The Serevi Selects and Tribe have survived to advance to the Men's Elite final at the Las Vegas Invitational. The two teams met earlier in pool play where Tribe beat Serevi but the Seattle side seemed to find their groove on day two. The final will be in the stadium on Saturday at 1:34 a.m. et/10:34 a.m. pt.
The day began with the quarterfinals. In the first quarterfinal the Denver 7s were extremely impressive in their 28-14 win over the Selects. Michael and Malon Al-Jiboori proved to be extremely effective together. So was Max De Achaval who had a highlight reel try as he soccer kicked the ball as he spilled toward him to recover for the match's first try. The Selects had Eagles 7s pool play Aladdin Schirmer on their roster.
The second semi-final of the day was the tightest. The Northeast Academy had their opportunities against Tribe but the Australian outfit to full advantage of every Northeast Academy mistake to take a 19-0 lead. Full credit to the Northeast Academy for coming back with two tries at the end to make it competitive.
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Germany were also impressive in their 30-12 win over Borelli Walsh. Germany struck early and often, in particular through their speedy #7 who caused havoc all day. They went out to a big lead before play was stopped for an injury to a Borelli Walsh player. In the last quarterfinal the Serevi Selects beat Tiger 1823 26-5.
All four teams in the semi-finals had been excellent in the tournament and it set up two great matches. In the Denver-Tribe match Tribe stuck to the same formula that gave them success against the Northeast Academy. Denver had their moments of looking great but Tribe did the small things to score the first try of the day. They then picked up a second to lead 14-0. Denver did their best to come back with a couple of tries but Tribe, who is a feeder team to the Australian national team, did well to close out the match.
The Serevi-Germany game was the best of the day. With a roster of the likes of Shalom Suniula, Mike Palefau, Psalm Wooching, and Peter Tiberio the Serevi Selects were excellent on attack. Despite that it was Germany that would score first through their speedy wing. Serevi didn't help themselves with small errors and trailed at the half 5-0. In the second half they played a much more expansive style and were soon able to find Wooching on the wing where he trucked over a couple of defenders for the score. Germany struck back but Serevi soon equalized. With the match on the line the Selects smartly worked their way down the pitch until they found the gap need to get the winning try.
After the match we spoke with Shalom Suniula.
Denver 28-14 Selects
Tribe 21-14 Northeast Academy
Germany 30-12 Borelli Walsh
Denver 12-14 Tribe
Serevi 17-12 Germany