Regardless of result, both the Men’s Falcons and Men’s Collegiate All-American Sevens squads can consider the 2018 RugbyTown Sevens a victory. Each player’s development path just took another step forward after competing against the likes of Sevens Series, World Cup and Olympic caliber talent all weekend. When it’s all said and done, the Falcons finished runner up in the Bowl bracket while the collegiate all-stars won the bronze medal.
The Falcons played just one match on day three in a 31-7 loss to the Dark n’ Stormy Misfits. Ben Broselle would score the lone try in a match where the Misfits proved to be a hard team to tackle. Size was of course in favor of the Misfits given the younger Falcons squad. Broselle finished with a team high six tries in the tournament.
It’s been justifiably repeated throughout the weekend, but with five members of this team heading to the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires this October (Tyren Al-Jiboori, Alex Cleary, Lauina Falatea, Johnny Mahe and Inoke Waqavesi), pairing up with the elite competition in Glendale is priceless.
The Men’s Collegiate All-American Sevens were a firework show on display all weekend but ran into the buzz saw that is eventual tournament champion, British Army. Having consistently scored over 30 points all tournament, British Army was able to hold the young team to only 5 points in a 17-5 victory.
The Ramblin’ Jesters fell to Tiger Rugby in the other Cup Semifinal, leaving them to face the All-Americans in a battle for third place. Jihad Khabir wasted zero time getting his team on the board first with a try 30 seconds in. The Jesters answered with two more tries, but a yellow card would give the US squad a man advantage going into halftime. Head Coach Steve Lewis urged his team to utilize the space available and find a breakaway, Deion Mikesell did just that as he outpaced the defense up the middle.
With the game tied, Christian Rodriguez reeled in a lineout overthrow and heave a line to line rainbow pass out wide to Marcus Tupuola for the score. Add on another try from 13th man Justin Johnson and the match was over, 24-14.
In an interview with Glendale Mayor Mike Dunafon, Nick Feakes attested his team’s success to preparation and the bench, “Our coaches prepared us well all week, I’m so stoked with the boys for putting in a fabulous effort,” said Feakes, “There is incredible talent on this team, everybody, 1-13.”
Another quality tournament in the books at Infinity Park in Glendale, with interest continuing to rise. After the final, Dunafon alluded to increased viewership around the tournament and over 60 countries tuning in. Rugby 7s Magazine was on site with the Collegiate All-Americans throughout the week, capturing footage for an upcoming documentary set to be released this Fall.
Exciting times continue as we once again catch a glimpse of rising sevens talent on the United States front.