With the third leg of the Midwest Sevens Series Qualifiers coming up, a similar picture is starting to form, one with the Chicago Lions at the top of the table and 1823 rounding out the top five with the Youngbloodz as well as a few others. After two tournaments, the Lions have claimed 24 points and two first-place finishes to secure 24 points.
Their total puts the Lions five points clear of their next competition, but after that things become neck-and-neck. Both with 19 points, 1823 and the Barbarians are nipping at the Lions’ heels and gunning for their spot at the top. The Youngbloodz sit in the second cluster of teams with the Griffins and Wisconsin RFC, all with 14 points. With only a few points here an there deciding the difference between first and fifth, one team’s good day and another’s off day could shake up the standings in a big way.
The way Milwaukee’s pools are set up that shake-up just might happen, but the road to the top won’t be an easy one. No matter the team or what place they are in, the Lakefront 7s promises to be a long day. Pools A and B are set up more like a standard pool, with one powerhouse club in each – the Griffins and Lions, respectively. Pool C is an entirely different story, though. With the Youngbloodz, Barbarians and 1823 all fighting it out, there could be major implications in the Midwest standings for each of these teams. This could be an opportunity for the Barbarians to knock 1823 down a peg and the Youngbloodz close the gap in the Midwest standings. The way the pools are set up now, 1823 definitely have a lot more at stake than the other teams in their pool.
The teams who have had a tougher go at the summer will, seemingly, benefit from the pool setup this weekend. Coming from Pool A, Grand Rapids and the Wolfhounds have an opportunity to get back to their winning ways, while Rhino can try to add to the measure of success they’ve accumulated so far. Similar opportunities present themselves for Western Michigan and Wolfpack, the only other teams in Pool B with any points.
When this weekend is over there may be a new number one in the Midwest standings. Look for things to be shaken up, at the very least, in the top five to break up some of the deadlock.