Written by RUGBYMag Staff    Sunday, 12 February 2012 19:15    PDF Print Write e-mail
Canada, France USA 7s Title Winners
Tournaments - USA Sevens Tournament

Canada and France are going home with some hardware. The two nations won their respective championships, ending their USA 7s experience on a high note.

Canada's Sean Duke dives over for the Bowl winner. (Dave Barpal photo)
France's three tries were enough for a Shield title. (Dobson Images)

France got the rugby ball rolling, taking the pitch against Scotland to decide the Shield. Les Bleus wasted no time and less than a minute into the game, Mathieu Acebes was crossing the tryline. Paul Albaladejo’s first of two conversions sailed over the posts for the 7-0.

Three minutes later and Scotland evened up the score. Graham Fisken’s try and Colin Gregor’s conversion put the pressure back on the French, and Albaladejo slotted a penalty before the halftime whistle for some breathing room.

France regrouped during the halftime break, shored up its defense in the second stanza, and put two more tries – from Manoel Dall and Jean Pascal – on the board. Les Bleus earned their fewest IRB 7s Series points with three, as did Scotland with two.

Bested only by the drama of the Cup final, Canada needed every second of their Bowl final to defeat Australia 19-17.

It looked like Australia was going to run over the North Americans as two tries in two minutes – from Pama Fou and Allan Fa’alava’au – put the Aussies up 10-0. The corner tries drew missed conversions, and that proved to be all the difference on the scoreboard.

But as the half drew to a close, Taylor Paris flew beneath the posts to set up an easy conversion for Nathan Hirayama, 10-7 into the break.

Canadian flyer Sean Duke needed a minute into the second half to score, a five-pointer that finally put the team ahead, and Hirayama’s second conversion made it a four-point lead, 14-10.

Not letting the boisterous Canadian crowd affect the Aussies’ drive, Jordan Tuapou scored in the third minute, and Fou’s conversion gave the Australians a 17-14 lead.

The Canadians hammered away, desperate to creep into Australia territory for the next three minutes. The perseverance paid off at minute 7:04 when Duke dove over the line for a corner try after a sustained goal-line campaign.

Shocked by the turn of events, Australia stood motionless on the field as Canada exuberantly embraced one another in the corner.

Canada earned eight IRB 7s World Series points with the title, while Australia banked seven.