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USA Teams Book their Places in Olympic Games

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USA Teams Book their Places in Olympic Games

CARY, N.C. (USA Rugby with GRR reports) – The United States will be represented in the Rugby Sevens competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games in both genders after the Men’s and Women’s Eagles Sevens won their respective competitions at the 2015 NACRA Sevens Championships Sunday.

Both teams defeated a border rival in the Championship matches, with the women beating Mexico, 88-0, before the men sent Canada home with a 21-5 victory. In 11 combined matches, the U.S. combined to score 588 points against their opponents while only conceding 15 points.

Rugby Sevens will make its debut at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro after a 92-year hiatus for the game of rugby. The United States won gold in Rugby Union in 1920 and 1924.

Nine nations were represented at the North America Caribbean Rugby Association regional qualifier in the nine-team men’s competition and eight-team women’s competition, including Bahamas, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Guyana, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. Hosted in conjunction with Triangle Sports Commission and the Town of Cary, the tournament was streamed live online on USA Rugby TV.

The USA men cruised into the final but had a tough opponent in the championship game in Canada. But it was the USA that got on the board first, with Perry Baker blazing past several Canadian defenders to score under the posts early.

Baker was involved in the second try, too, as Andrew Durutalo poached the ball out of a ruck deep inside the USA 22, and Baker cut through the middle to get the attack started before offloading the Danny Barrett in support Barrett thundered ahead and had all sorts of work to do, but he just made the line as Sean Duke tackled him. Both of those tries were converted by Madison Hughes.

Then some superb teamwork allowed Maka Unufe to go in for a try and a commanding 21-0 lead.

But after Fulau Niua was sin-binned for use of the knee, the USA had to spend much of the second half defending. Barrett and Carlin Isles - on early for a concussed Perry Baker - made some crucial tackles as Canada tried desperately to score. Canada did get over the line with Harry Jones, but Canada couldn't do any more against a brave USA defense, and the Eagle men won 21-5.The USA men allowed only two tries all weekend.


For the women, things were a lot easier. The Eagles went into the final against Mexico averaging 56 points a game and having given up one try in five games. They were clinical against the Mexican team. Lauren Doyle scored three tries to take her tournament total to 12. Kate Zackary was brilliant, powering through for tries and winning restarts. Kelly Griffin was brilliant as well as the USA team just poured it on,  winning 88-0.

More coming on these games later.  

Men's Eagles Sevens | 2015 NACRA Sevens Championships
Carlin Isles
2. Chris Wyles
3. Danny Barrett
4. Garrett Bender
5. Zack Test
6. Andrew Durutalo
7. Folau Niua
8. Maka Unufe
9. Nate Augspurger
10. Madison Hughes (C)
Perry Baker
12. Martin Iosefo

Men's Eagles Sevens | 2015 NACRA Sevens Championships
v Saint Vincent and the Grenadines - W (forfeit)
v Barbados - W 54-0
v Mexico - W 50-0
v Jamaica - W 40-5
Cup Semifinal v Cayman Islands - W 64-0
Cup Final v Canada - W 21-5

Women's Eagles Sevens | 2015 NACRA Sevens Championships
Joanne Fa'avesi
2. Kelly Griffin
3. Kate Zackary
4. Alev Kelter
5. Dana Meschisi
6. Lauren Doyle
7. Kristen Thomas
8. Richelle Stephens
9. Melissa Fowler
10. Hannah Lopez
11. Lorrie Clifford
12. Carmen Farmer

Women's Eagles Sevens | 2015 NACRA Sevens Championships
v. Jamaica - W 45-0
v. Barbados - W 74-0
v. Cayman Islands - W 50-0
Cup QF v. Bahamas - W 59-0
Cup SF v. Jamaica - W 53-5
Cup Final v. Mexico - W 88-0