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South All Star 7s Crowned 2018 NSCRO Women's 7s All-Star Champions

By Bryn Chivers, NSCRO, 01/22/18, 12:15PM EST

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(Article has been updated to include a full rundown of the All-Star Championship.)

Congratulations to the South All Star 7s who are the champions of the NSCRO Women's 7's All-Star Championship this weekend. The South defeated the Prairie States Select Side by a score of 20-5 to avenge their loss to the same team in Saturday’s pool rounds. In the third place game, Upstate New York defeated the Mid-Atlantic Rugby Conference (MARC) Select Side by a score of 24-0.

Pool Play

The eight teams were seeded into two pools of four:

Pool A

The first game of the day saw a very strong Upstate New York team run out 31-5 winners over the LoneStar Conference. The MARC opened up their championship with a convincing win over NERFU by a score of 26-0. Long runs from wing Mellissa Robertson accounted for two of the MARC tries.

In their second game Upstate NY were too strong for NERFU despite the New England team scoring three tries of their own, Upstate NY 27 NERFU 15. It was a similar situation in the next game where LoneStar’s three tries were not enough to see them past the Mid Atlantic who ran out 31-17 winners.

The third round of pool games opened with Upstate NY versus MARC in a game between two undefeated teams to decide the winner of the pool. Upstate NY scored early and dominated possession and territory while applying constant pressure on the MARC defense. A 21-0 half time lead was extended in the second half before the MARC were able to score a consolation try, Upstate NY 33 Marc 5. The last game in Pool A saw two teams without a win, LoneStar and NERFU, battle out to a 5-5 draw that probably satisfied neither team.

Pool B

The first of the pool games saw the South send a message that they were the team to beat. Wing Shae Ferguson scored three of the South’s six tires in a convincing 34-5 win over the Allegheny. Despite getting to within five meters of the goal line on two occasions Ohio were unable to score in a 26-0 loss to the Prairie States.

The South continued to look impressive with their outside speed being the dominant factor in a 29-7 win over Ohio. In contrast the Prairie States employed a more straight ahead style in their 38-5 defeat of the Allegheny. 

In their previous games Ohio had looked like a team whose parts were greater than the sum, but this changed as they came together for a 20-5 win of Allegheny. The last game of the day saw two unbeaten teams with contrasting styles compete for the top spot in the pool. The Prairie States scored first but the South answered with a well worked set piece play from their own half to tie the game 7-7. The second half saw the South open up with a sustained passage of play in the Prairie States half that resulted in an unconverted try for Ally Gallagher, only to have the Prairie States answer immediately with a converted try by Leanna Rosberg. The final score was Prairie State 14 South 12.

Sunday

Consolation Bracket

Ohio were becoming more cohesive as a team and this was evident in their 20-0 win over LoneStar that was capped off by a great seventy meter intercept try by Maddie Berry. IN the second game NERFU defeated the Allegheny 15-5.

The Allegheny never really recovered from conceding a try on the opening kickoff as NERFU’s Kate Hubbard scored on a weaving run that started from her own half.

The 7th/8th place game pitted the Allegheny against the LoneStar. The two winless teams produced one of the most entertaining games of the tournament with the teams trading tries throughout the game. The LoneStar scored first when Isabella Powers scored in the right hand corner. The Allegheny answered with a try from Erica Long followed by a short range try from Zafirah Abdulrahoof to take the lead 10-5. The Lonestar responded with a try from Rebecca Nyul that tied the game 10-10 at the half. The Allegheny retook the lead on a try by Alex Massari only to have the LoneStar come right back to go back in front 15-17 on a try by Camilla Klar with the conversion by Ellen Blais. The end to end running started to sap the energy of the LoneStar players who began to fall off their tackles, and this contributed to a second try from Massari to put the Allegheny back into the lead. A late try from Cedar Sands of the Allegheny closed out a very entertaining game, final score was Allegheny 25 LoneStar 17.

