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Wild Finish to NAI 7s Boys Elite

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Wild Finish to NAI 7s Boys Elite

Oakville Ontario’s Upright Rugby Rogues won the NAI 7s Boys Elite with a last-second try over Eagle Impact Rugby Academy-Sacramento Saturday in Salt Lake City.

It was an impressive weekend of rugby in all of the brackets, and the final game did not disappoint. EIRA, which struggled to find the team’s best form on Friday, looked very impressive on Saturday and took an early lead - recovering their kickoff and then seeing Anthony Wiley (Granite Bay) setting up Ben Broselle (Chuckanut Bay) for one of his many tries on the weekend.

But Upright replied instantly, with Avery Oitomen going over to tie the game. EIRA’s restart didn’t go 10 meters and that gave Upright a free kick, and Oitomen just drew a defender, and then slid past him to take the gap and race in for the try.

Oitomen then did it again, breaking through and outpacing two chasers to make it 14-7. Then right before the end of the first half, EIRA had a chance to score, but left a player isolated and Oitomen made the tackle, stole the ball, and passed off to a teammate - actually Herriman’s Sione Bloomfield suiting up as an injury replacement - who went in under the posts to make it 19-7.

But EIRA came back, scoring in the opening minute of the second half, with some smart ball movement from Quinn Perry setting up Broselle for a long run to make it 19-12.

Then some snappy ball-handling put Broselle over around the corner. Skyler Mitchell kicked the conversion to tie it up 19-19.

Off the restart, EIRA’s Andrew Turner was yellow-carded for a dangerous tackle. EIRA managed to hold the line for a while. Then Upright was yellow-carded just after teams went back to full strength.

EIRA had a chance to score, but mistakes undercut them.

Then, with almost no time left, Upright had a scrum just inside their half. EIRA won the scrum, but referee Michelle O’Brien brought it back for another put-in. EIRA won the scrum again, but were called for a free-kick infraction (not exactly clear what the reason was), and Upright spun the ball to Oitomen, who burned EIRA for his third try of the day, and the win, 24-19.

It was a hard loss for EIRA to take, but they had several chances and forced the issue a bit too much.

Broselle was superb on the weekend for EIRA.

These two teams made the finals by beating Atlantis teams in the semis. Upright Rugby saw Atlantis II come back from a 26-5 deficit to make it 26–17, but held on right then. Atlantis II, which was probably the youngest team in the bracket, played some impressive team rugby, but were stymied in this game.

Meanwhile, EIRA and Atlantis I battled back and forth. Broselle was again a huge scorer for EIRA, and Justin Oles made a key game-acing tackle in a 12-5 win.

Atlantis 1 beat Atlantis II 31-10 for 3rd.


See Friday and Saturday scores, pool-play standings, and final finishes here.