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Canada claims maiden title

Updated: 08:00 18-04-2017

In a weekend of upsets Canada won their first-ever Cup title, a 26-19 win over the United States on Sunday.

Canada – who also beat New Zealand (in the quarterfinals) and England (semifinals) – had to work hard to beat the Americans in an all-North American final in Round Eight of the Sevens World Series.

Canada have been competing in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series since 1999, but this is the first time they've ever tasted that winning feeling in the Cup Final.

"I am speechless," Canadian hero Nathan Hirayama said.

"I am so proud of the boys. Working so hard for a long time.

"It feels good to put it together. Fiji was a wake-up call [in the pool stages in Saturday], it wasn't good enough, but we just kept on rolling today [Sunday]."

The USA earlier knocked out Australia to book Cup Final spot with 40-7 win, but just came up short in the Final.

England took third place with 14-12 victory over Australia.

Wales won the Challenge Trophy Final with 24-12 win over Scotland.

New Zealand took fifth spot with hard-fought 17-12 win against South Africa.

Despite not making it past the quarterfinals for the first time this season, the BlitzBoks (on 157) stretched their lead at the top of he World Series standings to 25 points over Fiji (132) and 27 points over England (130).

We look at all the finals!

Cup Final – United States 19-26 Canada

Almost straight away Matt Mullins went striding away from some mis-tackles and Perry Baker ran out of real estate to haul him down.

Veteran John Moonlight sent it inside to Harry Jones and he tore away unchallenged for the line.

At this stage the United States were yet to pass the ball, and then Mike Fuailefau slammed down a third!

The Americans made a mess of it at the breakdown and now the Canadian juices were really flowing.

John Moonlight showed Perry Baker the inside and Baker moved to the top of the season's try scoring charts and got the USA right back in it with a crucial five-pointer, before Madison Hughes found some space and Stephen Tomasin finished in the corner that left us with a seven-point game at the break.

The USA have clawed this one back despite only making two completed passes in the first half!

Brilliant, brave defence from the Canadians to denied the USA at one end.

They kept their composure and used the self-belief their coach spoke about to slam their way upfield and Lucas Hammond stormed Damian McGrath's men into the lead in the final two minutes.

Bronze Final – Australia 12-14 England

It was one of England's youngsters, 18-year-old Callum Sirker, who struck the first blow and celebrated only the second try of his career.

The followed length-of-the-field stuff from Australia as Andy Friend's side provided the perfect riposte to England's quick start.

Liam McNamara ran a lovely running line and darted over the line to lock it up at seven each, before Henry Hutchison – one of the best finishers in the business this season – received a stunning 25-metre pass from John Porch and put his country ahead.

Student Harry Glover put Simon Amor's side back in the lead in this topsy-turvy Bronze Final.

Australia fumbled it forward at the death in a last-gasp attempt to steal the win in the corner.

It's total delight for Phil Burgess and the rest of the England players.

Fifth-place play-off – South Africa 12-17 New Zealand

The game started with a first five-pointer in the World Series for Stedman Gans.

He used some magical footwork and a hop, skip and a waltz to just about carry it to the line and, after a quick check with the TMO, Gans is embraced by his teammates.

New Zealand responded in quickfire fashion as Joe Ravouvou took it over and Beaudein Waaka judged his conversion kick to perfection.

Philip Snyman barged over right on half-time to regain the lead for South Africa.

New Zealand missed six tackles and had a completion rate of just 54 percent in the first half.

There was majestic footwork from Sione Molia as he glided through unchallenged on the outside, after South Africa were caught napping from the scrum. The Kiwis took a five-point lead when Vilimoni Koroi got his first score of the weekend, after Sam Dickson sucked in two defenders.

The work rate from both teams had been huge, but New Zealand held on for the win.

Challenge Trophy Final – Scotland 12-24 Wales

Quick feet from Jamie Farndale saw him touch down the first five points of the Challenge Trophy Final.

At the other end, there was a lovely run on the outside from Billy McBryde to get the Welsh up and running.

But they fall asleep after some wiry running from Mark Robertson and James Fleming picked up at the breakdown to send the Scots in front at the break.

Next followed a magnificent score from Luke Treharne to take Wales to within two points of their opponents.

Scotland are shunted into touch and Wales had to go from deep. Luke Morgan roared down the right and Wales took the lead.

Immense pressure from Sam Cross forced the Scots to knock on, and the Welsh pounced to seal the win in style.

"Unfortunately we lost twice on Saturday," Wales' Sam Cross said.

"But we got there in the end. We went into that thinking we didn't want to lose. The boys are tired, Sevens is tough and it's been a hard two weeks, but a good way to end."

Thirteenth-place play-off – Argentina 40-19 Russia

The Russians, in a relegation battle with Japan, made a super start as Ilya Babaev went skipping over in the corner. Dmitry Sukhin then exploited the gap this time to extend his country's lead.

At the other end, Franco Sabato made it a fab five in Singapore after stepping on the gas 30 metres out.  Vladislav Lazarenko and Ilya Babaev were both sent to the sin-bin, and German Schulz's converted try locked  it up at 12-all at the break.

A double from German Schulz has shifted the momentum in favour of the Los Pumas Sevens, and those two yellow cards cost Russia dearly.

Argentina took further advantage of their numerical advantage – 17 points now – as Gaston Revol swept through.

Argentina made it look straightforward in the end as Lucas Belloto cruised over their sixth score. The Los Pumas Sevens finish with a flourish and take 13th place in Singapore.

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Published: 17:30 16-04-2017

Posted by on April 16, 2017.

Categories: Rugby, Sport

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Updated: 09:32 22-Jun-2018