The 5th/6th between NERFU and Ohio was a somewhat dour affair for fourteen minutes but it was capped off with an exciting finish. In a game marred by handling errors and penalties it looked like a try by Nicole Moore would enough secure NERFU the win. On the last play of the game Ohio were awarded a free kick five meters out from the NERFU goal line and Breanna Harrell drove over for the try to tie up the game. The conversion was unsuccessful and the game was tied 5-5 at the end of regulation play sending the game into sudden death overtime. Both teams seemed to gain energy in the overtime period and they both had early chances to score. In the third minute a try scoring run through the middle of the field by Victoria Markarian gave NERFU the win, 10-5.

Championship Bracket

In the first semi-final the MARC came out strong against the Prairie States and after attacks on both sides of the field they opened the score on a try from Randy Livingston. The Prairie States struck back with a try and conversion from Kelcey Stutzman to take a 7-5 lead at the half. A try from Leanna Rosberg extended the Prairie States lead but this was quickly answered by a long run from Melissa Robinson from the MARC. Late in the half a strong run from Brook Hoesing produced a the final try of the game for the Prairie States, final score Prairie States 17 MARC 10.

The second semi final saw Upstate NY taking on the South. The South opened the scoring in their game against Upstate NY on a try from Ally Gallagher. Upstate scored to take a 5-7 lead when Kelly DeGrood broke through the middle of the field to score a try converted by Emily Grey. Late in the half the South scored on a try by Hailey Thompson to take a 10-7 lead into halftime. A Long run from Stephie Franz resulted in a try for the South that was converted by Allyson Frank. Late in the game Shae Ferguson added a fourth try for the South to take the score to South 22 Upstate NY 7.

3rd/4th Game

In a repeat of their pool game Upstate NY proved too strong for the MARC. Rebecca Silver scored on Upstate’s first possession and the conversion by Emily Grey gave them a 7-0 lead. Another try from Emily Sion stretched the lead to 12-0 at the half. Tries from Isabella Drago and Cody Fletcher, with another conversion by Emily Grey secured the third place finish for Upstate New York by a score of 24-0.

NSCRO_Womens-7s-All-Star-All-Tournament-MVP-Allison-Gallagher-med_20180121Final

The South were determined to avenge Saturday’s loss to the Prairie States and this was apparent in their player selection and tactics. Using their speed to attack the weak side off set pieces proved to be very effective against a Prairie States side found lacking in pace on the outside. From an early scrum The South’s Kat Sheerer was able to out sprint the Prairie States cover defense for the first try of the game. The Prairie States responded with a passage of play that involved a series of quick rucks, passes and offloads that eventually saw Leanna Rosberg score in the left hand corner to tie the game 5-5. The South scored a second try when Sheerer was again able to out pace the Prairie States defense and the half ended with the score 10-5. The second half was similar to the first with the Prairie States working the ball through the middle of the field and the South playing a very expansive game. Tries from Stephie Franz and Shae Ferguson gave the South the victory and the Championship by a score of 20-5. 

Allison Gallagher of the South All Star 7s was awarded the Championship MVP.

The following players were selected for the All Championship Team:

PLAYER

TEAM

SCHOOL

Shae Ferguson

South All Star 7s

Lee University

Allison Gallagher

South All Star 7s

Eckerd College

Kelly DeGrood

Upstate New York

St. Bonaventure University

Leanna Rosberg

Prairie States Select Side

Wayne State College

Amanda Tondin

Mid-Atlantic Select Side

York College of Pennsylvania

Erin Buckland

New England RFU All Star 7s

University of Maine Farmington

Breanna Harrell

Ohio All Star 7s

The College of Wooster

 

NSCRO_Womens-7s-All-Star-All-Tournament-Team-med_20180121
(not pictured Breanna Harrell, Ohio 7s Select Side)

Thank you to Mike Geibel and the Eckerd College Women’s and Men’s rugby teams for all the hard work they put into making the event a success.

Thank you to Rhino Rugby for supplying game balls, gift certificates and jerseys for the All Championship Team.

A special thank you to Penn Mutual for their continued support of women’s rugby.

Final Standings

1st Place        South All Star 7s
2nd Place       Prairie States Select Side
3rd Place        Upstate New York
4th Place        Mid-Atlantic Select Side
5th Place        New England RFU All Star 7s
6th Place        Ohio All Star 7s
7th Place        Allegheny RU Select 7s
8th Place        LoneStar