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Experts Pick Club 7s Contenders

Tuesday Aug 11, 2009 in Sevens Club Competitions

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Not content with coming up with our own picks for the National Club 7s Championships, we at ERugbyNews enlisted the help of some longtime experts in the game to get their choices for winners and losers.

We were blessed with a strong response (thanks to our promise of anonymity) and some interesting opinions. Here’s who they chose in the pools:

Pool A
It’s unanimous that Denver wins Pool A. Who comes second is still up in the air, with most picking Life.

There is a little love for Tempe, with panelist picking Tempe to finish second in this pool. We’re inclined to agree with that assessment. Life is a good team, but it’s easy to overlook little Tempe. Don’t. Everyone picks Schuylkill River 4th.

Pool D
We joke about the Pool of Death moniker. Pool D is not the Pool of Death, but what is interesting about it is that we have one clear front-runner, and three teams perfectly capable of finishing second on the day.

Milwaukee doesn’t have a national presence, and we wonder if that hurts how others see them. OK, fine. Our experts go with Aspen in first place, unanimously. They also all pick Atlanta Old White to finish second, unanimously. Weird for us, because we have Boston penciled in there. Most voters have Boston 4th. We think Boston could surprise. Oh well, that’s why they play the games.

Pool C
NOVA or SFGG, North Virginia or San Francisco Golden Gate, NOVA or SFGG. And the winner is … well, neither.

This is the Pool of Death. Any of the teams is capable of winning it, and therefore any is capable of finishing 4th. That’s why you have some pick 2007 national champs Chicago Lions last in the pool, and why some have hosts and perennial contenders SFGG 4th. It’s all over the place. NOVA routinely gets one of the top two spots in Pool C. SFGG does as well, named to win their pool by a few.

The consensus seems to be that NOVA wins the pool, but SFGG gets some votes for first and some for second. Chicago also gets a nod or two for second, while a very competitive Glendale gets 3rds and 4ths.

Pool B
Belmont Shore sweeps this category, getting best actor, best car chase and most photogenic. The question is, who do you like for 2nd? Most go with OMBAC despite the San Diego club’s inconsistent summer. Old Blue, which won the tournament in 2005 and won the Northeast, doesn’t get a whole lot of support for second. Still they get more support than the Chicago Griffins, who are unanimously placed in fourth.

So our panel chooses these eight quarterfinalists (with our comments):
Denver v. Atlanta Old White
(We think it might be Boston instead of Atlanta)

SFGG v. Belmont Shore
(Some pick Chicago Lions instead of SFGG)

Aspen v. Life or Tempe

(We’re not sure. Old Blue could replace OMBAC).

Who moves on? Hard to tell. Here is where the panel picks break down. Some like SFGG and think they might go all the way, but more think they drop out in the quarters. Same goes for Aspen.

But what we can tell you is who our panel thinks will make the final. There are votes for Denver, NOVA, Aspen and SFGG all to make the final and win it all. But Belmont Shore is picked by almost all to make the final two.

So there’s our expert opinions.

Denver, NOVA, Aspen and SFGG could all challenge, but Belmont Shore is a heavy favorite to make the final, and possibly win it.

Thanks to all our panelists.

- Alex Goff

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