Denver All-Stars make their mark.
GLENDALE, Colo. – Thirteen matches took place on the final day of the 4th Annual Serevi RugbyTown Sevens Tournament, with each match not only determining who would take home silverware but also which team would take home the $10,000 purse awarded to the SRS Cup winners.
By day’s end a local team would take home those prizes, but it wouldn’t be the Glendale Raptors, tournament hosts of the three-day event. Instead, it would be the crosstown rival Denver 7s squad, who defeated the Serevi Selects by a score of 28-24 in a final that proved to be one for the ages.
“We sticked together, we played together, we finished together. We did everything together. My boys did it.” Denver captain Maximo DeAchaval said postgame. “[Serevi Selects] have great players and are great guys. We love playing them, hate playing them but it’s always a pleasure. We’re pretty happy.”
Denver started its road to the championship with a 29-10 semifinal win over Glendale.
“They played well throughout the summer and deserved to win,” Glendale Raptors head coach Andre Snyman said. “Serevi as well. They’re a quality side. It was a great final to watch and they gave us a good show.”
The loss to Denver marked the first of unfortunate back-to-back defeats for the hosts, who also lost 21-12 to Canadian side Upright Rugby Rogues. But a fourth place finish was nothing to scoff at in a field of 17 teams that featured talent from around the world.
“It was a great show of character. For us to be a local club side and to take fourth place, I’m happy with that,” Snyman added. “We’re disappointed but holding our head high. I’m very proud of them for the way we played.”
“We would’ve loved to win that final but Denver is a pretty good side,” Raptors captain Mose Timoteo said. “Our performance today shows we played a full 14 minutes of rugby and pushed each other.”
Three other finals helped set the stage prior to the championship with SRS Plate, Bowl, and Shield awards to be not just handed out, but fought for. Northeast ODA defeated Negro Y Azul 26-19 to win the Plate. Atlantis surprised the USA Collegiate All-Americans to win the Bowl by a score of 22-17. In the Shield Final, dark horses Bermuda also put on a show to beat Mexico Serpientes by a score of 19-15.
It marked an enjoyable tournament for the spectators, no matter which sides, countries or players they came out to support.
“This is all we’ve waited for. This is as good as it gets in North America and it’s some of the best rugby around the globe,” Glendale Mayor Mike Dunafon said of the tournament. “It’s what makes the Serevi RugbyTown Sevens such an important tournament. It is the essence of the future of the game of rugby.”