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St. Bonaventure men and women headed to D.C. for national 7s rugby tournament

Apr 26, 2023

St. Bonaventure will be on the national stage in the nation’s capital this weekend.

The university’s men’s and women’s rugby teams will be competing in the 2023 Collegiate Rugby Championship National 7s tournament in Washington, D.C., April 28-30.

The men will be competing in the 32-team Premier Cup bracket as the No. 2 seed in the Midwest bracket, opening with the University of Rio Grande (Ohio) at 2:30 p.m. on Friday. A win would advance the Bonnies to a match Saturday against the winner of USC and Notre Dame.

Men’s Premier Cup play continues Saturday and Sunday with matches in three consolation brackets and the championship bracket.

The Bonnies’ pool play matches in the women’s 12-team Small College tourney are at 12:18 p.m. Friday vs. Missouri S&T and 3:36 p.m. Friday vs. Wisconsin-Platteville.

The top two teams in each of the four three-team women’s pools advance to the national quarterfinals late Friday afternoon with the semifinals, title game and consolation matches set for Saturday.

All games in the tournament will be broadcast on the NCR YouTube page.

The men qualified for the nationals by finishing second to Indiana in a tournament this spring in Boston. The women qualified by steamrolling Paul Smith’s, Geneseo, Plattsburgh and Ithaca by a cumulative score of 179-5 earlier this month in Ithaca.

While adhering to the same playing rules as 15s rugby, 7s “is a totally different game,” said Tui Osborne, head coach of the men. “It’s almost two different sports.”

The games are only 14 minutes long, with two seven-minute halves and a two-minute halftime break. Teams can carry 12 players on their game rosters, but are allowed only five substitutions during the game.

“If you’re a big guy who also has the agility to make someone miss a tackle, by either evading them or running through them, that’s what you’re looking for,” Osborne said. “I think we have the right mix of players to do well.”

Women’s coach Meredith Pyke talked about the big distinction between 15s and 7s.

“You can't hide on the field. You’re part of everything that’s happening,” Pyke said. “If you carried the ball and just got tackled, you have to prepare yourself immediately to be part of whatever is happening next. It’s so fast paced with a lot less room for error.”

Only half of the 14 players Pyke is taking to D.C. have played 7s before this spring, but she said they “have picked up the game pretty quickly. I’m excited to see how we’ll do.”


About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University is a community committed to transforming the lives of our students inside and outside the classroom, inspiring in them a lifelong commitment to service and citizenship. St. Bonaventure was named the #5 regional university value in the North in U.S. News and World Report’s 2022 college rankings edition.