The invitational sides are holding sway after Round 1 at the Serevi RugbyTown 7s in Glendale, Colo.
The USA Falcons, basically the USA developmental team, started the tournament off against the Chicago Lions, and looked in all sorts of trouble early on. The Falcons won their restart but dribbled and bobbled the ball backward 50 meters and almost gave up a try.
But thanks to some desperate defense, especially from Colin Hawley, the Falcons emerged out of danger and a break from Tai Enosa, linking with Rocco Mauer, eventually led to Hawley diving over for the first score.
Chicago almost got a try right back, against after Falcons mistakes, but the USA hopefuls were tough on defense. A nifty scissor move between Shalom Suniula and Zack Test put Test through.
After that the Falcons took wing. Luke Hume came on and capped off two good moves, and Carlin Isles also scored for the 31-0 shutout.
Serevi also looked a little shaky early, as they scored quickly through Miles Craigwell, but were tested by Glendale, which equalized the game through Brad Winbush. But Serevi let loose Isi Daveta, and his superb sidestepping put Serevi through 22-5.
Next up were the All Americans, and they looked very crisp against Old Puget Sound Beach. Pat Blair, Brett Thompson and Brad Harrington put the Collegiates up 21-0 at halftime. Colton Cariaga added a try as did Tim Stanfill, but OPSB did get a try back thanks to Shane Moore.
The favorite of the tournament after the first round has to be Samurai International. Featuring several well-known players, including longtime New Zealand 7s star Zar Lawrence, Samurai was crisp, physical, and fast. They were content to let Tiger Rugby try their hand at attacking, and waited for a mistake. Once that mistake came, they pounced. Ratu Kolinisau was especially dangerous, and Samurai crushed Tiger 41-7.
Tiger did get a nicely-taken try from Dominic Mauer, started by a long break from Ed Pitts.