Belmont Shore have walked home with the inaugural Championship Cup Series final beating Chicago Lions 31-7 at Sam Boyd Stadium on Saturday. With Belmont also taking the USA Nationals last summer they can officially lay claim to be the premier side in the country.
Belmont Shore have walked home with the inaugural Championship Cup Series final beating Chicago Lions 31-7 at Sam Boyd Stadium on Saturday.
The Lions were surprise finalists on Saturday following a shock 19-12 win over Aspen in a dramatic semi-final.
And the Chicago outfit took the lead in the finale playing a direct and confrontational style with scrum-half Nicky Branco giving them a early 7-0 lead.
Belmont’s class soon began to tell though with their USA Eagles alumni starting to make a real impact. Corey Blair’s try levelled things up, before James Gillenwater’s slashing line gave the Southern Californian club the lead.
Belmont kicked on in the second period with a Tony Fratangelo breakaway which seemed to break Chicago hopes.
Replacement Sinipati Uiagaleilei’s late double gave Belmont an overwhelming and deserved win and the winner’s cheque for $7,500. The Lions walked away with $2,500 themselves with the match sandwiched between the IRB Sevens games, part of the USA Sevens.
Earlier on in the day Belmont had edged NOVA by two tries to one in a tense semi-final before Chicago’s win over Aspen.
‘It was a fantastic second half effort from the guys and despite the score it was tough against a physical Chicago team. What an experience to play here in the middle of the USA Sevens,” said Belmont's former USA Eagle Dallen Stanford.
The CCS was formed by the USA 7s LLC with five tournaments acting qualifiers for the final event, which also added some wild card teams to bring a total of 12 teams to Nevada.
China will play USA in the final of the Women's International Invitational tournament on Sunday. Both teams overcame Canada Universities, France, Russia, USA Blue (Development), and Germany on Friday's Las Vegas Invitational to qualify.