|All photos by Dobson Images|
|Shalom Suniula for Belmont|
|Marist in green with ball|
|Boston being defended by NOLA|
Belmont Shore didn’t just win Pool B, they dominated it from start to finish, outscoring their three opponents by a combined score of 115-14. The only team to keep pace at all was Marist out of Hawaii, but even that game was never in doubt.
“Mission accomplished for day one, but like I keep telling the boys, it doesn’t mean anything,” said Belmont Shore coach James Walker. “We expected to go through. We thought some of the games would be a little bit tighter, but we just clicked and the result was the result, but it doesn’t mean anything.”
The leading try scorer for Belmont Saturday was wing Alex Ross with five. The former San Diego State All American is a capped Eagle, and he showed why Saturday, leaving many opposing wings in his wake en route to pay dirt.
“It was more so the playmakers playing inside me just kind of putting me into space and making my job easy,” he said. “I think any wing in 7s, you’re on the field to score tries. My teammates made that pretty easy for me today.”
Walker says Ross had a hand in his handful of tries, too.
“I think Alex is a confident player, and I think he’s been playing in our system for the summer and he’s just gotten better and better. He’s definitely got the talent, and now that his confidence is coming back, the sky’s the limit. He’s got serious gas.”
Finishing second in Pool B was Marist, who is Hawaii’s first representative at Nationals. Marist gave Belmont its toughest pool game, and then dispatched of pesky New Orleans 17-12. The Hawaii club’s scoreline against Belmont, versus that of the pool’s other contender, would prove to be the difference in who moved on.
Like Marist, Boston lost to Belmont and beat New Orleans. But unlike Marist, Boston lost big to Belmont, 48-7. And when Marist scored a centered try at the death of day one’s final match, which converted forced a 17-17 tie, the Hawaiians’ point differential is what pushed them into the Cup Quarterfinals.
Belmont 24-7 Marist
Boston 19-7 New Orleans
Belmont 48-7 Boston
Marist 17-12 New Orleans
Belmont 43-0 New Orleans
Boston 17-17 Marist