It appears that USA Rugby has solved the brackets issues within the Women’s Club 7s national championship. Rumors that the West and Military were forfeiting their seeds to San Francisco appear valid, as three new teams have been included in USA Rugby’s tournament packet.
The governing body hasn’t officially announced the change, but the tournament packet reflects the additions of Northeast #4 Morris, Pacific Coast #4 Sacramento Amazons and Mid-Atlantic #4 Philadelphia.
Morris is the Northeast’s third representative, joining champion Boston Belles and Falcons. New York actually finished second at the territorial championship but forfeited their seed, while the Falcons bested Morris in the third-place game. Morris is a young, fit team, but in terms of comparison, lost 50-0 to the Belles during the NRU semifinals.
Philadelphia must be happy with the bid to nationals, as the MARFU championship was unable to play through its entirety. Terrible weather forced a mid-tournament relocation, and the women’s teams opted to agree on a finish, rather than wait through the rain. The discussions resulted in a NOVA 1, DC Furies, NOVA 2 finish, leaving Philly without an opportunity to plead their case on the field. Now they’ll get their chance – again, assuming the tournament packet reflects changes that have already been put into effect.
The Sacramento Amazons will join Pacific Coast champion Seattle, Berkeley and Emerald City. The Amazons played all three Pac Coast teams ranked above them, losing 34-7 to Seattle, 49-5 to Berkeley in the semifinals, and 36-14 to Emerald City in the third place match of the territorial championship. What they bring to the competition is a love of physicality, and that can throw the best teams out of step for at least a portion of the game.
The championship is fortunate to have these three teams make last-minute accommodations; otherwise, a 13-team event would have been very difficult to host.
It’s a shame that the West couldn’t send teams to nationals, as the competition was very close to getting full representation from all territories. The Glendale Raptors would have been a nice addition to the event, and teams like the Austin Valkyries and Albuquerque Atomic Sisters both have national 15s experience.
Here’s how the field looks now:
Pacific Coast (4)
#3 Emerald City
#1 NOVA 1
#2 DC Furies
#3 NOVA 2
#1 Boston Belles
#1 Chicago North Shore
Southern California (2)
#1 San Diego Surfers
#2 Belmont Shore