13 matches remain until the crowning of the 2023 RugbyTown 7s Cup Champion, and the path to the $10,000 grand prize became clear after a stellar Day 2 at Infinity Park.
One of the biggest stories throughout the tournament continued to be the dominance of Army. They finished pool play early Saturday by hanging a 34-0 win on Coast Guard, and then handed Air Force a 38-0 loss in the U.S. Armed Forces Championship to secure their ninth Armed Forces title in eleven year, and their second in as many years. The most impressive part about their stellar run through the military bracket was the fact that they didn’t even concede a point until their Bowl Quarterfinal match against NAV Sevens in the final match of Day 2. Before playing NAV Sevens, Army totaled a +130 point differential, and +22 try differential en route to another Armed Forces title.
Unfortunately for Army, they ran into the freight train that is NAV Sevens. Last year’s third place finishers came into the 2023 RugbyTown 7s with their eyes on the Cup, and have put together quite the performance through two days. NAV’s only loss came in the form of a 19-12 decision to the USA U-23s – the 2022 RugbyTown 7s runner ups – who have also put on a masterclass of a tournament through five matches to punch their ticket to the Cup Semifinals.
NAV faced a 7-0 deficit to Army early on in the match, but eventually cruised to a 36-14 victory to advance through the Cup Semifinals to face the 2022 Cup Champions in the mighty Ramblin’ Jesters. The Jesters used a complete 31-12 performance over the Tel Aviv Heat to punch their ticket to Cup Semifinals and keep their title defense alive.
The best match of the day occurred in the first Bowl Quarterfinal between the Tsunami Barbarians and SoCal Griffins. Down by two points with less than a minute to play, SoCal’s Adam Channel made a break for the corner to dot down the game-winning try. As he crossed the goal line, Tsnumani’s Ethan Hager wrapped up Channel and prevented him from grounding the ball. SoCal had a shot to win at the death but coughed up the ball on the final possession and ultimately lost the match 12-10. As a result, Tsunami Barbarians advanced for a clash with USA U-23s in the Cup Semifinals on Sunday.
Through five matches, USA U-23s have posted two shutout victories including a 48-0 smackdown of Air Force – the largest score line of the tournament – as they attempt to claw their way back to the Cup Final for another shot at the title.
As a result of the losses, SoCal Griffins will face off against Air Force and the Tel Aviv Heat will take on Army in the Plate Semifinals.
The Bowl Semifinals are also set as the newcomers Speranza 22 took care of Gorilla Rugby to set up a date with Infantry Rugby – who posted a 2-0 record on Saturday after a shaky start to the tournament - while Casanovas handled Team Germany and will take on Wild Dogs on Sunday. In the Shield Playoffs, Gorilla Rugby will play the Marines and Team Germany will take on the Navy.
The third and final day of the 2023 RugbyTown 7s will get going on Sunday, at 11 AM when Gorilla Rugby and the Marines play for a spot in the Shield Final. Finals rugby begins at 3:20 PM, with the Cup Final set to kickoff at 4:50 PM. Tickets and streaming information for Day 3 can be found on RugbyTownUSA.com.