Canada and USA men qualify for RWC Sevens(IRB.COM) Monday 27 August 2012
It was the final everyone had expected between Canada and USA and it lived up to all expectations with Sean Duke scoring the winner with a minute on the clock to claim the North American Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) Sevens men’s title for Canada.
Both sides, by reaching the final, had already secured the region’s two qualification places for Rugby World Cup 2013 in Moscow but the chance to get one over their neighbours ensured the final was a battle to the finish with Canada edging it 26-19.
The Eagles started the brighter and nearly scored through Tai Enosa, but ultimately made the breakthrough when Luke Hume touched down in the corner at Twin Elm Rugby Park in Ottawa. Canada, though, hit back with tries from John Moonlight (2) and Conor Trainor to lead 19-7 at half time.
If the Canada fans thought their team had done enough to match the success of the women’s team then the USA had other ideas, speedster Carlin Isles racing in from 60 metres to score before Peter Tiberio’s try tied the scores at 19-19 after Enosa missed a tricky conversion.
USA thought they had snatched it when Hume sprinted clear again, but play was called back for a knock-on and instead it was Canada who grabbed the match-winner, Duke racing away on the left wing and stepping around the last defender to score under the posts.
This time there was no way back for USA, leaving Canada to celebrate victory in the first international Sevens tournament to be held in the country. The tournament, though, will have been good preparation for both with the HSBC Sevens World Series starting in October.
"We were up by a few tries after the first half, but the US was able to come back and score a couple of tries in the second, so it shows how unpredictable Sevens can be," said Duke. "We're happy with the outcome, and it feels amazing to be able to come away with the win."
Captain Nanyak Dala said: "This was absolutely amazing, one of our goals was to come here and win it. It was a job well done, and a great start to the season. We still have nine tournaments to go before the World Cup, so we just need to focus and stay prepared as we get closer to next June."
USA had conceded just a single try en route to the final, against Mexico in a 33-7 semi final win, after beginning day two with another shutout, a 47-0 defeat of Bahamas with Hume and Jack Halalilo both scoring a brace in the first quarter-final.
Canada were equally impressive in reaching the title decider, overwhelming Barbados 45-7 in the quarter finals and then keeping Jamaica scoreless in the semi finals as five different players crossed the try-line in the 31-0 victory.
It had been left to Mexico and Jamaica to cause the upsets in the quarter finals, beating defending champions Guyana 17-14 and Pool C winners Trinidad & Tobago 19-5 respectively.
Mexico had raced out to a 17-0 lead with tries by Nazareno El Hom, Rodrigo Ramos and Pascal Naduad, but a yellow card gave Guyana chance to hit the comeback trail with two second-half tries.
Jamaica, who had delighted the crowd with their high octane Sevens over the two days, then saw off the challenge of T&T with tries from Agboola Silverthorn, Renaldo Wade and Orlando Jones keeping alive their hopes of RWC Sevens qualification.
Ultimately the pair would meet in the third place play-off for the pride of being the top Caribbean side, an honour which went to Mexico with a tight 17-12 win with Naduad again on the scoresheet.
Guyana finished with a flourish to beat Trinidad & Tobago 27-0 in the Plate final with Barbados overcoming Bahamas 29-0 to finish seventh of the 11 teams at the tournament.
Eighteen men’s teams have now qualified for RWC Sevens 2013 in the Russian capital, leaving just six places to be filled from the African, Asian and South American regional qualifiers over the coming months.
NACRA MEN'S SEVENS RESULTS
Day one - Saturday 25 August
Canada 41-0 Bermuda
Mexico 14-0 Bahamas
Guyana 10-0 Trinidad & Tobago
Cayman Islands 12-19 Barbados
USA 33-0 Jamaica
Canada 33-5 Bahamas
Mexico 19-0 Bermuda
Guyana 12-19 Barbados
Cayman Islands 21-24 Trinidad & Tobago
USA 57-0 St Vincent & The Grenadines
Canada 43-0 Mexico
Bermuda 12-17 Bahamas
Guyana 15-12 Cayman Islands
Trinidad & Tobago 17-0 Barbados
Jamaica 50-5 St Vincent & The Grenadines
Day two - Sunday 26 August
10:00 - St Vincent & The Grenadines 29-0 Bermuda
10:20 - QF1 - USA 47-0 Bahamas
10:40 - QF2 - Mexico 17-14 Guyana
11:00 - QF3 - Canada 45-7 Barbados
11:20 - QF4 - Trinidad & Tobago 5-19 Jamaica
12:50 - Plate SF - Bahamas 10-26 Guyana
13:10 - St Vincent & The Grenadines 0-43 Cayman Islands
13:30 - Cup SF - USA 33-7 Mexico
13:50 - Plate SF - Barbados 14-19 Trinidad & Tobago
14:10 - Cup SF - Canada 31-0 Jamaica
15:20 - Bermuda 7-31 Cayman Islands
15:40 - Bowl Final - Bahamas 0-29 Barbados
16:00 - Plate Final - Guyana 27-0 Trinidad & Tobago
16:40 - Third place play-off - Mexico 17-12 Jamaica
17:00 - Cup Final - USA 19-26 Canada
The NACRA Sevens will also see five women's teams vying for a spot at the second Women's Rugby World Cup Sevens. Canada, as winners of the first IRB Women's Sevens Challenge Cup, will be favourites to secure that with the USA having qualified automatically as semi finalists from Dubai 2009.