After a disappointing start to the Midwest Sevens Qualifier Series, the Milwaukee Barbarians got back on track this past weekend at the Minnesota 7s Qualifier tournament in Eagen, MN.
In pool play, the Division 1 side had a perfect 3-0 record against the Blaze (24-5), Metropolis 2 (31-7), and Metropolis 1 (21-17). The result gave them the first seed in their pool and second seed overall heading into the knock-out round.
The Division 2 squad also found early success with comprehensive 26-7 and 21-5 wins over St. Paul and Mankato. The third match versus the Lions was more problematic with the Chicago-based opponents capturing a 33-0 shutout win.
Despite the loss, the D2 squad were initially seeded second in their pool and 4th overall until a roster violation disqualified them from continuing and pushed St. Paul into the next round.
In the semi-final, the Division 1 side again met the Blaze again with similar results. At the final whistle, the Milwaukee-area rugby club had a comfortable 24-point margin in the 31-7 victory.
In the final, the side met Chicago who had handily defeated the Barbarians in the 1st leg of the series. With a much improved defense, the Barbarians were undone by a series of small errors that Chicago consistently turned into points in the blustery conditions.
At full time, the Barbarians fell 29-14 to the Lions to finish the day in second place.
With the Qualifier teams in Minnesota, the Division 3 side travelled to Kenosha for the Harborfest 7s. Bolstered by a few area college players, the day started well with close but satisfying victories over UW Parkside (17-10) and the Fox Valley Maoris (28-21).
The competition really stepped up later in the day however with comprehensive performances by Wisconsin Rugby Club and the Green Bay Celtics delivering losses of 36-0 and 38-7 to the Milwaukee rugby team.
With a 2-2-0 record, the Barbarians could not advance to the playoff round and moved on to enjoy the fine hospitality at Harborfest.
Midwest Sevens Qualifier Series
USA Rugby holds a National Rugby Sevens Championship each year in August. To be eligible for the championship, teams compete around the country in a series of Qualifier matches in their geographic region.
Two teams are selected to represent the Midwest at the National Sevens Championships. The selection process is called the Midwest Sevens Qualifier Series. It consists of a set of events held across the Midwest at locally organized rugby sevens tournaments.