The USA 7s Collegiate Rugby Championship
Who will win: Cal.
Who they have: Who don’t they have? A backline of Connor Ring, James Bailes, Seamus Kelly and Dustin Muhn means Blaine Scully gets put in the forwards (?). Wow. Add Danny Barrett and Derek Asbun up front and you’ve got power, speed, dedication, and skills. Yes you do.
Cal’s teamwork is legendary, and the only thing that can undermine them at this point is fatigue from a long season.
Who will challenge them: Hard to discount any of the other three.
Ohio State because they’ve been playing plenty of good 7s, won a warmup tournament, and Nate Ebner continues to be in fine form. Ebner has recruited James Georgiades from the OSU football team, but the backbone of the squad are players who got their start at Westerville or other area U19 progreams.
Watch out for Scott Mesi, who lists his favorite part of rugby as being counter-rucking. You don’t hear that too often.
Penn State promise to be a much stronger squad this year, as they warmed up with a tournament win in Delaware at the Subaru 7s. They have a lot of experience in this squad, with a heavy dose of Xavier kids and several players who’ve played some 7s, and frankly this game might fit the Penn State squad better than 15s at the moment.
Louisiana State. No disrespect to Jeff Reuther who is an outstanding 7s man, but to have him called away to the club championships and to replace him with Julie McCoy will have given the Tigers an interesting jolt on the coaching side. “Jules” is an outstanding communicator and, as any coach knows, a new voice can sometimes better communicate old concepts. No one really is expecting much from LSU, which is exactly how they want it.
9:58 LSU v. PSU
10:20 Cal v. OSU
Classic upset time in the first game. LSU could certainly undercut Penn State in this, the first game of the tournament. As for the Cal v. Ohio State game, what will likely happen is that it will be quite close at halftime, Cal will make whatever adjustments they need to do, and the Bears will pull away in the second period.
12:54 OSU v. PSU
14:10 Cal v. LSU
Cal should defeat LSU, but the Ohio State v. Penn State game is a complete guess. OSU has a little more power, PSU a little more quickness.
4:06 Cal v PSU
6:06 LSU v OSU
Cal should win this game because they are that much more experienced than Penn State. Ohio State might be hitting their strike in this game. If OSU has beaten Penn State, they will certainly be on an up.
In the end Cal looks good for 3-0, and the other three could possible go 1-2 and tie.
However, pin us down and we think Ohio State will finish 2nd.