From USA Rugby:
Eagles start strong in Hong Kong with defeat of Samoa
Danny Barrett wasted no time in getting the Eagles on the scoreboard in the first minute. After the Eagles won the kickoff, Barrett received the ball wide on the wing and stepped over one tackle before fending off another for the try. Madison Hughes kicked the conversion for a 7-0 lead with less than a minute gone.
The Eagles won the next restart, as well, and worked the ball towards the Samoan try line, showing the continuity of a seasoned team with four of the starting seven – Barrett, Garrett Bender, Pono Haitsuka and Hughes – combining for just 14 IRB HSBC Sevens World Series tournament appearances. Zack Test, with an Eagles-high 42 appearances going into Hong Kong Sevens, scored the team’s second try with a fend of his own in the middle of the field and a dive into the corner. The Eagles led 12-0 with two tries in as many minutes.
Samoa responded in the sixth minute through Sani Niue. Following an Eagles penalty and a lineout deep in attacking territory, Samoa moved the ball quickly to Niua, who was tackled ahead of the try line but managed to reach over just before Hughes’ try-saving swipe attempt. The conversion was successful to bring Samoa within a try at 12-7.
Samoa got the ball back after the restart and moved down the field with less than a minute remaining in the half. A chip-kick attempt was blocked by Hughes at the Eagles’ 22, and a fortunate bounce set up the Dartmouth man for an 80-meter try. He kicked his own conversion to give the Eagles a 19-7 halftime lead.
The Eagles gave away possession in a dangerous position early in the second half when Nick Edwards dropped a Test pass right in front of the posts. Samoa quickly moved the ball from a set piece once again and Kelly Meafau found the corner of the try zone to bring the score to 19-12.
The Eagles were no strangers to comebacks having overturned a 17-0 halftime deficit against Samoa last weekend at Tokyo Sevens, but Matt Hawkins’ team protected the ball well in the final frame and were justly rewarded with a try in the 13th minute. Mike Te’o sent a kick deep into Samoa’s half before his opposite number replicated the act to Hughes. Hughes set up his own chip-and-chase and threw the ball up for an onrushing Test to give the Eagles the 26-12 win.
The win marks just the second time the Eagles have opened a tournament with a win this season, with the previous coming last weekend in Tokyo. The Eagles will face Scotland in the second pool match of the seventh stop of the 2013-14 IRB HSBC Sevens World Series at 11:34 P.M. ET. Follow live match updates with @USARugby on Twitter.
Men's Eagles Sevens| v Samoa
1. Mike Palefau (@ 10')
2. Nick Edwards
3. Danny Barrett
4. Garrett Bender
5. Zack Test
6. Brett Thompson
7. Marcus Satavu (@ 12')
8. Andrew Durutalo (@ 8')
9. Pono Haitsuka
10. Mike Te'o (@ 12')
11. Madison Hughes
12. Ryan Matyas (@ 14')
Men's Eagles Sevens | 26
Tries: Barrett, Test (2), Hughes
Conversions: Hughes (3)
Men's Eagles Sevens | Cathay Pacific HSBC Hong Kong Sevens
v Scotland - Friday, March 28 - 11:34 P.M. ET
From Rugby Canada:
|DAY ONE MEN'S UPDATES FROM HONG KONG 7S
Men's side got their Hong Kong Sevens campaign off to a strong start on
Friday as they overcame Portugal 35-7, with tougher tests to come on
Geraint John's outfit were impressive as they put five tries past their opponents and will enter that aforementioned pool run-in, against Argentina and England, with good confidence as they look to make a fourth straight Cup appearance on the Series.
Canada 35-7 Portugal
Line-up: 3 Nanyak Dala, 4 John Moonlight, 5 Conor Trainor, 6 Sean Duke, 7 Phil Mack, 9 Nathan Hirayama, 11 Harry Jones
Canada opened their pool account in Hong Kong with a healthy 35-7 victory over Portugal, with a +28 points return a key positive alongside the Day One triumph.
It wasn't easy and in the second-half the game was scoreless for six minutes, but Canada had arguably done enough in the opening stanza to secure the victory.
Tries came via John Moonlight (2), Nanyak Dala and Conor Trainor before Sean White had the final say in the match, scoring in added time to give the scoreline more weight going into Day Two when Canada will take on Argentina and England.
Moonlight had got the ball rolling inside a minute when his power and pace came to the fore 25 metres out, with Nathan Hirayama's successful extras making it 7-0.
Canada's second try arrived two minutes later as superb phase play led to Dala slipping through Portuguese clutches before running in close to the left upright.
It was now 14-0 before the impressive Trainor continued his great form of last week in Tokyo with a crossing of his own, bouncing off several tacklers to make it 21-0. However, Portugal's Pedro Bettencourt cut the gap to 14 at the half-time break.
Canada regrouped in the interval and it was Moonlight who set them on their way once again, this time using his strength from close range to claim a brace near the posts. Hirayama's conversion put John's charges into a comfortable 28-7 lead.
Then followed a period whereby neither team could cross the whitewash. That was until the Canadians' persistence saw reward as replacement White got in on the act with a late try that put the icing on their opening day cake at Hong Kong Stadium.
Canada's Men's Hong Kong Sevens
Canada 35-7 Portugal
Canada v Argentina:
Saturday, March 29 - 12:18 local time
Saturday, March 29 - 00:18 ET
Friday, March 28 - 21:18 PT
Canada v England:
Saturday, March 29 - 18:32 local time
Saturday, March 29 - 06:32 ET
Saturday, March 29 - 03:32 PT
All games on the HSBC Sevens World Series can be watched LIVE at www.irbsevens.com!
Canada’s Roster for Hong Kong - (Club, CRC Team) Hometown, Province
Nanyak Dala - (Castaway Wanderers RFC/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK
Sean Duke - (UVic Vikes/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Lucas Hammond - (Toronto Nomads/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
Ciaran Hearn - (Castaway Wanderers RFC/The Rock) Conception Bay South, NL
Nathan Hirayama, Captain - (UVic Vikes/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Harry Jones - (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) North Vancouver, BC
John Moonlight - (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Pickering, ON
Chauncey O’Toole - (Castaway Wanderers/Atlantic Rock) Belleisle, NB
Mike Scholz - (Castaway Wanderers RFC/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
Conor Trainor - (UBCOB Ravens/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Sean White - (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Phil Mack - (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Players Unavailable for Selection:
Connor Braid - (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Justin Douglas - (Abbotsford RFC) Abbotsford, BC
Pat Parfrey - (James Bay AA/Atlantic Rock) St. John’s, NL
Senior Men’s Team Staff:
Geraint John - Head Coach
Morgan Williams - Assistant Coach
Danielle Mah - Physiotherapist
Calum Ramsay - Performance Analyst
Lorna Barry - Strength and Conditioning Coach
Brian Hunter - Manager
Canada’s Men’s Sevens Program is proudly sponsored by Sport Canada and Own the Podium.