GRR on X  GRR on Facebook GRR in Instagram GRR Vimeo Library GRR on YouTube RuggaMatrix America Podcasts Support GRR on Patreon

Irish Win Clemson 7s

irish rugby tours

Irish Win Clemson 7s

Luc Joseph finds a way during Notre Dame's experience at the 2015 LVI. David Barpal photo.

The University of Notre Dame won the opening tournament of the ACRL 7s series this weekend, defeating Virginia Tech 24-21 in the final.

Pat McMahon spins the ball for Notre Dame. David Barpal photo.
Notre Dame University Rugby

The tournament, which is part of a series that will culminate in a championship that provides a qualifier for both the USA Rugby 7s Championships and the CRC Invitational, was held at Clemson University, and featured eight teams, three of which are regular ACRL participants in 15s.

For the Irish, this was a big step in their run to the CRC, where they are once again invitees. Former USA wing David Fee is directing the 7s team and the Irish are working hard to build toward the tournament at the end of May, rather than quickly assembling a 7s squad late in the spring.

"We are emphasizing 7s more, and the idea is that s we compete better in 7s we bring more players to the game and continue to improve at all levels," said Fee. 

Notre Dame played in the CRC Qualifier tournament of the LVI (even though they didn't have to), and did fairly well, going 4-2 and losing a competitive contest to eventual winners Arkansas State. 

"The thing about that tournament was that in the past we might think, 4-2, we did well, but now the players are looking at how we could have done better," said Fee. "We played some teams we felt we should have beaten, and we might have won some of those games but we were pulled away from how we play. That's why we wanted to go there. We learned a lot from it."

So on to Clemson, where the Irish were consistent, scoring four tries in three of their four games, and being held to only three by eventual Plate winners Ohio State in a tight 17-12 contest.

The Irish played some smart team rugby, despite the fact Fee fielded a very young squad, with one senior and one junior. Luc Joseph is a hooker in 15s and a USA U20 player who was outstanding in the breakdown. His ability to get over the ball and poach it was a key element of Notre Dame's success. Pat McMahon is a Gonzaga product who read the game well, while Tyler Plantz is a former Notre Dame football running back and special teams player who has completed his football eligibility and is making a run with rugby.

Also showing well in the tournament we Virginia Tech, who won Pool A on points difference after letting their 2nd-round game against South Carolina slip away, thus creating a three-team 2-1 deadlock. Tech pushed Notre Dame all the way in the final.

And Ohio State was outstanding, losing only on game, to eventual winners Notre Dame and only by one try, as they finished 3-1 and in 3rd place.


Cup Final: Notre Dame 24 - 21 Virginia Tech Rugby

Plate Final: Ohio State 10 - 0 Clemson University Rugby

Bowl Final: South Carolina 34 - 17 Wake Forest Men's Rugby

Shield final - Furman 45 - 12 Louisville

Game 12: Notre Dame 26 - 5 Furman

Game 11: Ohio State 45 - 0 Wake Forest 

Game 10: Clemson University 26 - South Carolina 17

Game 9: Virginia Tech 40 - 0 Louisville

Game 8: Notre Dame 17 - 12 Ohio State

Game 7: Wake Forest  22 - 7 Furman

Game 6: Virginia Tech 19 - South Carolina 24

Game 5: Clemson University 42 - 0 Louisville

Game 4: Ohio State 29 - 14 Furman

Game 3: Wake Forest  0 - 26 Notre Dame

Game 2: Louisville 5 - 31 South Carolina

Game 1: Clemson University 5 - 20 Virginia Tech 


Pool Standings


Pool A W L T Pf Pa Pd Pts
Virginia Tech 2 1 0 79 29 50 7
Clemson 2 1 0 73 37 36 7
South Carolina 2 1 0 72 50 22 7
Louisville 0 3 0 5 113 -108 3
Pool B W L T Pf Pa Pd Pts
Notre Dame 3 0 0 69 17 52 9
Ohio State 2 1 0 86 31 55 7
Wake Forest 1 2 0 22 78 -56 5
Furman 0 3 0 26 77 -51 3