The battle for the 7s National Championship began last weekend in South Bend, Indiana where 28 of the top teams in the nation battled it out in the snow for their chance to win the bid to May Madness. The temperature stayed below freezing all day with winds up to 30 mph, creating the perfect conditions for a true test of character for the teams present. In addition to many exciting matches throughout the day, there were a few early season upsets giving a huge push to the momentum of some of the smaller clubs participating.
Indiana dominated their side of the bracket and went on to defeat Brown in the final 19-5, earning their bid and securing their spot as one of the favorites at the National Championship. St. Bonaventure took third in the tournament after defeating Notre Dame College, who upset national powerhouse Kutztown in the quarterfinals earlier in the day. Kutztown went on to win the plate after a dominating victory over Marian.
Looking ahead, there will be two more Premier NCR Automatic Qualifiers this Saturday, April 2. On the East Coast, Major League Rugby’s New England Freejacks will host Apres Rugby 7s. The tournament will consist of 16 premier varsity programs including Ivy League powerhouse Dartmouth, Iona College, who is coming off a win at the Liberty Conference tournament last weekend, and Kutztown, who will be looking to redeem themselves after being upset at Notre Dame. Serving as a warm up for the Freejacks game against NOLA Gold that night, this tournament will be the start of a great day of rugby for spectators and players alike.
In the Northwest, another eight of the country’s top programs will battle it out for a bid to Nationals at Boise State 7s in Idaho. In addition to host Boise State, the men’s teams will include Montana State, Washington State, Wyoming, Cal Maritime, Southern Utah, Utah Valley, and Southern Oregon.