Canada Sevens: Argentina bags gold, BlitzBoks record all-time low
DAY THREE WRAP: Argentina was celebrating a second successive Canada Sevens title after beating France in a thrilling, end-to-end final.
Victorious Argentina captain Matthias Osadczuk said he was, “very happy for the team” after his squad had beaten France after finishing in the medal places last week in Los Angeles.
He made special mention of those players who could not made the trip to Vancouver. “For the players who are not here, we are a team, a real team and always what we do is give – give for the team, give for each other, give to be better every day.”
He added: “We feel the support from our fans in Argentina.”
Meanwhile the BlitzBoks finished in 13th position, their worst finish ever in a tournament they won three times in the last five years.
Final: Argentina pull away from battling France
Defending champions Argentina pulled away from France at the end of a thrilling finale to the Canada Sevens in Vancouver, to retain their title with a 33-21 win.
Twice in the first half, Argentina were ahead, through Marcos Moneta and player of the match Rodrigo Isgro, and twice they were pegged back by a determined France – with Theo Forner and Varian Pasquet going over.
Stephen Perez Edo Martin then sent France into the lead early in the second half before Matías Osadczuk levelled the scores at 21-21 with five minutes to play. Tobias Wade then cashed in on the pace of Moneta to score Argentina’s fourth with a minute to play before Agustin Fraga slid over to seal the deal with the clock in the red.
Bronze final: Fierce Australia force way on to podium
Henry Paterson pounced on an early Ireland error in their own 22 to set Australia on the way to a 20-5 win in the bronze final – improving on their performance in Los Angeles by one place.
Ireland’s Niall Comerford responded with a long-range try after a mistake by Australia in Irish territory before high-speed teenager Darby Lancaster picked a perfect line to run one in from halfway.
The Irish had their chances, but fierce Australia pressure forced them into faults that cost ground, possession, or both. And when Maurice Longbottom scrambled clear of a messy situation to score the Wallabies’ third, it was all over. Nathan Lawson added a fourth for good measure.
Semi-finals: Barraque guides France into season-first final
France had won only once in the pool games in Vancouver, but started putting results together in the knockout phase. Jean-Pascal Barraque led from the front as they did it again in the semi-final against Australia, recovering after conceding an early try to win 26-12.
Les Bleus’ veteran Jonathan Laugel said afterwards: “It feels really good. We don’t want to congratulate ourselves too early. We said this season that we want to win a tournament and continue to build to the Olympic Games.”
Defending Vancouver champions Argentina also came from behind to beat Ireland 14-7 in a hard-fought second semi-final to set up a clash for the title against France.
All Blacks end frustrating Vancouver weekend in style
New Zealand beat USA 52-0 on the opening day in Vancouver – and ended a frustrating tournament with a similarly impressive scoreline over the same opponents in the fifth-place final. Leroy Carter scored from the kick-off, and Joe Webber capitalised on a defensive error to score the All Blacks’ second with barely a minute on the clock for the first of his three tries of the match as they romped to a 50-7 victory.
The All Blacks had earlier ended Great Britain’s hopes with a 19-5 win. Roderick Solo had got the All Blacks’ show on the road, scoring two and making one in the first half. He would score another in New Zealand’s final outing of the weekend.
Meanwhile, Perry Baker scored in the first extra period as USA beat Fiji 24-19 in extra time in their fifth-place semi, after late defensive confusion had let the world cup winners tie the match at the end of regulation time.
Four first-half tries in rapid succession for a Paul Scanlan-inspired Samoa helped them to a 35-17 win over ninth-place rivals Kenya, on day three at BC Place. Scanlan scored two and made one in the opening period – but Kenya had the final word with a try after the hooter.
Earlier, Samoa had beaten a spirited Uruguay 38-7, while Kenya had seen off Spain 24-14.
South Africa’s disappointing Vancouver Sevens performance will see them drop down the rankings with time fast running out for Olympic qualification. But they showed champions’ character to end the competition on a positive note with two wins on the final day. They first pulled away from hosts Canada in the second half to claim a 31-14 victory, before claiming 13th place with a 17-5 win over Japan.
Player of the Final: Rodrigo Isgro
Isgro, scorer of Argentina’s second try, was at the heart of everything good that the eventual champions did in an end-to-end final that – until the very end – could have gone either way.