Norwich Wins the Chris Munn 7s

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The Norwich University men's rugby team won the fourth annual Chris Munn 7s Tournament on Sunday afternoon on Sabine Field at Haynes Family Stadium. Norwich defeated Middlebury in the final match of the day to complete a perfect 3-0 sweep and the championship.

Photo: Nate Rolling, freshman hooker, Graduate of Highland School, Salt Lake City, Utah has been a standout for the Cadets during their spring 7s season. Rolling scored three tries v Dartmouth, two vs UVM and one in the championship match v MIDDLEBURY in the final seconds to secure victory in the Chris Munn 7s.

The Norwich Cadets (11-7) defeated Middlebury in the final match of the day to complete a perfect 3-0 sweep and clinch Norwich's first Chris Munn 7s Tournament title in its four-year existence. The annual tournament is named after 1981 rugby alumnus Chris Munn, who was diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) "Lou Gehrig's Disease" five years ago. The tournament began in 2014 and raises awareness and money for ALS research. 

Norwich downed Middlebury 19-17 in the last match that featured both teams coming in at 2-0. Eric Pierone, Eli Henderson and Nate Rolling each scored tries, while Frick went 2-for-3 on conversions to down the arch-rival Panthers for the second straight week.

In a conversation with URugby, Head Coach Bob Weggler said simply "defeating arch-rival Middlebury for the second week in a row shows the character of the Cadets of Norwich. I'm so proud of our team. Putting more points on the board than Dartmouth in that match was a huge bonus. My plan was to play better competition in preparation for nationals. Winning as we honor Chris Munn and his struggle against ALS is a great tribute to the players and the University."

Pierone opened the scoring just over a minute into the match and then a conversion from Frick put Norwich up 7-0. Middlebury countered with a try at the 3:30 mark to cut the lead to 7-5. 

Middlebury scored a second unconverted try just 15 seconds into the second half to take a 10-7 lead. However, Henderson scored with 4:50 left in the second half on a long run with a great off load from Frick along the left side line. Frick then nailed a long conversion from the side line to give the Cadets a 14-10 lead. 

Rolling scored the game-sealing try with just under a minute left in the contest to make it 19-10. Middlebury scored on the final play of the match with a converted try to cut the deficit to 19-17.

Norwich also defeated Dartmouth College 29-12 and Vermont 19-14 for its other two victories. Rolling scored three tries in the Dartmouth match to lead the Cadets' offense. Mark Hill and Austin Manhey each added tries in the Dartmouth victory. 

Norwich has now won seven matches in a row and will travel to the USA Rugby Division II Collegiate 7s National Championships in three weeks on May 20 and 21 in Glendale, Colo. It will mark the Cadets' first appearance in the national 7s tournament in men's program history.

Chris Munn Sevens Championship Scoring

Middlebury 22 - Dartmouth 12
Norwich 19 - UVM 14
Norwich 29 - Dartmouth 12
Middlebury 12 - UVM 10
UVM 29  - Dartmouth 14
Norwich 19 - Middlebury 17

Chris Munn 7s Champion: Norwich University

Second Side Tournament Scoring

Norwich B 34 - Norwich C 0 
Middlebury B 34 - Norwich White 5
Middlebury B  22 - Norwich C 0 
Norwich B 30 - UVM B 0
UVM B 17  - Norwich C 10
Middlebury B 29 - Norwich B 15

Chris Munn 7s Champion: Middlebury B

Sabine Field at Haynes Family Stadium