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Tropical 7s: Boys U18 Elite Day One

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Tropical 7s: Boys U18 Elite Day One

Tropical 7s finishes up Saturday.

Some statements were made at the Tropical 7s Boys U18 Elite bracket today.

The Jamaica Junior Crocs showed how far their program has come with two impressive victories over Rugby Quebec and Hawkeyes, and their loss to Eagle Impact Rugby Academy (which cost them #1 in their pool) was just 24-19. EIRA, like the Crocs, went 2-1, losing a shaky opener 12-7 to Hawkeyes. 

That put them under pressure to win out, which they did. Hawkeyes took last in the pool with two losses, each by less than a try.

Oakville out of Ontario was outstanding and won well over Future Elite and Atlantis Teal. They had a bit more trouble with Rebel Rugby Black, but edged that side 19-17 to win their pool.

Rebel Rugby Academy White went 3-0 as well, and to go one better allowed exactly zero points. It was a superb defensive effort over Tsunami Misfits, Gorilla, and Belleville.

James Rose led the defensive effort but, Head Coach Ethan Pougnet said, it was (and had to be) a team day. You don’t pitch three shutouts without everyone on the same page.

“Obviously we’re really happy with the defense but it’s really about how hard the guys are working,” said Pougnet. “They had defensive frames of 45, 50 seconds where they would defense phase after phase and then get a turnover.”

In Pool D Next Phase Rugby went 3-0 as well. Their defense wasn’t a perfect whitewash but they were second behind Rebel in feweest points allowed.

With Greg Stelluti and Wayne DiMarco coaching, getting these players from various backgrounds working together is a big job.

“We tell the guys, each of you is here for a reason,” said Stelluti. They’re here because I’ve coached with them or against them or seen their film. Everyone deserves to be here so whether you’re making an offload, you need a teammate to help you, know these guys can handle it. Then we keep the game plan relatively simple and ask players to trust their athleticism. This is a very good bunch of guys.”

Next Phase was challenged by a tough USA South Panther Rugby Academy team that tested their opposition with hard runners and offloads out of contact. Aiden Chavez (Player Spotlight: Aidan Chavez Rocks it at PR7s Trial) is one of the Panthers to watch out for. The difference between the two was that Next Phase was eventually able to cut off the offload lanes and score late to pull away.

So the quarterfinal games look like this:

Pool A1 EIRA vs Pool B2 Atlantis Teal

Pool C1 Rebel White vs Pool D2 USA South Panther


Pool D1 Next Phase Rugby vs Pool C2 Tsunami Misfits

Pool B1 Oakville Crusaders vs Pool A2 Jamaica Junior Crocs