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USA Wins Bronze in Maccabiah Games Sevens

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USA Wins Bronze in Maccabiah Games Sevens

Will Crawford (Houston Sabercats), Alex Appel (Mystic River), and Joe Goldbloom (Denver Barbarians) display their bronze medals.

The USA Maccabiah Games men's rugby team won Bronze in the Men's 7s competition Wednesday, beating Great Britain 34-5 in the 3rd-4th game.

The Americans had endured a rough first day of competition, losing close matches to Israel 17-12) and South Africa (19-12). (A previous report had the South Africa score at 26-5, which was how the Maccabiah Games reported the score; however the USA team told GRR it was really 19-12 and that one try had been mist-credited to South Africa).

All of that mean that today's final pool games didn't affect the matchups for the medals. USA, 0-2, played Great Britain, 0-2, and won 24-0. Israel, for their part, edged South Africa 15-12. 

That all led to the medal games. There, the USA hammered GB 34-5 to take bronze. Ari Flink scored three tries in that game as the USA team was excellent at restart retention and so kept the attacking going in relentless fashion.

"Coach Taylor Howden did an outstanding job putting a 7s team together with only a couple of 7s trainings," said program director Dave Rudzinsky. "As for me, I am incredibly proud of this group for their resilience after a tough Day 1. It was great to have our USA women's team supporting us as well."

Israel, meanwhile, completed what has to be considered a bit of an upset with a 12-5 defeat of South Africa to win gold.

So the teams will celebrate this tournament, briefly, and then get back to work as the first game of the 15s tournament kicks off on July 15 (Israel vs South Africa, ironically), and the USA takes on GB on the 17th.