There is some big shakeup this week, with a sleeping giant awakening and some surprise results. Seattle-OPSB won its first big tournament of the season last weekend, crushing Eastside 55-0 in the final. That score was pretty indicative of the disparity between Seattle’s talent and the rest of the field’s.
Ben Gollings, the all-time points leader in IRB 7s, leads a team with Eagles Miles Craigwell and Mike Palefau, former Fijian international Emosi Vucago and 7s All Americans Pat Blair and Tim Stanfill. Beach might be even more talented this year than last, and they were the odds-on favorite heading into Nationals. Seattle-OPSB intentionally took a longer break after 15s this time around, feeling a bit burned out by August last year, but now that they’re rolling, they take their deserved spot near the top of the rankings.
In the Midwest, 1823 won the most recent match against the Milwaukee Barbarians. The Columbus club has won most of its games against the Barbarians this summer, despite sitting one spot behind them in the Midwest standings, so we have 1823 ranked just ahead of Milwaukee.
The San Diego Old Aztecs fell a few spots, but mostly because of what other teams around them have done. SFGG won the Northern California qualifier and deserved to move up, and the Barbarians and 1823 keep trading blows. At the end of the day, we think the Midwest is a slightly better competition than Southern California, so that’s reflected here.
Old Blue slides up a few spots after winning another Northeast qualifier, and the Kansas City Blues fall a few spots after losing to unranked Tulsa in Parrothead 7s on the weekend. The Tulsa team was similar to the Oklahoma Rugby Academy team that made a splash on the West circuit last summer, and the Blues are trying to get healthy for Denver this weekend, so the result shouldn’t be overanalyzed, but it shouldn’t be ignored, either.
Olympic Club hops into the Top 25 after finishing second at the Northern California tournament. Coach Matt Sherman is back from coaching the All Americans, and the team is chocked full of former age-grade internationals. One of them is former 7s Eagle Rikus Pretorius. They’re the dark horse heading into the Pacific Coast qualifiers.
The Sacramento Lions, which finished third at the NorCal tourney, also move up over some teams who were either idle or performed poorly.
Long Island is one of those teams that performed poorly, falling to both Morris and Boston in New Haven. NOVA also hurt its reputation, failing to reach the semifinals at Monk Vaughn.
Dropping from the list altogether are the Maryland Exiles and Wisconsin. The Exiles have tumbled to fourth in a weak MARFU, and Wisconsin to seventh in the Midwest. Youngbloodz, now 4th in the Midwest, have rejoined the Top 25.
||Kansas City Blues|