Restarts were the star of the USA’s 64-0 win over St. Vincent & The Grenadines, the second of the Eagles’ victories at the NACRA 7s Championship. Several tries were run in off kickoffs snatched from the opposition, and everyone got a chance to pluck one out of the sky.
Zack Test provided the standard from the opening kickoff, fielding the dropkick cleanly and with little opposition. A couple of shoves later and he was in the try zone, 13 seconds into the game.
It would become a familiar scene throughout the 14 minutes. Jack Halalilo recovered Shalom Suniula’s next restart. After traversing the width of the field twice, the ball ended in Luke Hume’s hands. He split the defense for the 12-0 lead.
At the three-minute mark, Test logged his second try. Then Peter Tiberio got into the high-flying antics, sacrificing his body to regain a restart. Tiberio ended the scrumhalf from a subsequent ruck and sent an iffy pass to Hume, who managed to clean it up and ship the ball to Halalilo. A little dance and Halalilo was in for the try, which Suniula converted, 24-0.
Mike Palefau, Rocco Mauer and Taylor Mokate also set the stage for tries, reining in kickoffs and keeping the ball in the USA’s hands. Spectators also got to see Carlin Isles and his impressive breakaway speed for the first time today, as the wing turned the corner for a try.
The game ended with Mexico lineout near their 22 meter. Mauer went up into the lineout unassisted, poached the throw-in, and fought his way into the try zone.
It was a pretty replete performance for the Eagles, and St. Vincent & The Grenadines never had a chance to show what they could do on offense. Stay tuned for comments from USA 7s coach Alex Magleby and Mokate.