Boston Rugby fielded two teams in the men’s qualifier pool of the South Shore 7s in Braintree, Mass. on June 18, with Boston 1 taking home first place and the cup and Boston 2 landing in third. Middlesex Savages (Mass.) did well to grab the second place plate, while Old Blue (N.Y.) and Cape Cod fell in fourth and fifth places respectively.
Boston 1 started off their day by trouncing Cape Cod, 38-5. Boston 1 showed great discipline on defense and determination on attack. Cape Cod managed their only try when the ball carrier found space and stiff-armed the defender to go over, but that was the only bright spot for them in this match. Boston 1 was just too clinical and could’ve put up more points had their runner not gone out the back of the try zone on one opportunity. There was some confusion about the lining on the fields and this was not the first time it happened in the tournament.
Boston 1 then picked up where they left off by beating Middlesex, 36-7. Boston contested the kickoffs well which granted them a lot of possession and worked loops on attack to gain numbers advantages out wide. Middlesex showed promise when they returned a kickoff for a try and conversion, but it was too late to come back.
Boston 1’s closest contest was against Boston 2. Despite some friendly banter before the match neither team pulled their punches and the score stood at 14-7 to Boston 1 at halftime. In the second half, Boston 1 ran hard lines and an offload from a double-team tackle led to a try. Boston 2 mounted a good run but a strong Boston 1 tackle dislodged the ball forward. Boston 2 won the resulting scrum and worked the ball to the right corner for the winger to score. A failed conversion made the score 19-12. In the last minutes, Boston 2 attempted to chip kick over the defense but Boston 1 recovered the ball and took it all the way back from inside their own half to score a converted try, making the fulltime score 26-12.
Boston 1 secured their first-place seeding with a win over Old Blue, 24-5, in their final match of the day. It was a very scrappy match and Old Blue played very physically to match Boston, but sometimes this worked against them. The score was tied, 5-5, at halftime, but in the second half Old Blue was called for taking out the kicker and Boston chipped over the defense. With the luck of the bounce, the chasing Boston player gathered the ball and scored. Two other tries in the half only added to the lead.
“I’ve been emphasizing mental toughness, fitness and more or less just discipline,” Boston coach Kevin Immonje said. “Because 7s is a discipline game and even on attack guys have to know when they see the opportunities to attack them. They have to make sure even when they’re exhausted to be disciplined and go and support your man and it’s just the all-around team game.”
Middlesex bounced back from their loss to Boston 1 to demolish Cape Cod, 54-5, in their second game of the day. The Savages just had better continuity and kept the ball alive to rack up the impressive score.
Middlesex then went on to beat Old Blue, 28-21, in a close match. Old Blue held a 14-7 lead at the halftime break and scored again after a run down the right touchline and a stiff-arm got the ball carrier through.
Middlesex didn’t give up and scored two converted tries before it looked like Old Blue would cross the line again. However Middlesex stole the ball at a ruck and took it all the way back for the winning try.
Boston 2 lost to Old Blue and Boston 1 before Cape Cod dropped out of the rest of the tournament and therefore forfeited their match against Boston 2. Cape Cod suffered three losses and their frustration was evident at the end of the Middlesex match when one of their players was shown a red card.
Boston 2 beat Middlesex, 21-7, but because of Middlesex’s win over Cape Cod they had a better points differential and earned second place.
For a full listing of the men’s qualifier scores from the South Shore 7s, see here.