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The Sevens Floodgates Open

irish rugby tours

The Sevens Floodgates Open

Epic splashdown for Argentina. David Barpal photo.

Thor the god of thunder stomped his way across the Southern California sky Saturday, showing himself too strong even for the most hardy of rugby fans and the most gritty of rugby players.

With him came Freyr, the goddess of rain (and of sunshine, just to tease us, of course) and she carried a message from Ullr, the god of snow, whose message was a little garbled, hence the hail that crashed down on Dignity Health Sports Park.

The weather played havoc with the LA 7s, forcing at least two delays in the proceedings and splintering the LA Invitational to four different venues, a variety of new schedule changes, and a lot of frustration.

The weather had its effect on the games, that’s for sure. Great Britain, in a fight for their position on the World Series, opened up the proceedings with a splashy win over a very skilled Argentina 7-5. The result festered in the Argentinian camp and they took their frustrations out on France.

The USA has ball and opportunity against Samoa, and perhaps on a drier surface might have broken through. Instead, they were stopped, and slid off some crucial tackles to fall behind 21-0.

(The third try could have been called back for a knock-on, but wasn’t.)

The Eagles had chances to burn on the edge, but made passing errors, connection errors, or just seemed a little timid on whether to take the plunge or not. Whatever the issues, they couldn’t come back from three scores down, even though they tried. Samoa won 26-19.

It was the same story against New Zealand, starting flat, not winning restarts and getting caught out on defense. They fell behind 24-5 only to inch closer … not close enough as New Zealand won 36-15.

They could unleash Malachi Esdale or David Still at times, but New Zealand's ball handling was too good.

Kenya looked good in winning their opener—their high-knee, straight-ahead style seemed to handle the Dignity Health flood plain.

Fiji just shrugged and kept playing. Team GB won their second and are on the cusp of a trip to the quarterfinals, one which almost ensure they won’t have to re-qualify to stay on the World Series circuit.  

It’s entertaining stuff, albeit entertaining with those maddening lightning breaks.