For Immediate Release
February 14, 2010
U.S. Men’s Sevens Team Trumps France to Win the Bowl in Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS – The U.S. Men’s Sevens Team struck it rich at the USA Sevens, defeating France 28-17 to take home the Bowl and earn four points in the IRB World Series standings when play wrapped up at Sam Boyd Stadium Sunday night.
Samoa took down New Zealand, 33-12, to win the Cup, while South Africa beat Fiji for the Plate and Scotland claimed the Shield.
“These were our first points of the season and winning the Bowl is important to us in order to maintain our core status in the IRB Series. I told the team at the half time of the South Africa game, winners never quit so let’s keep going as hard as we possibly can,” U.S. Men’s Sevens Head Coach Al Caravelli said.
“This is a great stage to build upon, and I hope the tournament comes back to Vegas because we can grow this event hugely.”
Although France was the first to get on the board in the final, the USA turned in an impressive first half that saw Matt Hawkins stretch into the corner for his fifth try of the tournament. Just before the half, Nick Edwards caught a bit of open space and stormed more than 50 meters to pull the U.S. ahead 14-5 at the break, following Nese Malifa’s conversion.
Missed tackles led to a France try early in the second half, but Hawkins retaliated to keep the U.S. ahead by 11 points with four minutes left. France continued to press toward the U.S. end and a Gaetan Germain try closed the gap to four points as the game wound down. With under one minute left, Nese Malifa – who had 25 points on the day – converted his own try to seal the U.S. victory at 28-17.
Earlier, the USA stamped its ticket to the Bowl Final following a 19-14 victory over Argentina – a rematch of the 2009 USA Sevens Cup semifinal, which saw the Jaguars advance to the final. However, this time the chips fell in favor of the Eagles.
Matt Hawkins pushed through the Argentina defense for two consecutive tries to build the Eagles up to a 12-0 lead before the close of the half.
Immediately from the kick off of the second half, Zach Test leapt up and was off to the races for a USA try within the first 10 seconds. Argentina made a late surge and put down two converted tries to cut the U.S. lead to five, but the Eagles hung on to earn a spot in the Bowl final.
The USA started the day with a dominant first half performance versus Guyana in the Bowl Quarterfinals. Paul Emerick got the team started when he took the ball off a lineout and split the defense for his first of two tries in the match. Moments later, the USA found its way back to the try zone, as Nick Edwards pushed off several Guyana defenders to touch down. Matt Hawkins and Shalom Suniula also pitched in a try each to put the USA ahead 33-0 at the half.
Guyana rallied after the break and scored two unanswered tries from Ryan Gonsalues and Dominic Lespierre, but the USA hung on to win in a 33-12 final. “We had a solid start, but we let ourselves down in the second half; we could have had another 33 points,” Caravelli said after the quarterfinal victory. “We need to stick to the fundamentals of our game plan, move the ball into space, and keep teams guessing.” Also at Sam Boyd Stadium on Sunday, the USA Women fell to China in the USA Women’s International Invitational Sevens final.
China got on board early in the first half when Zhao Xin Qi broke free from the U.S. defense and touched down for a try. The U.S. spent the remainder of the half defending its own end until China’s Guon Qi Shi crossed over to put China up 10 points by the half. Although the U.S. came close to scoring near the end, following a quick break from Ida Bernstein, they could not finish the drive, leaving the score at 10-0 at the final whistle.
For more information on the USA Sevens, visit www.usasevens.com. To learn more about the IRB Sevens World Series, visit www.irbsevens.com.
USA 28, France 17 (HALFTIME: USA 14, France 5)
Tries: Hawkins (2), Edwards, Malifa
Conv: Malifa (4)
USA 19, Argentina 14 (HALFTIME: USA 12, Argentina 0)
Tries: Hawkins (2), Test
USA 33, Guyana 12 (HALFTIME: USA 33, Guyana 0)
Tries: Paul Emerick (2), Nick Edwards, Matt Hawkins, Shalom Suniula
Conv: Nese Malifa (4)
DAY 2 RESULTS – USA SEVENS
Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas
February 14, 2010
France 19, Canada 12 – Quarterfinal Bowl
Chile 19, Japan 7 – Quarterfinal Bowl
Argentina 14, Scotland 7 – Quarterfinal Bowl
United States 33, Guyana 12- Quarterfinal Bowl
New Zealand 12, South Africa 5 – Quarterfinal Cup
Kenya 26, England 21 – Quarterfinal Cup
Samoa 17, Wales 10 – Quarterfinal Cup
Australia 28, Fiji 7 – Quarterfinal Cup
Japan 17, Canada 5 – Semifinal Shield
Scotland 31, Guyana 7 – Semifinal Shield
France 45, Chile 7 – Semifinal Bowl
USA 19, Argentina 14 – Semifinal Bowl
South Africa 27, England 14 – Semifinal Plate
Fiji 32, Wales 0 – Semifinal Plate
New Zealand 21, Kenya 7 – Semifinal Cup
Samoa 14, Australia 12 – Semifinal Cup
Scotland 17, Japan 7 – Final Shield
United States 28, France 17 – Final Bowl
South Africa 12, Fiji 7 – Final Plate
Samoa 33, New Zealand 12 – Final Cup