In the fifth and final Northeast qualifier, Old Blue defeated Middlesex twice to clinch first place in the Northeast Region.
Only four squads entered the qualifier held on Middlesex’s home turf. Long Island, who was the only team that could mathematically catch Middlesex for the second spot at nationals, elected to withdraw from this tournament. Thus, at the beginning of play today, both Old Blue and Middlesex had clinched a place at nationals. However, Old Blue and Middlesex battled to determine the top seed and placement in Pittsburgh August 10-11.
Both Middlesex and Old Blue each won their first match handily. Middlesex defeated Mystic River 46-0 while Old Blue handed Boston a 29-10 defeat.
In a thrilling contest, Old Blue 1 defeated Middlesex 21-17. Middlesex jumped out to an early 17-7 lead but Old Blue stormed back with two tries to win 21-17.
Old Blue won its final game of pool play and advanced to the cup final as the top seed in the group.
Despite a tie with Boston in its final game of pool play, Middlesex advanced to the cup final setting up a rematch with Old Blue.
In the rematch, Old Blue dominated Middlesex to the tune of a 15-0 victory.
The national field of 32 is now set. Earning the number one seed did not do Old Blue 1 any favors as they will compete in pool B against 1823, New Orleans and SFGG. Middlesex will battle WE Rugby, Seattle OPBS, and NOVA as part of pool C.
Men's National Championship Pools:
Pool A: Belmont Shore, San Diego Old Aztecs, Atlanta Old White, Titans
Pool B: Old Blue, 1823, New Orleans, SFGG
Pool C: Woodlands Exiles, Seattle OPSB, NOVA, Middlesex
Pool D: Chicago Lions, Schuylkill River, OMBAC, Denver Barbarians