The USA recorded a 45-22 victory over Australia to lift the London Sevens Cup final, round nine of the HSBC Sevens World Series, in emphatic style. Two tries from Danny Barrett and Maka Unufe helped Mike Friday’s side to the win at Twickenham, their first in the history of the Series, where a record 116 219 fans turned out over the two days, leaving them sixth overall in the standings having finished 13th last year. Friday says: ‘It is amazing, credit to those boys. The 12 of them have been absolutely fantastic and there are about another 10 back in the USA that have worked their socks off all year, their work effort has been fantastic. I’ve said to them if you work hard in life then you get the rewards and they’ve been a credit to their country and their families and I’m proud of every one of them.’
Captain Madison Hughes added: ‘It is an absolutely incredible feeling, I remember coming to this tournament as a boy watching from the stands hoping that I could play in it some day. The new management team Mike Friday, Chris Brown and Phil Greening, have revolutionsed the way in which we attack rugby, the way in which we train and our rugby lives. There is so much more to come.’ Earlier two tries from Savenaca Rawaca secured Fiji’s win over South Africa in the quarter-finals to clinch the series title for the first time since 2006 and only second-ever. Ben Ryan’s side went on to beat hosts England 26-12 in the third place play-off before lifting the title.
Ryan says: ‘I can’t really put it into words, we were just focusing on the South Africa game, but deservedly won and took the title. The boys were very overly emotional in the changing room and I had to control them a bit and remind them to start smiling and that this is supposed to be fun. It was certainly a topsy turvy weekend. We wanted to go first day unbeaten and finish what we started in Gold Coast.’ With a record 116 219 fans attending the two days fans were treated to an enthralling finale which also saw New Zealand win the Plate, Kenya the Bowl and Japan, who will be replaced by Russia as a core side next season, lifting the Shield.
Photo credit: Martin Seras Lima