Saturday, November 4, 2017

Silicon Valley 7s Round Three Recap

It's down to eight at the Silicon Valley 7s. Australia, the U.S., Chile, Japan, New Zealand, Fiji, England, and Samoa. Round three offered up some unpredictability, especially in the seedings. Australia finished top overall and will play New Zealand, the lowest seed, tomorrow.

After playing very poorly in their first two matches of the day China suddenly found themselves with plenty of opportunities. In a day of bizarre moments and bizarre weather China took a 5-0 lead on Fiji. Sure, Fiji struck back to lead 7-5 but China would go into the break with a try just before halftime. Still, it was fleeting as Fiji ran away with the match in the second half to win 35-15.

One of the more anticipated matches of the final round was Australia against Japan. The first half was mostly even with Japan having a little more of the ball. That paid dividends as they took a 7-0 lead with three minutes left in the half. Australia got right back into it, however, with some clinical play from a set piece. That's how they started the second half as well with a try just thirty seconds in. That pushed Australia's lead to 17-7. They would continue to pour it on with three more tries to win 36-7.

England were one of the more disappointing teams on the day but they rebounded with a solid result against Ireland. They were up 21-0 on Ireland after the first half. That only went up in the second half to 26-5.

Take the jump to read more.

The win complicated things a bit in Pool A with Samoa leading but Canada with a chance to take the pool. Like many of the matches in the round the two teams were cagey with each other to start. The difference came from Liam Underwood and Canada led 7-0. Canada's defense helped them keep Samoa off the board for much of the half but under relentless pressure they finally caved and Samoa equaled the score at 7-7. John Moonlight opened things up in the second half but was the nature of the match Samoa equalized not long after at 12-12. The drama came right at the end. Thanks to some great defense they were able to halt the Canadian attack and go on a try search of their own. They needed the help of a couple of penalties but eventually they would get it after the hooter. Final: Samoa 17-12 Canada.

Samoa's win put a lot of pressure on New Zealand. They needed to beat Tonga by more than 10 to leapfrog past Canada and grab the last quarterfinal spot. An early try helped the cause and despite Tongan pressure they got another just at the stroke of halftime. They continued that with more tries in the second half as a nasty fading-at-the-end-of-matches streaked reared again for Tonga.

In the pool decider the U.S. beat Chile. You can read a recap of that match here.

Pool B

Fiji 35-15 China
Australia 29-7 Japan

Pool A

England 26-5 Ireland
Samoa 17-12 Canada

Pool C

New Zealand 34-0 Tonga

Tomorrow's Cup Match-ups

Australia vs. New Zealand
U.S. vs. Fiji
Samoa vs. England
Chile vs. Japan


Ireland vs. China
Canada vs. Tonga

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