CAPE FEAR, North Carolina- The fatigue that usually rears its ugly head on the second day of a 7s tournament was nowhere to be found as the DC Furies defeated the NOVA WRFC and Atlanta Harelquins to win the 2014 Cape Fear 7s Tournament. Every game of both pool play and knockout proved to be a tough fight against skilled competition. This made the tournament a great early prep for nationals, as well as a good gauge of what the squad needs to fine-tune over the course of the next month.
Going into the final on Sunday, after defeating NOVA earlier that morning 17-5, the Furies faced a team that they had fallen to only 24 hours earlier. The speed, decision making, and ball movement shown by the Quins in the third round of pool play had caught the Furies off-guard, ending in the Furies only loss of the tournament (17-10).
The final however, was a different story. The Furies took only a minute to get on the board first, using superior speed and accurate passing to move the ball wide. Half time saw the Furies down by seven, however, as the strong Atlanta defense caused numerous penalties and turnovers.
The second half sang a different tune as the Furies asserted themselves on both sides of the ball. Atlanta spent most of the second half in their own end, as the Furies scored four unanswered tries. Atlanta gained some possession late in the game but chose to go through several phases of pick-and-go’s, eventually being forced out into touch. Unrelenting defense from the Furies resulted in several turnovers with quick transition into solid attack patterns. The final score of 27-12 reflected a well-earned comeback.
When reflecting on the weekend, both the coaches and captains were proud that the team has continued to show marked improvement in three important facets of the sport: fitness, trust and confidence. “I was most impressed with our mental toughness this weekend!” said captain Jamie Albarelli. “We came out even harder on Sunday and despite being down in the final after the first half, we just kept going and playing our game. Any mistakes we made we were able to flush and keep working. In the past, we’ve let little things bring us down but we were able to keep our focus and play Furies rugby all weekend.”
“I like what I saw.” Coach Fanueli noted as he recalled the weekend’s events. “I think going to Cape Fear and winning it was an eye opening experience for all the players. We learned a lot from this weekend and have a lot to improve on. We know that we have the ability to match up with any team. The players are relaxed and most importantly they are having fun.”
The Furies spent most of Wednesday night’s practice getting some good scrimmaging in to prepare for this weekend’s second regional qualifier in Columbia, Maryland. This tournament will be the Furies’ final competition leading up to MAC Championships on July 26th. The team is in high spirits as they look to continue their development for Nationals in August.
Furies 2 Side Weekend Recap
The Furies 2 side played four matches on the weekend, going 1-3 with a young squad. The first game saw them beat The Women of Bragg, with Angela Cole and Brigid Beech leading the way. Game two saw them shut out by a more experienced Southern Exposure side (who would later be disqualified for roster infractions). Game three saw the Sharks win to close out the day for Furies 2. Sunday saw the Furies 2 side play their best game of the tournament. Moving the ball well and attacking with confidence, the Furies took the lead but were unable to close out the game, falling to a very physical Venom State side.
Furies2 v Ft. Bragg (W 10-5)
Furies1 v. NOVA1 (W 19-0)
Furies2 v. Southern Exposure (L)
Furies1 v. Berkeley (W 26-12)
Furies2 v. Sharks (L)
Furies1 v. Atlanta (L 10-17)
Furies1 v. So. Exposure (W 22-15)
Furies2 v. NC Venom (L)
Semi Final: Furies1 v. NOVA1 (W 17-5)
Final: Furies1 v. Atlanta (W 27-12)