National rugby roundup: Eagles strong in final IRB Sevens tournament

BY HUGH BROWN

The United States picked up where they left off the previous week this past Saturday at the London IRB Sevens Tournament in England.

The Eagles opened pool play with a come from behind win over France 19-17. The U.S. was down 12-0 to start the match, but won it on Andrew Durutalo’s try. The Eagles played an excellent match against Australia in game two, but fell 19-15 in injury time after leading 15-7. The final first round match saw the United States upset South Africa 19-12.

In such a strong pool, it was perhaps the Eagles’ best Saturday IRB Sevns performance in years.

On Sunday the U.S. once again drew Australia and once again they were edged 24-19 in a closely contested match. Relegated to Plate play, the Eagles dispatched South Africa 22-5 in the semis, one of their most impressive victories to date, before falling to Fiji 14-5 in the finals.

The ninth and last IRB Sevens tournament for 2012-13 was won by New Zealand which beat Australia 47-12. The Kiwi’s also won the overall Sevens World Series Trophy for the year. South Africa finished a distant second and Fiji third. The United States finished 11th out of twenty-one countries — just ahead of Canada with a 16-23-2 record.

CANADA TOPS EAGLE U20’s

Canada took down the United States’ U20 15s side in a pair of matches played last week. In the first, played on May 8 in Blaine, Minn., Canada prevailed 26-16.  Down 9-6 at the half, the Junior All Americans took a 16-9 lead on a third penalty kick by California-Davis’ Liam Bourke and a try by Belmont Shore’s Mike Te’o. The Canadians dominated the rest of the match, outscoring the U.S. 17-0.

The May 11 match was also played in Blaine in a strong wind. Canada came out strong in this match and raced to a 27-7 halftime lead before going on for a 32-19 victory.

No players from the U, or the state of Utah, were on the Eagles’ U20 squad.

LIFE AND SAN FRANCISCO ADVANCE IN ELITE CUP

The men’s club Super League no longer exists, but in its place is the Elite Cup Championships. This past weekend Life University’s club side crushed the strong New York Athletic Club fifteen 41-17 in one semifinal. Life dominated its match as the NYAC scored two late tries in the match’s final 10 minutes.

In the other, San Francisco Golden Gate just got by Old Puget Sound Beach 22-17. San Francisco had to rally from a 17-8 deficit at the half to win its game.

The Elite Cup Championship will be played on May 25 at Infinity Park in Glendale, Colo.

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