Boise State men’s rugby faced off in the Northwest Collegiate Rugby Conference 7s Championship Tournament

Saturday, April 13 was a day to remember as Boise State hosted the men’s Northwest Collegiate Rugby Conference 7s Championship Tournament.

The day saw plenty of fierce competition right from the get go, however the tournament didn’t follow a traditional single elimination format.

Instead, there were two pools of four teams each where each squad played three games to determine their seeding. The best record from each pool would play for an invitation to the national championship tournament.

In other words, losing a game in pool play would be detrimental to the team’s chances of making it to the first place match.

The favorites going into this match were Boise State and Western Washington University (WWU), who were in a pool with Oregon State, University of Washington and the University of Oregon’s B team. Essentially, they had little competition.

Both WWU and Boise State came into the day with one loss to their names in 15 on 15 competition, but their 7s squads were mostly untested.

In pool play, the toughest opponent that would stand in the way of a first place date with WWU would be the University of Oregon.

The Ducks and the Broncos have played each other plenty of times over the recent years, most recently Boise State beating the Ducks in a blow out 31-7 in November of 2024.

Though the Broncos beat them most recently, it was in 15s, where the matches are slower, longer and more physical, ground and pound games.

Sevens is a completely different animal. There’s two 7 minute halves, lot’s of space on a wide open field and lots of room for error.

With all that said, the Oregon vs Boise State match was one of the most physical on the day. Lots of trucking, slamming and WORDS.

Not only that, but it was the most important match of the day for both teams. What many might not know is that quality rugby programs are hard to come by in the U.S. Typically a lot of games at the high school and collegiate level are blowouts, but today was unique.

Three or four teams of real quality were in attendance with Boise State, WWU, Oregon and OSU, so fate would have it that the Ducks and Broncos were in the same pool, thus each other’s only real challenging opponent.

In other words, these two teams were the only ones that realistically stood the chance of playing for the championship.

The match kicked off and it was physical right from the start. Within the first minute, the Broncos caught a penalty for putting an Oregon player into a headlock.

Whether it was karma for that, or just a bad day for Boise State, the Broncos struggled to get on the scoreboard.

Boise State fought hard in what was their biggest match of the day, however it wasn’t enough as they fell 22-0 to the Ducks.

The match was a lot closer than the score suggests. Both teams came out emotional, physical and ready to battle, but Boise State just couldn’t seem to turn any of their possessions into points. 

The Broncos went on to slam their final opponent in the University of Washington, where they secured a spot in the 3rd place match against Oregon State University.

The Ducks also won out, securing a date with Western Washington, where they inevitably got blown out of the water and back to Eugene. 

For the Broncos, they’d play Oregon State for third place in what looked to be a solid match.

The game kicked off and the Beavers scored first but Boise State rallied back fast.

After two back to back tries in less than two minutes, the Broncos were up 19-7. OSU did score again to make it a one possession game, but there was too little time left. 

When the final seconds ticked, the score was 19-14 and the Broncos left the field with one last win and a great tournament, despite not qualifying for nationals.

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