Rugby News & Views From an American Perspective
In the process, Teague took home tournament MVP honors.
NC State didn’t come into the tournament as a front-runner, but no one was discounting them either. As an added bonus, they were able to take out in-state rivals North Carolina 24-12 in the Championship game.
The game of 7’s continues to be an equalizer of sorts as teams have an immediate opportunity to be competitive and provide close games for fans to enjoy.
Day 1 at the ACI was right on-key with close games throughout the day. The “anyone has a shot” mantra of 7’s is one of the key ingredients that will have sports fans all around the world singing the praise of rugby come 2016.
Aside from not have any outrageous blowouts, Day 1 of the ACI also had some surprises in store.
Virginia Tech came out on top of Pool A, but it wasn’t easy. They went 3-0-1 on the day, with a tie against their in-state rival University of Virginia and a big 12-7 win over the University of North Carolina. The University of Virginia ended pool play at 2-1-1 and would have tied for the lead in the pool were it not for an upset 26-12 loss at the hands of Georgia Tech. Georgia Tech showed quite well on the day going 2-2. North Carolina came into the tournament as one of the favorites, but went a surprising 2-2 in pool play. Duke finished 0-4 in pool play, but played competitively and stayed within striking distance during most of their games.
Pool B took a hit as Maryland was a late scratch from the tournament as they were held out by their school administration due to disciplinary issues. Pool B was as tight, it not tighter than Pool A in terms of the competition. Three teams, Florida State, NC State, and Wake Forest completed pool play with identical 2-1 records. Clemson was the hard luck team of the day going 0-3 but losing two of the games by less than 10 points.
Day 2 of the ACI was all about the Wolfpack. The Wolfpack played conservative, smart, and sound rugby throughout the tournament, but really turned it on in the knockout stages.
North Carolina State started by taking down Georgia Tech 24-14 in the Quarterfinals, then ousted the University of Virginia 17-10 in the semifinals before toppling the Tarheels in the final 24-12.
On the consolation side of the bracket, Clemson reversed their Day 1 misfortune by going 3-1 on Day 2 on their way to winning the Challenger Final 24-17 over Wake Forest.
The ACI 7’s served as an excellent starting point and can only grow from here. With some big name collegiate brands, excellent leadership, and the backing of the USA 7’s… the sky is the limit.
One can only hope that we’re not too far from having a season filled with tournaments like the ACI 7’s and SEC 7’s.
ACI 7’s Day 1 Results
Florida State University 21 Clemson 12
University of North Carolina 26 Duke 14
Wake Forest 14 North Carolina State University 7
Virginia Tech 24 Georgia Tech 0
University of Virginia 20 Duke 7
Florida State University 17 Wake Forest 5
University of North Carolina 20 Georgia Tech 0
Virginia Tech 12 University of Virginia 12
North Carolina State University 36 Clemson 7
Georgia Tech 22 Duke 14
University of Virginia 19 University of North Carolina 10
Virginia Tech 26 Duke 7
Wake Forest 14 Clemson 7
Georgia Tech 26 University of Virginia 12
Virginia Tech 12 University of North Carolina 7
North Carolina State University 19 Florida State University 14
ACI 7’s Day 2 Results
Play-In Game: Clemson 7 Duke 0
Quarterfinals: North Carolina State University 24 Georgia Tech 14
Virginia Tech 26 Clemson 0
University of Virginia 24 Wake Forest 12
University of North Carolina 31 Florida State 14
Challenger Semis: Wake Forest 22 Georgia Tech 5
Clemson over Florida State
Cup Semis North Carolina State University 17 University of Virginia 10
Cup Semis University of North Carolina 36 Virginia Tech 26
Challenger Final: Clemson 24 Wake Forest 17
Championship Final: North Carolina State University 24 University of North Carolina 12