Sunday, November 5, 2017

Silicon Valley 7s Quarterfinal Recap

The final four at the Silicon Valley 7s is set. All of the top four teams won with the exception of Samoa who lost to England. The U.S., Australia, and Chile will round out the semi-finals.

The first quarterfinal was a trans-Tasman affair with New Zealand and Australia. New Zealand were not good to downright dreadful on day one highlighted by their loss to Chile. On the flip side Australia were very strong and finished with the best record on the day. The same errors that plagued New Zealand on day one cropped up again with sloppy handling gifting Australia possession. It was only a matter of time before Australia took advantage to the tune of two tries and a 12-0 lead. The potential was always there for New Zealand even if the execution often let them down. It finally work, however, with a minute left in the half and they were able to get on the board for the first time as a result. Still, Australia have shown that they can find something out of nothing which they did on a loose ball at the end of the half. At the break it was 19-7 to Australia.

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New Zealand had the best chance to start the second half but the Australian defense dug deep and prevented the try. The All Blacks continued to punish themselves with errors while Australia were eager to pounce. Ed Jenkins would prove to be influential for Australia with tries tries in the game, including the first try of the second half. Australia would add two more tries to end the match at 40-7.

In their quarterfinal match the U.S. rolled past Fiji 24-5. A recap of that match is here.

The third match of the round saw England take full control of their match against Samoa. It was a bit surprising given how sluggish England were yesterday and how strong Samoa looked at times. England ran out to a big lead but Samoa scored a couple of times at the end to make it 25-10.

Chile continued their strong run of form with a try against Japan to go up 7-0. With a couple of minutes left in the half Japan simply wore Chile down to get within two. Still, Chile continued to find magical moments. WIth just seconds left in the half a Chilean intercepted the ball as a Japanese player was trying to offload and took it the rest of the way for the try. At the half Chile led 14-5. They extended that lead a minute and half into the second stanza. Unlike the first two attempts the conversion was not successful but with the clocking winding down Chile held a 19-5 advantage. Japan made things interesting with a corner try with two minutes remaining. They could have made a one try score but the conversion was off putting them in a 19-10 hole. Chile sealed the match thanks to a late try. Final: Chile 24-10 Japan.

That sets the quarterfinals with Australia playing Chile and the U.S. facing England.

In the Bowl competition Ireland were on the board less than 30 seconds into their match against Ireland. It was a simple case of grabbing the restart and finding China unable to respond. That happened twice in the first half pushing Ireland to a 17-5 lead at halftime. Ireland would eventually win 38-5.

Ireland will play Canada in the Bowl final thanks to their win over Canada. Similar to the Ireland match it didn't take long for Canada to get on the board. Also similar to Ireland the tries kept on coming with Canada going up 24-0 at the beak. Three tries in the second half meant Canada went away 41-0 winners. 

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