The South Men’s All-Stars defeated the Pacific Barbarians 26-12 to win the Cape Fear 7s Premier Bracket Sunday in Wilmington, NC.
The South was led by longtime all-star Jeff Reuther, while East Carolina University product Matt Hughston was superb on defense.
After defeating the Georgia All-Stars in the quarterfinals Sunday morning, the South downed the Navy Exiles, who had squeaked by 1823 in the quarters.
That set up the game against the defending champs the Pacific Barbarians. The Barbarians beat Charlotte in the quarters and then Kenya Exiles in the semis to make the final
“The South made the Barbarians work more than I have ever seen them work in this tournament,” said 1823 Head Coach Paul Holmes.
That, added South Head Coach Julie McCoy, was the plan.
“We’ve been working on our combination of speed, work rate, and maturity, because we knew it would pay of for us later, especially in a final with ten-minute halves, and it did,” McCoy said.
After going 2-1 in pool play the South kept getting better and better. Reuther was a big stabilizing influence on a young team, while assistant coach Alex Houser worked well with McCoy to keep the team on track. The young talent was also solid. Hughston made several big plays. Bobby Allen, who led the 2011 National All-Star Championships in tries, continues to improve at scrumhalf, Georgia Southern talent Mu Cabbell was green but supremely difficult to contain in the open field, and Brevard club player DeWayen Parks was a revelation.
“They were just a good group of guys,” McCoy said. “They worked very hard on their maturity, not freaking out when things went bad and staying in the moment, and they just played well. Onward and upward to the NASC.”
Meanwhile 1823 was disappointed to lose 14-7 to the Navy Exiles, leaving Holmes a little frustrated with some calls. Holmes was quick to point out that it was his team’s mistakes that ultimately cost 1823 the game.
“The teams in the final deserved to be there,” Holmes said.
In the Women’s Premier Final, NOVA beat the Atlanta Harlequins to take the title. And in the men’s club division, the Charlotte Kudus squeaked by Towson by an unconverted try.