1997 Cowtown VII's Tournament
A 1997 Western RFU Championship Qualifier
Saturday, June 21, 1997 at Gateway Park, Fort Worth, Texas
By Bots Hulen
The 1997 Cowtown 7's Tournament, hosted by the Fort Worth RFC, was a resounding success as weather,
competition, and the best pitches in Texas combined for a great event. This year's tournament was a Western
Championship Qualifier and attracted the most teams (16) in recent memory.
Cup Championship Results
Oklahoma University RFC took home the cup championship trophy, as well as a Western RFU Championship bid,
with a 27-12 win over Austin RFC. The score does not properly represent how evenly matched the teams were, as
numerous fans watching the game were under the impression Austin had the victory until the final whistle blew and
OU began celebrating.
Austin advanced to the cup championship bracket with a 3-0 record in pool play, winning by a combined score of
125-14 over the Dallas Blues, the University of Dallas, and Texas Tech. OU advanced with an equally impressive run
in pool play, winning 90-19 over Houston RFC, Fort Worth-2, and Arlington-2. The other pool winners were a very
fast Texas A&M team (3-0, 71-12) and Arlington-1 (2-0-1, 92-26). These four teams advanced to the final four,
showing the skill demonstrated by Fort Worth in seeding the pools. The other cup qualifiers were Alamo City,
Houston RFC, the Dallas Harlequins, and the University of Dallas.
The semifinals for OU and Austin were hard fought matches, showing the depth of Texas Rugby in 7's this year. After
winning every game in Texas last year, Arlington has met much tougher competition this year with a finals loss at
Dallas 7's to Dallas RFC, and a semifinal loss to Austin at this tournament. Austin took the match with a well
deserved 20-12 victory. In the other semifinal, OU outlasted the quick A&M team, 14-7.
|Oklahoma U RFC|
Man of the Match
The "Man of the Match" trophy turned out to be a completely politically incorrect term. However, the choice was
clear as Sarah Way from Lubbock and Texas Tech outclassed all others, playing matches with Fort Worth and the
Houston Old Boys. In Fort Worth's match against OU, Sarah set up Fort Worth's first score with a diving tackle,
causing an errant pass intercepted by Fort Worth, who raced for the score and a 7-0 lead. Sarah played all her
matches with her characteristic "never-quit, I'll tackle anybody" attitude. Sarah was the consensus winner as shown
by the cheers received at the awards ceremony. Congratulations, Sarah!
In the consolation plate bracket, Fort Worth-1 took the trophy with a win over the Houston Old Boys, and the OU
All Fats outlasted Denton for third. Both matches were hard fought, run till you puke, never say die, give it 110%,
never quit, no quarter, 1-0 forfeit matches. In retrospect, these teams should have been made to compete in a
drinking contest for their trophies. The girth of the All Fats and Fort Worth would make the final a toss-up.
|Houston Old Boys__47|
|OU All Fats___0|
|OU All Fats_______15|
|Fort Worth RFC|
|Dallas Blues______12||1997 Plate|
|Fort Worth-I 33|
OU, Austin, and Arlington are each impressive sides, but A&M was particularly surprising. With only college players
(some recent graduates), A&M put on a show with a 3-0 pool record, and a quarterfinal victory over the Dallas
Harlequins. As in their pool play, A&M met a 'Quins team that was obviously more experienced, but the sheer speed
of the A&M team won the game.
OU was also successful with their second side, the OU All Fats, taking third in the plate consolation bracket. OU
considered going to the qualifier in St. Louis, expecting weaker competition, but proved their mettle against the best
competition in the West instead.
Fort Worth now concentrates on the 1997 Cowtown 15's Kickoff Classic, to be held on October 4-5. As the first
major 15's tournament next season, it has traditionally been the tune-up for Texas' cup match season. Click here for
Go to Fort Worth's Home Page