Photo courtesy Dartmouth Women’s Rugby Twitter
At present, the National Intercollegiate Rugby Association (NIRA) does not hold a 7s season but the majority of league members do play spring 7s. Some are building toward USA Rugby’s College 7s National Championship, others have the CRC 7s on their schedules, while others still are simply playing and not looking to qualify for a championship.
“Having varsity 7s events is important for the advancement of the game, and as a league we are exploring how a 7s season schedule best fits into the collegiate landscape,” Harvard head coach Mel Denham explained.
Last Saturday, Harvard hosted the first of several NIRA-targeted tournaments in the Crimson 7s. Eight Tier 1 and Tier 2 programs filled out the varsity competition, while another four squads, including USA Rugby’s DI Northeastern University, contested a round robin.
Dartmouth and Harvard both went 3-0 through pool play, and the Big Green earned its berth to the final with a 29-0 semifinal victory over Quinnipiac. Harvard just held off Army, getting tries from Cassidy Bargell, Caitlin Weigel and Emily Prentice in the 15-14 semifinal win for the final’s berth.
The two 2018 NIRA 15s finalists met for another final. Harvard put Weigel and Arianna Romero away for tries, while Ariana Ramsey scored her ninth try of the tournament and Camille Johnson converted to keep it close, 10-7. In the final possession, the Big Green remained calm and got the ball to Ramsay with some space with which to work, and the freshman scored the game-winning try, 12-10.
“This year’s Cup semifinal and final rounds of Crimson 7s were the most competitive to date,” Denham enthused. “The final was a thrilling nail-biter, won in the final seconds of the match. The game is evolving, athletes are evolving, and the level of play is higher.”
Army beat Quinnipiac 26-17 for third. The four-team round robin included three teams’ B sides – Dartmouth, Army and Harvard – and Northeastern University. Point differential determined the finalists, as Northeastern (46) Army (52) and Harvard (29) all won two games apiece. In the end, the Black Knights beat the Maddogs 24-17 for a 3-0 day.
Dartmouth and Harvard take a week off before heading to the Ivy 7s Championships, while teams like Army, Quinnipiac and AIC are heading to Brown’s tournament on April 6.
Click the highlighted teams below for their respective athletic department write-ups.
Dartmouth 52-0 Molloy
Dartmouth 31-5 AIC
Dartmouth 33-14 Army
Army 48-0 Molloy
Army 22-10 AIC
AIC 40-5 Molloy
Harvard 46-7 Colby-Sawyer
Harvard 37-0 Sacred Heart
Harvard 27-0 Quinnipiac
Quinnipiac 52-0 Sacred Heart
Quinnipiac 57-0 Colby-SawyerColby-Sawyer 20-14 Sacred Heart
SF: AIC 45-5 Sacred Heart
SF: Molloy 29-17 Colby-Sawyer
Final: AIC 26-5 Molloy
SF: Dartmouth 29-0 Quinnipiac
SF: Harvard 15-14 Army
3rd: Army 26-17 Quinnipiac
Final: Dartmouth 12-10 Harvard
Harvard 2 21-12 Northeastern
Harvard 2 25-5 Dartmouth 2
Northeastern 41-0 Dartmouth 2
Northeastern 22-17 Army 2
Army 2 26-15 Harvard 2
Army 2 46-5 Dartmouth 2
Final: Army 2 24-17 Northeastern