The USA got off to a solid start at the NACRA 7s here in Ottawa, Canada, downing Jamaica 33-0 in pool A’s opener.
Shalom Suniula kicked off the match and lofted a nicely arcing ball for Zack Test to knock back toward his teammates. The ball worked across the field to center Luke Hume, who split and fended defenders before hitting Shalom Suniula in support.
Suniula switched fields for the subsequent kickoff and ended with the same result, as Colin Hawley went up for the steal. He handed it off to Tai Enosa, who made some good ground but then underestimated a Jamaica defender who picked off a flat pass. Fortunately a forward pass into touch set up a USA scrum in Jamaica’s end. From the set piece, Maka Unufe simply took the corner for the try. Suniula slotted his second conversion for the 14-0 lead.
In each half, Jamaica had one sustained period on offense, but the ball was rarely making significant ground forward. Some unforced errors – knock-ons mostly – hurt the Jamaican possession, but the USA defense was also quite stifling.
After some time trading possession in Jamaica’s end, Luke Hume broke the scoring lag with a goose step and incredible change of pace. Enosa hit the conversion for the 21-0 lead into the break.
A minute into the second half, Unufe got his second try of the game, staying on the heels of Test who side-stepped and stiff-armed pursuers for about 50 meters. Suniula converted, 28-0, a minute into the half.
The USA got one more try after some time driving Jamaica farther into their end. Sloppy, desperate passes started coming out of the breakdown, as Jamaica became frustrated with their lack of linebreaks. The referee appeared to miss a USA knock-on when Peter Tiberio attempted to pick off a hospital pass. The error would benefit the USA as the Eagles turned over a breakdown, shipped it to Enosa, who danced 30 meters for the try, 33-0.
There are only three teams in pool A, so the USA only has one more game today against St. Vincent and The Grenadines.