Reflecting on the 7's Showcase
Photo by Malisa M Photography
As the month concludes, we saw local teams play together more and have the chance to showcase local talent with a 7's series on the Zions Bank Stadium as a curtain opener for the Utah Warriors Rugby MLR. Building that relationship with the various club programs here in Utah is an important partnership that we hope to help continue growing as rugby becomes more and more popular here in the valley.
Showcasing the exploding game were teams; West Valley Guerrillaz, Salt Lake City Gladiators, Utah Saints and Akamai. Event took place on Saturday May 7th at the Zion Bank Stadium and was designed to provide local teams more play time, recognition and proof of the organization that teams are truly capable of. These 4 teams went head to head with some games being back to back. There was 6 games with each team getting to play 3 times that day between 5 pm-7 pm.
*See presented schedule*
Game 1 Saints took the win
Game 2 Gladiators 29-7 Akamai
Game 3 Guerrillaz 7-Gladiators 33
Game 4 TIE
Game 5 Guerrillaz take the win
Game 6 Gladiators 17- Saints 14
Dominique Vasa Co-Captain of the Salt Lake City Gladiator Rugby Club stated that
it was fun and loved being back on the field with the boys.
Several of the participating coaches were grateful of the opportunity and recognize that it can be improved on.
West Valley Guerrillaz reported that
It was a nice showcase. We were grateful for the opportunity to play in the stadium. It was a great way to show the talent that is here in Utah among all the local men's clubs. The one down side that was recognized was the lack of involvement from any of the Warriors' coaches and staff during the showcase. It made it hard to see the point behind playing.
Other coaches supported this feeling though and know that we are consistently looking to get better as well as be better involved in making things more of an impact. It is however, highly appreciated for the opportunity that Emily of the Utah Warriors front office provided. Emily took on this task that can be challenging and executed an incredible opportunity that hopefully continues to be part of local rugby. The relationship that we have built through her continues to be an impeccable stepping stone and I will forever express our gratitude for her.
While there is always room for growth and improvement, it was great to hear the compliments that were shared at completion of the showcase and hear the conversations teammates, coaches and other staff had. Emily reported that the Utah 7's Showcase was a success in her book. The teams that participated each showed a lot of talent and gave each other good competition. She went on to state that it's exciting to see the growth of these clubs and the talent that continues to come out of them.
Looking forward to the local men's clubs further developing their clubs and what it will do for Utah Rugby.
That's exactly the type of compliments that I like to hear! The Utah 7's showcase was a great experience that we plan on making better as we go along. It was a nicely planned event and the timing for the 7's as we go into summer couldn't have been any better.
Jason Toeava Captain of the Gladiators is always good about looking at things long term. He mentioned that:
It was a lot of running but it was fun to play 7's again and get ready for more 7's tournaments in the summer. It will be a challenge to work on [my] fitness so I can be well prepared for it so I don't regret the way I perform in the game.
The Salt Lake City Gladiator Rugby Club has seen a wild change in expectations this year as May provided some new features for the organization. It has been with great appreciation that the team started the home season playing on the Salt Lake Regional Athletic Complex fields that provide numerable fan options for seating, restrooms and vendor conveniences. It has been an incredible start! They have added sponsors like Simple Chiropractic and Malisa M Photography (Links are available below) to their arsenal of community support and hope to continue helping promote local organizations.
The Gladiators have provided field time to local clubs Utah Saints & West Valley Guerrillaz as the game opener for Saturday June 4th at 10 am. Tickets can be purchased for that event either in person or online for $5 each (Kids 4 and under are FREE). SLC Gladiators will follow with game starting at Noon against the Eastside Tsunami. #GladiatorStrong