Tribe, South Panthers Show Well in Day One at Youth 7s
Tribe, South Panthers Show Well in Day One at Youth 7s
LA Tribe and USA South were perhaps the story of Day One in the Boys Tier I division of the National Sevens Youth Rugby Championships.
Played on the campus of St. Ignatius HS in Cleveland, Ohio (thanks to SIHS students for help in reporting on this tournament), six excellent programs clashed.
Rhinos 21-21 LA Tribe
This was a wild game in the Tier I Boys Division. The Rhinos received the kickoff, recycled quickly and got the ball wide, where they broke a tackle and were in for a try. A fumbled restart by the Tribe led to the Rhinos shipping it wide again. Tribe defended and got the ball back, but finally a good counterruck allowed the Rhinos to take possession and send it wide to score on the edge again.
That made it 14-0. Tribe retained the restart this time and some nice offloads set them up for a reply score. Then a nice skip pass to the outside from the Rhinos provided a counterpoint and a 21-7 Riunos lead at the break.
To start the half, both teams traded the ball in a sloppy series. However, the Tribe got the advantage down near the Rhinos 40. Another penalty allowed them to tap and go, and the Tribe skipped it wide to Makai, who was in untouched to make it 21-14. The Rhinos received and get charged ahead. But they lost the ball, and from the ensuing scrum the Tribe worked their way into Rhunos territory, and eventually run a cheeky move off a scrum and in for the try. Now it was 21-21. Rhunos worked to get the game-winner but a massive hut jarred the ball lose and that was the game.
Charlotte Tigers 35-0 Belmont Shore
The Tigers were on the back foot early after a penalty. But as Belmont moved their way into Charlotte territory, the Tigers intercepted a pass and were gone.
The nest restart gave Belmont good position. They retained possession and pounded their way into Charlotte territory. But Belmont knocked- the ball on and with the advantage, Charlotte started to work their way forward. Belmont got the ball back, but a deep kick just set up a Tigers counter-attack. They spin the ball wide to Jameson who scored and the Tigers now led 14-0.
Another try after a poor set in the ruck put them in control.
The second half was a physical battle in the middle of the field. The Tigers defense was too strong for Belmont, and two turnovers led to breakaway tries.
USA South Panthers 19-12 EIRA
The Panthers strong kickoff to EIRA forced a knock-on and an early opportunity for the Panthers. But their pass off of the scrum was intercepted by EIRA leading to a scoring chance. However the South Panthers forced a holding-on penalty in the ruck, tapped quickly, and Campel was through for a try, converted by Zemke.
A high and short kickoff was restart by the Panthers led to a scrum for EIRA. They went wide quickly and a strong break down the sideline was finished off by Bevilanqua.
Both sides seemed determined to give the other possession in he second half. Finally EIRA put together some phases and O’Conner was over for a converted try and a 14-12 Panthers lead. The Panthers then finished it off with a score on the wing to win 19-12.
Charlotte Tigers 17-0 Rhinos
It was a very good showing for the Tigers. They drew first blood with a big run. But the game was a defensive one and remained 5-0 through to halftime. Midway through the second half Charlotte stole a scrum 10 meters out and ran it in. From there the Tigers controlled the game and scored another from a scrum.
LA Tribe 24-5 EIRA
Team Tribe started out hot with a nice try from close-in. EIRA replied quickly but then the Tribe put one in right from the restart. That made it 14-5 at halftime.
Tribe controlled the second half with powerful runs from their forwards and some good passing and continuity, as well. Two more tries and Tribe rolled 24-5.
USA South 21-12 Belmont Shore
With a slow start from both teams, Belmont Shore struck first, finding some space and seeing Viane Leilva go in for thr try. USA South replied with a long run from Aidan McLaughlin, making it 7-5 for the South.
The Panthers got out to a strong start in the second half with a kick which led to McLaughlin scoring again. The South stole the ball again, took off, and sent the ball out to Kai Campbell for the try and a 21-5 lead.
Belmont Shore scored late, but they were out of time.
Tribe 28-12 Charlotte Tigers
The powerful Tribe side opened up the game with some nice skills leading to their first try and conversion. Charlotte playing some solid defense in their own end but not couldn't stop the powerhouse Tribe offense.
Tribe played some excellent rugby and led 21-0 at halftime with two tries from Noah Tuiolosega and one from Maddox Thomas. Opening up the second Half Charlotte scores their first try of the game, from Jameson batty. Tribe replied immediately with another try from Maddox Thomas. A nice surge of energy comes from Charlotte towards the end of the game with another try from Batty. It was a little to late for Charlotte as the Tribe won 28-12
USA South Blue 26-7 Rhinos
Not very much support on rucks from either team allowing a lot of poaches and counterrucks. Rhinos scored on a breakaway on the wing with a conversion from Leo Mortimer to take an early 7-0 lead. Midway through the first half team USA South's Cole Eversol tied up the match. Not long after Team USA took their first lead of the game to end the half with a try from Aidan McLaughlin. Max Coleson who was 2-for-2 on conversions.
In the second half Rhino moved deep into Team USA's end but a quick turnover and kicking allowed for USA South to flip the field and lead to another score from McLaughlin and a 19-7 lead. Rhino again was deep in USA South territory and McLaughlin jumped in front of a pass and housed it for about a 80-meter run. South won it 26-7.
EIRA 24-19 Belmont Shore
Right out of the gate EIRA took it to the house with a breakaway try from Siotame Finah with some good support from Levi Hoffman. Belmont Shore came back down the field with a try from Vera Gavin. A bad restart and a couple of penalties led to a second try for Finah and EIRA, making it 12-5 at halftime.
EIRA took their opening restart in the second half and scored a nicely-taken try. They struck again through Finah. Belmont Shore stormed back and then again as time wound down to make it 24-19. But a high tackle gave EIRA a penalty and they tapped and kicked to touch to end the game.
Report by Nate Polinko and Bobby Voth
Video Interview by Thomas Burrows
Additional Reporting Liam Burrows