Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Allied Rugby Conference Grand Final in Norman, OK

On Saturday, October 19, nine college rugby clubs converge on thein Norman, OK for the 2013 ARC 7s Grand Final. In attendance with the five ARC member clubs will be the 2012 USAR College 7s National Champions - , the 2013 USAR D-1AA College XVs National Champions - , the 2012 & 2013 Southwest College Rugby Conference (SWC) 7s Champions - the , and the 2013 SWC 7s Runner-up - the(UNT).

Pool A in Norman will feature the ARC teams playing each other to garner the final series points. While Oklahoma only needs a fourth place finish to lock in a trip to Greensboro, NC, the Sooners' "ALL-IN" performance culture does not allow them to rest on their laurels. The hosts will be shooting to top the pool in order to get a chance at Pool B favorites Arkansas St or Lindenwood. Oklahoma's Coach, Jason Horowitz has left no doubt in anyone's mind that the Sooners want to test their rugby mettle against the best at every turn.

Pool A

Texas Tech, Texas A&M, and Sam Houston still have a chance to take the Sooners' down, but that requires one of those teams posting monster scores and winning every pool match AND Oklahoma getting shut-out in every pool match. Such is a tough ask, but the target on Oklahoma's back is big and each team will be aiming for dead center.

Texas Tech suffered some injuries in College Station, but deepened their player pool by getting their seconds some important and winning minutes in the JV pool. The Red Raiders should be able to bounce back well. Texas A&M played better at home than the series opener in Lubbock, but suffered from lackadaisical discipline late in the day. However, even playing a man out due to red card, the Aggies managed to eke out a 3rd place win at home. Such resilience will be required of them, again. Sam Houston was the real surprise in College Station. The Bearkats caught Tech napping in the semifinals and punished that complacency. Sam Houston continued to play strong in the first half of the final against Oklahoma, but their fitness failed them in the second half as the Sooners ran away with the game. Sam must bring a different level of fitness to Norman to break into the final matches after what is sure to be some harsh pool play.

Pool B

Pool B is a veritable "pool of death" with championship and CRC experience in three teams. Arkansas State comes in having played aon October 5. The next weekend, Lindenwood put some "lessons learned" to proper use in a . Texas started the SWC 7s Series sluggishly in Denton, TX, but rallied through the next two tournamentsin San Marcos, TX. The 'Horns posted 29 unanswered second half points in the final to defeat UNT 43-14 in the final. UNT had beat Texas on September 5th to top the field in Denton. The Mean Green Machine continued to win through the Ft. Worth leg of the SWC 7s Series. They dropped a close one to Texas in the second round of the double-elimination final tournament in San Marcos only to have to face the eventual two-time SWC Champions again in the final.

After pool play is finished, the teams in each pool will be ranked based on W-L record. Varsity teams will play each other based on pool placement in the cross-pool final matches (See schedule below).

Rugby fans and family can keep tabs on the scores and standings throughout the day at the . Additionally tune in to that page at 4:20pm CST to watch the final four matches live. Other matches may be broadcast live as conditions allow.

2013 ARC 7s Series Grand Final schedule for October 19
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