By: Colton Strickler
Those familiar with past RugbyTown 7s tournaments know that there are a few teams that always bring the heat.
Two of those teams – Army and the Ramblin’ Jesters – lived up to the hype on Friday.
Army, the eight-time U.S. Armed Forces Champions, put on a clinic during Day 1 of the tournament. They tallied an impressive 3-0 record to put themselves firmly atop Pool A, and they didn’t concede a point in the process. They wrapped opening day with a +96 point differential, cruising through Marines, Air Force, and Navy. Even with a loss to table-topping Army, Air Force moved into second place in Pool A with a 2-1 record after securing a 24-14 victory over the Marines in their final match of Day 1.
The Jesters maneuvered their way to a 3-0 record through Pool C, defeating Gorilla Rugby, Denver 7s, and Team Germany to kick off their RugbyTown 7s title defense. The Jesters tallied 72 points while only conceding 29, setting themselves up to take the next step in defending their title on Day 2. Hot on their heels in Pool C are the SoCal Griffins, who finished Day 1 with a respectable, 2-0 record. The two teams will see each other in their final Pool Play match to close out Day 2.
Tsunami Barbarians lit up Pool B on Day 1 narrowly defeating Tel Aviv Heat and Speranza 22 before exploding on Lions 7s in a 41-0 victory. The 2021 Plate Champions were the only team to escape what is turning out to be the pool of death. Every team in Pool B with the exception of Lions 7s finished with either an even or positive point differential. After opening with a narrow seven point loss to Tsunami, the Tel Aviv Heat cruised to a two big victories over Lions 7s and Casanovas to finish their day in second place in the pool.
The USA U-23s, last year’s runner ups, picked up right where they left off in 2022. They rattled off three-straight victories over Wild Dogs, Akuma Cannibals, and Infantry rugby to finish Day 1 with a +56 point differential in Pool D. Their defense was as good as their offense, as they only allowed 14 points in three matches. To escape the pool without a loss, USA U-23s will have to go through the back-to-back USA Club Sevens Champions in NAV Sevens who also posted a perfect 3-0 record after knocking off the Wild Dogs in the 28th and final match of Day 1. The two sides will close out pool play against each other on Day 2, making it one to keep an eye on before the playoffs begin.
Coast Guard and Air Force will get the action going on Day 2 at 11 AM. Pool play will conclude and a U.S. Armed Forces Champion will be crowned before the playoffs being at 5:05 PM. Tickets and streaming information are available on RugbyTownUSA.com.