The Schuylkill River Exiles beat Pittsburgh Harlequins, 21-14, in the men's premier division final at the Mid-Atlantic Rugby Football Union Championship tournament in Norfolk, Va. yesterday. Schuylkill River takes the MARFU's first seed going into Nationals and Pittsburgh earned the second seed.
The 100-degree heat could not stop the Exiles and over the course of pool play, Schuylkill River beat Wilmington, Norfolk and their eventual final opponent Pittsburgh, racking up 92 points and only giving up 24.
In the semifinals, the Exiles faced their Maryland Exile counterparts in a rematch of last weekend’s Richmond 7s final. Schuylkill River edged ahead and won, 14-7, to earn their spot in the final.
Pittsburgh actually had a disappointing pool record and were hit by a few injuries early on, losing the opener to Kutztown and ending with the loss to Schuylkill River. Their one bright spot was the match against Wilmington, which Pittsburgh won 31-14. This win was enough to get them into the semifinals over Wilmington and tournament hosts Norfolk, who each lost or tied in all three of their pool matches.
Pittsburgh ended Kutztown’s hopes of qualifying for Nationals when they upset them in the semifinals, 19-14.
At this point, both Schuylkill River and Pittsburgh Harlequins had qualified for Nationals, it was just a matter of who would get the first and second seeds.
Schuylkill repeated their earlier win by coming out on top in the championship match, 21-14. The two teams will compete at the Club 7s National Championship on August 6-7 in San Francisco, Calif.
In the women’s premier division, NOVA beat the Washington Furies in the decider. NOVA, therefore, earned the first seed and the Furies will represent the MARFU as the second seed at Nationals.
NOVA beat out Philly, 24-0, and Severn Exiles, 19-5, before facing their second side in the semifinals. After a brief delay due to thunderstorms, NOVA beat NOVA 2 17-0.
The Furies made their way to the final by beating NOVA 2, 19-5, and shutting out Norfolk, 17-0. The D.C. team then recorded another shutout, 31-0 over Philly in the semifinals.
The championship final was the closest match of the day for either team. NOVA just edged out the Furies, 19-17, to decide the seeding for Nationals.
The men’s open division does not send anyone to Nationals, but Rocky Gorge saw off Richmond in the final, 19-0.