Once again it is my honor to welcome in our favorite rugby sevens experts UR7s.com. This week the boys from across the pond are handing out some post season hardware. There are definitely some names on this list worth noting, and a few funny stories as well.
The following article has been supplied by UR7s.com – the online home for everything rugby 7s.
After handing out some European End of Season Awards last week, it's now the turn of the USA. It's proved another intensive but interesting rugby sevens season with the standards seemingly on the rise yet again. USA 7s coach Al Caravelli had much to ponder with so many players fairing well at both the USA Nationals Sevens and All-Star 7s Championships.
Plenty of discussion for you to interact on here; who have we missed out on? Who doesn't deserve their award? C'mon American Rugby fans let's hear your views...
Elite Team of the Year — Belmont Shore RFC
The only unbeaten 7s team in the country - winners of the Las Vegas Midnight 7s as well as the all important National 7s tournament.
Tournament of the Year — San Diego USA 7s
In what eventually proved to be San Diego’s swansong (for the next three years anyway) as hosts of the USA 7s, this year’s event was pretty special. The USA 7s were at their peak and stormed to the Cup last four to the delight of Petco Park—the home of baseball’s San Diego Padres.
Kenya conspired to lose to Uruguay and beat New Zealand on the same day with Argentina opening up the IRB World Sevens Series with their first Cup win since Los Angeles 2004. Special mention—Las Vegas Midnight 7s, US All Star 7s
Tournament Experience — New York 'Thanksgiving' Sevens 2008
Played in some insanely freezing temperatures, 100 teams from all over the world competed in seven divisions of play. With the skyline of NYC in the background it’s an incredible setting and illustration of just how far Rugby Sevens spans. Teams can train in Central Park in the days leading up to the tournament and then taste 'Thanksgiving' in one of the most amazing cities in the world.
The Big Apple has a bright future as far as Sevens goes! Special Mention - Cape Fear 7s
Funniest Moment — San Diego Invitational
The San Diego Surfers caused much amusement with the beefcake Islanders turning out in board shorts and Hawaiian Shirts against the semi-pro Olorun ID making for interesting viewing. UR7s News Editor Robin Heymann pasty pins getting a run out for America’s All Blacks, Hyde School, caused some ripples too.
‘Hard as Nails’ Award — Pillars of Hercules
In the open final of the New York Sevens, these boys went straight from winning their semi-final to a Final that went on for 40 minutes including two periods of Extra-time golden try. When the deadlock was finally broken they were almost to tired to celebrate! Funnily enough though, only an hour or two later they were leading the charge in the bar at the After Party.
UR7s USA All Star 7
1. Thretton Palamo — San Francisco Golden Gate
At 21 years old he already has 12 tournament appearances on the IRB World 7s Series. Palamo has captained the side recently, and has improved with each tournament, getting an increased amount of game time. He was a standout player for SFGG at Nationals. Special mention: Mark Roberts (Chicago Lions)
2. Kevin Swiryn — unattached:
One of the most talented rugby players in the USA, playing a major role in the USA 7s best outing in San Diego earlier this year. Swiryn has also captained the USA 7s side, and will do so again this coming season. Took a well deserved rest from 15s and 7s, with a rib injury, only coming back during the ITT 7s competition. Special mention: Riaan Hamilton (Belmont Shore RFC)
3. Cory Blair — Belmont Shore RFC
Silenced his critics with a sensational performance at the National 7s competition for Belmont Shore. Blair was on form all season, not only a try scoring machine, but putting in monster hits.
4. Nesi Malifa — Belmont Shore RFC:
The classy halfback from Belmont Shore was a key member of the 2008/2009 USA 7s side, and proved vital in many of their historic wins. Malifa, like Swiryn, was told to rest during the domestic 7s season and returned to ITTs playing a few minutes. Special mention: Jeremy Nash (Chicago Lions)
5. Teddy Omondi — Denver Barbarians
The Kenyan 7s international was central to Denver’s success this season, and even though he didn’t lift the National 7s title (like last year with Aspen), he was still outstanding for his new club. Special mention: Tai Enosa (Tempe)
6. Peter Sio - Belmont Shore RFC
The Belmont Shore captain was unbelievable this season, earning the MVP award at Nationals with his breath taking try scoring ability. Sio was brilliant on defense, and by far the best player in the country at Nationals this year. Special mention: Jone Naqica (San Francisco Golden Gate)
7. Mike Palefau - Gentlemen of Aspen
One of the most experienced 7s Eagles, Palefau produced another storming season for Aspen. He was superb at Nationals and ITTs, and has plenty more to show in this coming IRB 7s season. Special mention: Jason Pye (Gentlemen of Aspen)
UR7s.com is the most comprehensive website dedicated to the game of Rugby Sevens worldwide. It is home to the World Tournament Calendar, through which you can access tournaments right across the globe, hundreds of teams, footage, features, and chat. Over 100 tournaments and teams from the USA have already made their presence felt on UR7s.com—it truly is the only place for "everything 7s"