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TOLA Week 4 Preview

UPDATE 7/9: Due to ongoing weather and reduced field availability, the Bayou 7s tournament will only be able to facilitate the already scheduled USA Rugby National 7s Qualifier for the Men.

TOLA 7’s is entering Week 4 with another hot and humid challenge presented in Houston, TX; Battle of the Bayou 7s hosted by Rugby HTX and the Houston Sabercats. Week 3 saw new names jump in standings and we are set for another exciting weekend. More information on the TOLA 7’s structure and schedule can be found here.

The top 4 standings after the first three weeks can be found below, while the updated and full standings can be found here.

Men’s TOLA

Points

Women’s TOLA

Points

Austin Huns

19

Austin 1

14

Dallas RFC

16

Dallas Quins

6

Grand Prairie

9

Austin 2

5

Gorilla/Harlequins

6

Dallas RFC

5

TOLA Women

The women’s standings remain unchanged after Hell or Highwater 7’s due to a lack of numbers required to fill a bracket. However the women look to be in action again this weekend with Dallas RFC, Bay Area, sHARCs, and Alliance fielding competitive sides. With the current top two clubs not fielding sides, this will be an interesting shake-up of the standings. 7 points are on the table for whoever takes home the hardware, a Dallas RFC win would see them within two of the Austin Valkyries.

The sHARCs and Bay Area are the two closest “home teams” with their bases in the Houston area. Expect these teams to be well-rested and fueled by the home crowd as they compete. After taking home 3rd in the Women’s Social bracket in Bloodfest, sHARCs will be on the hunt for more. Dallas RFC and Alliance are both making the long drive down, but we’ve seen good things from these teams before, and with a few weeks rest under them, anything is possible.

TOLA Men

It wouldn’t be fair to open this with any other team than the Austin Huns. The boys in blue have brought home two Championship titles already, and a third place win from Bloodfest. After defeating Dallas RFC in the semi-finals of Hell or Highwater, they met Grand Prairie in the final and won a close one 14-12. They’ve proven they can stand the Houston humidity; let’s just see if they can do it twice.

Moving on to another giant on the scene, Dallas RFC. A narrow defeat in the semi-final against the Austin Huns was tough to swallow, but a bloodthirsty 3rd place match had Dallas over the Austin Blacks 21-19. Dallas sits three points behind the Austin Huns thanks to their 2nd place finish in Lonestar 7’s and their championship from Bloodfest. Dallas will have taken this off weekend seriously and will come back to avenge their losses in Houston.

The real dark horse in this years’ TOLA Cup is the Grand Prairie Mavericks. Grand Prairie looked good at Lonestar, but didn’t shock us. Grand Prairie then WON the Men’s Open bracket at Bloodfest and raised a few eyebrows. At Hell or Highwater 7’s, Grand Prairie opened with a 3-0 start in pool play, taking down HARC, West Houston, and Rugby HTX. We barely had time to wipe our glasses to check the scores before they cruised through the Austin Blacks in the cup semi-finals. While we were picking our jaws up from the floor, they were neck and neck with the Austin Huns in the final match. Although they lost it 14-12, they’ve definitely gotten our attention. Grand Prairie has a taste of gold and is stopping at nothing to get it.

Dallas Harlequins were absent from Hell or Highwater, and while Gorilla gained a point for showing up, they didn’t have a particularly good outing. Dropping matches to Austin Huns and Dallas RFC 2 left them out of playoff contention for the cup. Rugby HTX won two of their matches in Houston, but the loss to Grand Prairie kept them from gaining more points. They are the host side though, so expect them to showcase a top tier squad this weekend.

Remember, only the top 4 results per team are being counted, so after this weekend it may be less about getting the most points and more about preventing the opposition from catching up. Updated standings are always available here.

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