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NAI 7s On Day One

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NAI 7s On Day One

EIRA vs Kahuku U16 Girls. Alex Goff photo.

The NAI 7s Day One produced some thrilling games, some blowouts, and a massive sigh of relief for everyone who wanted this tournament to return.

Here's a quick rundown of what happened 

Boys Invitational

Rhino unlashed some impressive 7s, taking the lessons from South African 7s legends Frankie Horne and Cecil Afrika to heart, showcasing good support running, hard defense, and teamwork. The result? A 2-0 pool effort.

Rocky Mountain Rebels were imposing physically and very smart and went 3-0 in their pool, while Panther7s slipped and went 2-1, but that was enough to win their pool. EIRA Navy finished off Gorilla to go 3-0, exposing Gorill'as issues with receiving restarts. 

EIRA played well offensively, with Cormac Saint showcasing some nifty sidestepping, but it was restarts and defense that did the job.

"Defense is everything, and if you can do that, and win your restarts, then you're can be in control of the game,," siad EIRA Coach Andy Katoa.

Girls U18

Maui was superb on the day with Rhinos, Charlotte, and Utah Lions also unbeaten. This bracket is of a very high standard.

Girls U16

In Pool A Rhuinos and Belmont Shore battled with each other. Both ended up 2-1 and Belmont Shore took the tiebreaker. In Pool B, the clash between EIRA and Kahuku was one of the best games of the day. Kahuku took the lead in the first half, but EIRA kept as it, stopped some key attacks, and blazed in for a couple of late tries to win 19-14.

Boys U18 Open

Belmont Shore shook off a shaky start to go 3-0, defeating a very effective Berks team in the last game of the day.

Cali-U East won Pool B while Washington Academy of Rugby held on to take their pool 2-1, while another Washington team, Liberty, went 2-0-1.

Boys U16s

Rhinos played excellent team 7s and went 3-0. Belmont Shore was also smart and skilled and went 3-0. EIRA was very polished and powerful, and went 3-0, and Panther7s played superb defense to go 3-0.

Boys U14s

Rhinos, American Fork, Charlotte, and Sacramento were all unbeaten and look poised to push for the semifinals.

Girls U14s

Belmont Shore and Rhinos look to be on a collision course.

Men U23s

This is a new bracket for the NAI 7s and early on these teams struggled with accuracy. The Utah Roothogs, which are mostly University of Utah players, looked very together. Rhinos went 3-0 while Gorilla Rugby was polished, as well.