Todd Miller 7s Features Plenty of Collegiate Talent

UF captured the plate championship at Todd Miller 7s.
UF captured the plate championship at Todd Miller 7s.

An exciting summer season of 7s rugby kicked off last Saturday with Orlando capturing the championship at the Todd Miller 7s Benefit Tournament.

Fifteen teams competed in the men’s division, including the University of Florida, University of South Florida, University of Central Florida and Florida Atlantic University. USF and UCF finished in second and third, respectively, demonstrating the wealth of talent in the collegiate ranks.

Speaking of collegiate rugby, UF finished fifth overall, capturing the Plate Championship.

For a club that’s made its mark in 7s over the past few years, including three Collegiate Rugby Championship appearances, this was a great beginning to a promising season.

Graduate student Matt McGee captained the UF squad, who outscored their opponents 120-31 in a dominant defensive effort. McGee was pleased with the team’s solid one-on-one tackling.

“If they came close to us, we brought them to the ground. We also did a pretty good job of pressuring them on offense and forced turnover ball,” said the fifth-year player.

The Gators allowed just five tries in the tournament and shut out Brevard in the Plate final.

Florida’s only loss came against a fit USF squad that won 12-0 and was the tournament runner-up.

“USF did a very nice job of playing traditional 7s rugby. They maintained possession for a while on offense and had no issue with going backwards while waiting for a break in our line,” McGee said. “They made solid tackles and just bided their time on defense until we finally ran out of players to offload to as we were being lazy with support.”

Though the Gators came up short in their quest for the Cup, the opportunity for younger players to get more experience was a point of emphasis for a squad that saw its top player, Lucas Baistrocchi, finish his career in the spring. Brennan Schneider led the Gators with six tries. Laurence Kidd finished second on the team with five while McGee added four. Caleb Gilmer scored three tries and made nine conversions.

“We hit gaps at pace and even had a few pick and goes for tries,” McGee said. “We were quite aggressive on offense because we broke tackle after tackle as we had such a large team.”

On the women’s side, the Orlando club also took home the championship, making it a clean sweep in both divisions in the hometown tournament. USF finished in third, giving the school two top-three finishes at Todd Miller 7s. Congratulations to all 20 clubs that participated and made Todd Miller 7s a fantastic tournament.

Final standings are available below.

Mens

1 Orlando (1)

2 USF

3 UCF

4 Burn

5 UF

6 Brevard

7 St Pete

8 Orlando Iron Horse

9 Naples

10 FAU

11 Sarasota

12 Treasure Coast

13 Orlando (2)

14 Orlando (3)

15 Jacksonville

 

Women 

1. Orlando (1)

2. Sparkle

3. USF

4. Jacksonville

5. Orlando (2)

Advertisements

About Stephen Sheehan

Stephen is a recent graduate from the University of Florida's graduate program in sport management. Prior to obtaining his master's degree, he earned his bachelor's degree in journalism from UF in May 2013 and has been involved in sports writing dating back to his high school newspaper. Following graduation, Stephen worked as a Content Editor for an Internet Marketing company based out of Miami. Ultimately, he decided to pursue his true passion—sports—and came back to grad school. Over the past five years, he worked for several publications, including Bleacher Report, The Independent Florida Alligator and several websites, including Foxboroblog.com, FanRag.com and FantasyFootballHelpers.com. Stephen's writing and content production background combined with passion for sports, particularly the game of rugby, makes him a unique asset to any sports organization. He is a ready-born leader, an engaging communicator and an ambitious young mind ready to forge his own path in the sports world.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s