The Brooklyn Rugby Club men began their season with a perfect record on the day, taking home the Cup Championship and earning themselves an early lead in the Series.
Brooklyn began the day with a solid 28-12 win over Village Lions, a team that competed in the NRU Elite Division last season. That was followed by a 14-0 win over New York Rugby Club, who finished second in the Empire Sevens Series in 2014 and came in as one of the favorites to win this year’s Series.
In their third and final pool play match, Brooklyn defeated Bayonne, 28-0, to finish first in their pool and earn a spot in the tournament semifinals.
In the Cup Semis, Brooklyn faced off against Rutgers, who had also gone undefeated in pool play. The match was a nail-biter throughout, with Brooklyn holding a 7-0 lead with only two minutes left.
Rutgers then tied it up with a late try, but with less than 30 seconds to play, Brooklyn forced a turnover and went over for the game-winning try and a 12-7 victory to earn a spot in the Cup Final.
In the Final, Brooklyn faced off against the host team Monmouth Rugby Club. Brooklyn jumped out to a hefty 19-0 first-half lead. However, it was a different story in the second half as Monmouth scored 17 unanswered points to bring the game to within two.
Then with under one minute to play, Monmouth had the put-in to a scrum at midfield, but it was stolen by Brooklyn who wisely kicked it out of bounds to end the game and secure the championship.
The Brooklyn men’s team was coached by Marlon Francis and comprised of Craig Mackenzie, Ian Ralls, Johnny Brennan, Mike Reilly, Kevin Keebler, James Alrassi, Iain Cockshott, Jeff Sereni, Pat Smith and Mike Tretola.
Brooklyn will continue their season next Saturday, June 27, at the Tri-State Sevens Tournament in Danbury, Connecticut, the second leg of this year’s Empire GU Rugby Sevens Series.