Wagner, Katie Dowty and Jessica Peterson all dotted down for the Nessies, and a well connected defense kept the West out of the try zone.

The West had some trouble penetrating the NRU defense, but coach Tracy Gola made it clear that defense was their focus coming into this weekend, especially with the team's lack of preparation. The team's last two games were taxing, however, but the squad walks away with a substantial amount of 7s experience, which the players in general were lacking.

In the Plate final, a much closer match than anticipated evolved between the Mid-Atlantic and Southern California. Tries from Lauren Hoeck and just held onto a 10-7 win over Southern California.

Shaina Turley proved hard to corale, and the Eagle's try and Lo Stender conversion gave SoCal an early lead. But MARFU remained patient, worked their systems and answered with two tries, including one from Lauren Hoeck.

Stay tuned for player and coach feedback.

 
Written by Jackie Finlan    Saturday, 27 August 2011 21:22    PDF Print Write e-mail
Pac Coast Last Team Standing at Women's NASCs
Sevens - All-Stars

Chula Vista, CA - The Pacific Coast and USA Developmental duked it out in the final of the Women's National All Star 7s Championship. Both teams were undefeated up until kickoff, but it was the Grizzlies who went a perfect 6-0 on the weekend, beating the USA 34-17.

Pacific Coast's Elaine Gardner (with ball) and Kelly Griffin on the attack.

Bex Siebach gave the USA Developmental the early lead, when a high-collar penalty allowed the speedy wing to take the corner for the first of her two tries. But the Pacific Coast battled back, tied it, then took the lead and never let it out of their grasps again. Nathalie Marchino (3), Kelly Griffin, Phoebe Boone and Laura Cabrera's tries all contributed to the win.

"They executed the game plan perfectly," Pacific Coast coach Brandon Sparks said. "We knew they would be aggressive on defense, and we had to stay out of contact situations. We not only did that, but we also poached some of their ball, which I don't think anyone was able to do all weekend. We also had some amazing dynamic running lines. We got the ball wide and worked it."

Nathalie Marchino was the driving force behind the win, and her efforts earned her MVP accolades. The Eagle scored three tries in the final.

"Everyone knows she's a great athlete, a scoring machine," Sparks said. "But if I could say anything about Nathalie, it's that she's a phenomenal leader. She's easy to follow, leads from the front, and is just overall aggressive. I'm not sure we could have done this without her."

The USA put in a late charge, but under Marchino's guidance, the Grizzlies held onto the win with some late scores.

"I was pretty impressed with the college players," Sparks said. "They challenged everything, chased everything, and never gave up. If that's what our future holds, then it's looking good."

But despite the USA's effort and heart, the day belonged to the Pacific Coast. The team peaked at the right time, were focused, and went full force into the final.

"I asked the team to decide what they wanted out of this game," Sparks said," whether it was to be on the USA squad or win a trophy. Then they needed to go out there and get it."

And they did. For many of the Pacific Coast players, they're enjoying their second stand atop podium, the first coming from the All Blues' Club 7s championship earlier this month.

 
Written by Jackie Finlan    Saturday, 27 August 2011 20:09    PDF Print Write e-mail
Thunderbirds End NASCs With Win
Sevens - All-Stars

Chula Vista, CA - The Midwest women had a difficult weekend. Due to some disorganization, the Thunderbirds traveled with only seven players, but that handicap didn't derail their positive attitude.

"We came up with a cheer," the Midwest's Jenny Lui said. "No crying, no quitting, go Midwest rugby!"

The team had a decent showing on day one, even though ended up 1-2. The Thunderbirds lost 19-10 to eventual finalist Pacific Coast and 15-7 to MARFU, before defeating Southern California.

"In the first couple of games, our defense wasn't that great," Lui said. "It was the first time that we had played together as a team - no practice or
tournaments. We used the first couple of games to work the kinks out, and we became more connected, more calm as the day went on."

But the Griffins had different plans during the Plate semifinals and took revenge with a 26-5 win, setting the Thunderbirds up for the 7th place match
against the South.

Pat Neder led a young South team, and Lui and teammates wanted to take advantage of that experience gap. "We just needed to play smart, patient rugby, keep the ball out of contact, and move the ball."

The Midwest pulled it together for one final game and managed a 17-0 win over the Panthers and finish with a 2-4 record.

"It was the sixth game of the weekend, and every player had played every single minute," Lui said. "Everyone busted their ass - sure, everyone was tired, but nobody quit. I am so proud of the team."

Lui credited coach Brendan Brown for stepping in as a late addition to the coaching staff, doubling as manager and water boy.

Although there was some disorganization, a bunch of young players got some experience and will hopefully fuel a full strength Thunderbird squad next year.

 


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