Boys’ Team Claims 3rd Place Trophy in Knoxville
This has been an eventful fall for the Sumner Rugby Football Club. The COVID impact and player safety requirements, the grand opening of the Hendersonville Rugby Park as their new home fields and the inaugural season for a girl’s high school team has made for a different 7s season. But Tennessee Rugby Association State Sevens Championship Tournament held this past Saturday in Knoxville provided the opportunity for the teams to get back on the pitch and play rugby.
Rugby sevens, and originally known as seven-a-side rugby, is a variant of rugby union in which teams are made up of seven players playing seven-minute halves, instead of the usual 15 players playing 30-minute halves. Sevens is played on a full-sized field, creating fast paced and high scoring play.
The Sumner boys team opened the tournament in pool play with a 17-12 victory over Tennessee Rugby Academy out of Knoxville and then beat the Ravenwood Raptors in a close match, 14-12. A loss to Father Ryan HS, 19-7, provided the only blemish going into the semi-final match vs the Harpeth Harlequins.
Harpeth made short work of Sumner, 48-7, to advance to the state championship match. This loss relegated Sumner to the 3rd place match, where they were opposed by Father Ryan HS for the second time of the day.
Great teamwork created scoring opportunities and limited the Irish in this match. Sumner prevailed, and avenged the earlier loss by a 29-12 score to claim the 3rd place trophy.
Coach Brian Silkwood identified some of the players who scored during the day: Corbin Alexander contributed 4 trys and 20 points, Tucker Milliken kicked 7 conversions and score a try for 19 points, Greydon Bleau contributed 3 trys for 15 points, Tayton Milliken added 2 trys for 10 points and Eli Riley and Reed Palmer both scored a try.
The girl’s team, playing a B side schedule in the tournament, went 2-1 including beating a visiting Atlanta side, 29-19. The play in the state tournament concluded a superb inaugural season for the young team and bodes well for the future.
The Sumner JV squad played 3 matches but did not post a win during the tournament but still gained valuable experience and playing time against the better teams in the state.
Head Coach Silkwood commented, "I am proud of the effort all of the teams showed today and during the season.”
The Harpeth Harlequins defeated Germantown Mustangs, 17-12, in the state tournament final, while the Ravenwood Raptors girls team won the crown as this season’s best.
The Sumner RFC teams will take a holiday breather and begin practice for the spring season in late January. All teams’ welcome new members and more information can be found at the Sumner High School Rugby Facebook site.