Saturday, November 4, 2017

Silicon Valley 7s Round One Recap

Round one of the Silicon Valley 7s is in the books. There were a few surprises in round one including convincing wins for Australia over Fiji and Canada over England. That said, the most surprising result was Chile upsetting New Zealand 7-0 thanks to some great clock management, taking advantage of opportunities, and the rainy conditions.

Japan against China kicked things off and the Japanese were on the board within seconds as they took the opening kick in for the try. It snowballed from there with the team running in three more tries in the half to lead 28-0.  The tries kept on coming in the second half with Japan eventually winning 47-0.

If the Japan-China match was a snoozer the Australia-Fiji match immediately following it provided a lot of entertainment. Australia did a good job of holding on to the ball early and getting Fiji to commit numbers into the breakdown. That eventually allowed Australia to push it out wide for their first try. Australia then got another advantage when they earned a turnover and Fiji tackled early sending a man to the bin.

Despite being a man down Fiji got within inches of the line before spilling the ball. After a few resets things swung in favour of Australia again when they stole the ball and went the length of the pitch for their second try. At halftime Australia led 10-0. The second half saw both teams fight it out but only Australia was able to make a breakthrough with a near repeat of the first half. Clinical defense and good ball movement led to three more tries to win 29-0.

Take the jump to read more.

Canada opened the scoring in Pool A with a methodical try in the corner by John Moonlight. England would respond right back with quick recycled ball to get their try in the corner. Both teams missed the conversions to knot things up at 5-5. The teams would continue to trade tries as Isaac Kaay crossed over for Canada to lead 12-5 at halftime. The Canadians would extend that lead in the second half and despite trying England could never find much room to work against Canada who were strong in defense. England would score a late try as time expired to make it 19-10.

Thanks to Canterbury USA for making this weekend's coverage possible. 
In the Ireland-Samoa match neither team seemed to be able to hold on to the ball much in the slippery conditions. There were a few half chances but neither team was able to make a break putting the score at 0-0. A fine drizzle had been pounding the pitch all morning and after some use became quite slippery. Ireland were finally the first to score as they did so in the corner just a minute into the second half. Samoa returned the favor a minute later as they slipped through a tackle to go in their respective corner. Given the conditions there were a lot of corner tries on the day. That try seemed to energize Samoa as they began to break Ireland down. Soon they added their second and final try. Samoa 10-5 Ireland.

The rain continued to have an impact as Pool C kicked off between Chile and New Zealand. It was expected that New Zealand would run Chile off the pitch, even with a young team, but it was the Chileans that were able to take advantage. Despite some close calls on both sides with players feet from scoring a try it was Chile that were finally able to find a try after some good pressure to lead 7-0 at the half. It seemed that Chile wouldn't get as many of the beaks in the second half as they were shown a yellow card. However, they were able to keep New Zealand from scoring but creating knock-ons. Soon it was the All Blacks that would have player in the bin allowing Chile to take more time off the clock. That they would do to perfect. New Zealand had one last chance to win it at the end but Chile stole the lineout to secure the victory.

Lastly, the U.S. beat Tonga 29-7. You can read a recap of that game here.

Pool B

Japan 47-0 China
Australia 29-0 Fiji

Pool A

Canada 19-10 England
Samoa 10-5 Ireland

Pool C

Chile 7-0 New Zealand
USA 29-7 Tonga

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