Written by Alex Goff    Wednesday, 17 July 2013 14:55    PDF Print Write e-mail
USA Wins Maccabiah Gold
International - International News

The USA has won the Gold Medal in Rugby 7s in the Maccabiah Games in Israel.

The USA, which started the day 0-1-1 after tying South Africa and losing to Israel, made the Gold Medal game by defeating Great Britain 35-0.

That set up a final against 3-0 Israel, who looked exceptionally fit and powerful in allowing only one try in the first three games.

But the USA squad looked capable of scoring at any time, and surged down the wing in the opening moments. After keeping the ball in the Israel end for a time, the USA put captain Dallen Stanford over the line for a try and a 5-0 lead.

Israel came right back with a nicely-taken weakside move off a scrum. Israel led 7-5.

That's how the half ended. The USA had chances to score, but knocked the ball on at crucial moments.

In the second half, the Americans looked far more relaxed against a very physical Israel team. A brilliant long-range movement put Willie Rudman over under the posts. Taylor Howden's kick made it 12-7. Then a turnover by the USA defense put Joe Cohen in at the corner to make it 17-7.

But Israel replied, against punishing a knock-on in the USA end and scoring from a scrum. That made it 17-14 with time left.

Again the USA knocked on in their half. But good defense forced a turnover, and a high tackle penalty against Israel gave the Americans the chance to kick to touch. They did, got a free kick at that lineout, and kicked to touch to end the game. USA 17 Israel 14.

It was a superb effort by Israel, who shut out both South Africa and Great Britain. They were fit, physical, and quick, but the USA showed a little more rugby acumen, led by tournament MVP Dallen Stanford, and that was the difference.

South Africa defeated Great Britain 19-12 for the bronze.

USA 17
Tries: Stanford, Rudman, Cohen
Convs: Howden

Israel 14