GLENDALE, Colo. –
In a sweeping victory, Army captured their sixth straight Armed Forces Rugby 7’s Championship with a 12-7 win over the Air Force at Infinity Park in Glendale Colorado on August 25.
Army outscored their opponents 159-21in five games, shutting out the Marines, Coast Guard and Air Force during pool play.
When asked about their big win, Army coach Col (Ret.) Mark Drown said, “It’s always our goal, so I feel good about it”.
“We feel optimistic, but also I know that the other programs are going to keep improving.” Drown continued when asked about the future of the tournament competition. “This last final was the closest we’ve had since 2013 when we pulled out of the Air Force’s grasp in the last second. This game could’ve definitely gone to Air Force. It was an exciting final.”
Win or lose each team played with pride and dedication. Air Force took silver in the competition, with the Marines earning third place, Coast Guard in fourth, and Navy placing fifth.
The 2018 Armed Forces Rugby 7’s Championship was held in conjunction with the Rugbytown USA 7’s Tournament hosted by the City of Glendale for the seventh consecutive year.
At the conclusion of the awards ceremony of the Armed Forces Championship, the Service branch teams and the British Army team participated in the ‘Fallen Rugger’ Ceremony. The ceremony honors all military rugby players who made the ultimate sacrifice.
The Captains each placed a reef in the middle of the pitch for their respective branch of service. Once the ball was placed at the foot of the reef, the names of those lost from their select service were read aloud.
Following the Armed Forces Championship portion of the Rugbytown Sevens, the Service teams faced off against the other civilian divisional winners compromised of teams from the United States and around the world.
Army and US Air Force went on the play in the Cup Bracket.
Air Force lost in the semi-finals by the Denver Rugby 7s Selects. Army advanced to the finals securing fourth place overall after beating the Denver Rugby 7s Selects.
Marine Corps and Coast Guard went on to face other teams in the Bowl Bracket.
The Marines were beaten by the Washington Athletic Club in the semi-finals and the Coast Guard were also defeated in the semi-finals by the Sacramento Eagles.
At the conclusion of the championship, seven players from the Armed Forces Championship were selected to the Armed Forces All-Tournament Team. Coaches and Service Representatives selected the top seven players based on their play during the Armed Forces Championship.
Visit www.armedforcessports.defense.gov for complete results and links to photos, news and highlights.
Armed Forces All-Tournament Team Selections:
Ensign Conner McNerney, Navy, U.S. Naval Academy, Md.
Master Sgt. Cameron Freeman, Air Force, Edwards AFB, Calif.
Sgt. Michael Melendez-Rivera, Army, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska
Sgt. Timoci Kawa, Marine Corps, Camp Pendleton, Calif.
Spc. Patrick Blair, Army, Fort Carson, Colo.
2nd lt. Ryan Roper, Air Force, Andersen AFB, Guam
Matthew McDaniels, Coast Guard, Sector Delaware Bay, Del.