The Milwaukee Barbarians Athletic Club started the sevens rugby season by sending a Division 1 and Division 2 squad to Greenville, WI to complete at the Leinie's 7s.
The Leinie's 7s is a single-divison tournament and the Barbarians were drawn into Pools B and C for the seeding round.
Seeding Round, Division 1
In Pool B, the Barbarians D1 started well a pair of shut-outs: 54-0 vs Great Dane and 50-0 against the strikers.
The last pool match was a tighter affair against the Wisconsin Rugby Club and at half time, the Barbarians held a narrow 3-point lead. But a pair of unanswered tries by the Milwaukee rugby team led to a final score of 27-14.
At the end of Pool play, the Barbarians D1 side had a perfect 3-0 record and were the top seed in Pool B.
Seeding Round, Division 2
In Pool C, the Barbarians D2 side had a similar path. Their first 2 games were mostly clinical displays with victories of 40-12 (vs. Fox Cities) and 31-0 (vs. Oshkosh).
The third match was much closer against Green Bay's determined first side (Green Bay 1). But at the final whistle, the Barbarians D2 had the advantage with a 21-12 final score.
The 3-0 record earned the Barbarians D2 side the top seed in Pool C.
Based on point differential, the Barbarians D1 side earned the first seed overall and met fourth-seeded Green Bay 2 in the semifinals.
The Barbarians notched their third shut-out of the day in this match with a 26-0 victory paving the way to the Championship match.
The Barbarians D2 side secured the second seed overall and met third-seeded Milwaukee Rugby Football Club in the second semi-final.
MRFC started strongly with a pair of tries and got out quickly to a 14-0 lead. But the Barbarians D2 replied with 3 unanswered tries of their own to take the lead 19-14.
The score then leveled at 19-19 when MRFC touched down again.
But the offensive power and fitness of the Barbarians eventually overwhelmed MRFC. Two more tries gave the Barbarians the come-from-behind 31-19 victory and a ticket to the Championship.
The Barbarians found themselves in a unique situation as each of their sides had identical 4-0 records and met in the Championship match essentially as an intra-squad training session.
But this match was anything but a "friendly" with players looking ahead to selections in week 2.
Like the second semi-final, the Barbarians D2 side got behind early but slowly clawed their way back into contention. And that determination was rewarded with a try in the last play of the match to take the lead and the match: 29-24 for the D2 squad.
All together, the Milwaukee Barbarians Athletic Club finished the day with both the first and second place trophies.
"This is a good start to the season. Now we have real competition in the squad!", said newly-appointed Assistant Head Coach Ewan O'Donnell who managed both sides throughout the day.
This week the Barbarians travel to Fond du Lac, WI to complete in the Lighthouse 7s.
Leinie's 7s Division 1 Roster
- Mike Albert (C)
- Rob Bartlett
- Wesley Seay
- Trevor Hergert
- Zach Setum
- Tom Fossell
- Ryan Duklas
- Darrin Schaffer
- Jeff Cebe
- Justin Patterson
- Alex Mross
Leinie's 7s Division 2 Roster
- Adam Regini
- Travis Loessin
- Luke Ellis
- Zach Price
- Robby Sindic (C)
- Garrett Shibiliski
- Keenan Leahy
- Vincent Esteve
- Floarian Aubry
- Matt Drezewiecki