2011 USA Sevens Collegiate Rugby Championship: Saturday's Pool Play Roundup

via wikipedia

The Boston College Eagles men's rugby sevens squad dropped all three games in Pool Play at the 2011 USA Sevens Collegiate Rugby Championship. Let's take a closer look at how the Eagles fared in Saturday's Pool B action.

Game 1: Boston College vs. Notre Dame

Boston College's first match of the day against Notre Dame wasn't televised, but in the end, that was probably a good thing. The Eagles lost to the Irish by a score of ... 31-0, falling to 0-1 in Pool B. Moving right along.

Game 2: Boston College vs. Utah

Going into this game, defending champion Utah had been upset by Dartmouth, so the Running Utes took out their frustrations on BC in their second Pool Play matchup. The Utes got into the scoring column after an Eagles defensive breakdown just 35 seconds into the first half. After spending the next few minutes in their own end, the Utes went on the attack and scored their second try of the match 4:30 into the first half.

Then things got a little chippy. 

Zach Taylor got a yellow card with a minute left in the first half for going into a tackle high. The penalty to Taylor spanned both halves and the Utes played two minutes down a man. But that didn't stop the Utes, who despite being down a man, managed to get through all seven BC defenders to go up 17-0 early in the second half.

The penalties kept coming for the Utes, when Zach Taylor basically took a BC rugger down with a horse-collar tackle (but wasn't issued a yellow card). Utah's Vernon Ale made a fourth high tackle on the very same BC player a minute later, which again put Utah a man down. Next up, Utah's Shawn Quigley got in on the chippy play, getting sent off after going high into a try-saving tackle. With the Eagles on a 7-to-5 advantage, BC's Peter Kerr scored the Eagles only points on the day with a try with a little under two minutes to play (conversion unsuccessful).

Utah was clearly the more talented team on the day, but a lot of the high tackles were bush-league. Not the type of rugby you like to watch. As @kirbyandrew pointed out, you know you are playing dirty when a Philadelphia crowd ends up booing you for rough play.

Game 3: Boston College vs. Dartmouth

The Eagles started with the ball in this match, but couldn't do much early and quickly lost possession based on some back rucking. Dartmouth took the ball on the turnover and Big Green T.J. Cameron put the Big Green up 5-0 just 2:10 into the first half. Cameron also plays running back for the Dartmouth football squad (pretty sure we could have used Montel Harris or maybe even Andre Williams in this tournament). 

After another BC turnover midway through the first half, Cameron scored his second try of the match (and fourth of the tournament) to make it 10-0. Then with just 10 seconds remaining in the half, Dartmouth stole the ball on a line out deep in Eagles territory and scored a try and the 2-point conversion with no time left on the clock. The Eagles went into the half down 17-0. 

In the second half, it was more of the same, with the Big Green's Chris Downer blowing past every Eagle defender to score a try within the first 25 seconds of the second half. The Eagles missed 10 tackles in the match, and pretty much got outclassed by a much more talented Dartmouth side. The final score: 36-0 Dartmouth.

 

At the end of the day's Pool B action, Dartmouth had emerged as the class of the bracket, going a perfect 3-0 on the day and scoring 77 points to opponents' 31. Utah finished in second with a 2-1 record, while Notre Dame finished third with a 1-2 record. The Eagles finished last in what many considered to be the toughest Pool of the Championship, getting outscored by an overwhelming 84-5 margin. Both Dartmouth and Utah will advance to today's Championship bracket, while the Irish and Eagles will be relegated to the Challengers bracket.

Today, the Eagles will face the LSU Tigers in the Challengers bracket. The match starts at 11:47 AM, but won't be televised. If Boston College wins, they would play the winner of the UNC-Temple Challengers bracket game at 2:55 PM (on Versus). Finally, if BC advances past UNC or Temple, then the Eagles would play in the Challenger Final at 5 PM on NBC. BC would play either Ohio State, Navy, Oklahoma or a rematch against Notre Dame in the Challenger Final.

Here's how today's Challenger Bracket schedule breaks down:

Match #29: Boston College vs. LSU (11:47 am)
Match #31: North Carolina vs. Temple (12:31 pm, Universal Sports)

Match #30: Ohio State vs. Notre Dame (12:09 pm, Universal Sports)
Match #32: Navy vs. Oklahoma (12:53 pm, Universal Sports)

Match #35: Challenger Semi -- Winner Match #29 vs. Winner Match #31 (2:55 pm, Versus)
Match #36: Challenger Semi -- Winner Match #30 vs. Winner Match #32 (3:20 pm, Versus)

Match #38: Challenger Final -- Winner Match #35 vs. Winner Match #36 (5:00 pm, NBC)

Go Eagles!

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