The USA and Canada are officially into the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens. Not it’s just a matter of who heads to Russia with the top North American seed.
Canada advanced to the final after their 31-0 semifinal victory over Jamaica, and got moving on that win right from the opening whistle. Jamaica’s clearing kick didn’t get out of the 22 meter. Canada sends the lineout ball down the line, and amidst cries of “forward pass” from the non-Canadian fans, Jeff Hassler took the ball in for the score, which Phil Mack converted.
Mack turned right around for the next score, and within in 2.5 minutes, Canada was up 14-0. Ciaran Hearn nailed the subsequent kickoff, and Conor Trainor was perfectly positioned on Jamaica’s side of the ball for the tap, but he just bobbled it forward. No matter, as Canada was quickly back in possession working phases toward the tryline. Jamaica did a decent job on coverage, so when Hassler and Sean Duke lined up against two defenders on the weakside, it looked like that ball would need to recycle again. But then Hassler put up this brilliant chip that followed the touchline and landed perfectly for a quick pickup and dot-down by Duke.
Hassler didn’t have time to catch his breath. As soon as he returned to midfield for the kickoff, Ciaran Hearn put a low-arcing kick for Hassler to run onto, and run onto he did. He charged through the defense and when finally brought down, John Moonlight followed suit, barreling through tackles like his teammate for the try, 24-0 into halftime.
The only criticism was that, at times, Canada could over-commit in contact. Should the ball have worked out, Jamaica could have pounced with the overload.
But the ball just wasn’t bouncing Jamaica’s way. They couldn’t hold onto the ball, whether because of a desperate heave backward after an unsupported break, knock-on after a stolen scrum. The second half saw one more converted try, a length-of-the-field breakaway from Hearn, coming after Jamaica’s lone shot at the tryline.