If the Plate final carries the excitement of its semifinals, then USA 7s fans are in for an epic title match. Argentina upset England 21-19, while Kenya held off Wales 22-14 for berths to the championship.
With the exception of Argentina, all of the Plate semifinalists played close games during the Cup quarterfinal. But after a sound night’s rest, Argentina looked renewed and ready for their battle with England.
Tries from Nicolas Bruzzone and Agustin Migliore, and two conversions Valentin Cruz put Argentina up 14-0 after five-and-a-half minutes. Deep into injury time, England’s golden boy on the wing, Dan Norton, put his side on the board with a five-pointer that Marcus Watson converted.
Migliore banked his second try of the day early in the second half and Cruz slotted his final conversion of the match for the 21-7 lead. But an Argentina sin bin to Cruz in the fourth minute gave the Roses some room for a comeback, and Tom Mitchell’s try a minute later closed the gap to 21-12. That missed conversion from Watson, however, proved to be the difference in the game.
Chris Cracknell dotted down in injury time, a score that Watson converted, but the seven points weren’t enough, 21-19.
Argentina will have their hands full with Kenya – and the country’s hundreds of fans cheering in the stands. They had plenty of reason to cheer during their team’s 21-14 Plate semifinal win over Wales, and will test their lungs in the title match.
Wales struck first, sending Richard Smith over the line for the game’s first score, while Alex Walker split the posts for the 7-0. A couple of minutes later, Humphrey Kayange added to his team-tying try count (tied with Collins Injera) for Kenya’s first try and Lavin Asego kicked the extras, 7-all.
Injera evened up with Kayange’s four tournament tries 33 seconds into the second half, and Wales answered with a Kristian Phillips try to take a 14-12 lead.
Kenya brought Oscar Ouma on in the fourth minute and less than a minute later, he was crossing the line for the go-ahead points. He converted his score for the 19-14 lead, and Asego added a penalty in injury time to pad the lead, 22-14.
Tries: Bruzzone, Migliore 2
Conversions: Cruz 3
Tries: Norton, Mitchell, Cracknell
Conversions: Watson 2
Tries: Kayange, Injera, Ouma
Conversions: Asega, Ouma
Tries: Smith, Phillips
Conversions: Walker 2