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Canada owned the podium at the Pan-Am Games over the weekend, taking gold in both the men's and women's competitions. Both Canadian teams also knocked their American counterparts out of gold medal contention.
On the women's side, the race for first was a two-team affair. The USA crushed everyone but Canada, and Canada crushed everyone, including the Eagles. In their round-robin meeting, which was moot with a rematch in the final already booked, Canada jumped out to a 24-0 halftime lead and won comfortably, 34-12. The gold medal match started out more competitively, with the Eagles claiming a 7-0 lead early on, but Canada then dumped 55 unanswered points on their rivals to win in emphatic fashion. The silver medalists are now 1-6 against Canada in 2014/2015.
On the men's side, the Eagles came in as the top seed, which meant pool play would be somewhat of a cruise followed by a tough semifinal draw. Canada fell to Argentina in the other pool, so it was a rivalry game in the semis.
Canada raced out to a 12-0 lead with tries from Harry Jones and John Moonlight. The Eagles were able to get on the board before halftime with a Carlin Isles score, and he dotted down again to start the second half. He was hit late in the try zone and had to be subbed out following the score. His teammates continued the ascendency, though, with Martin Iosefo scoring to put the USA up 19-12 with just under four minutes to play. Nathan Hirayama tied it up and Admir Cejvanovic scored the game winner at the death for a 26-19 defeat of the Americans.
The battle for bronze wasn't much of a battle, as the USA thrashed Uruguay 40-12 to win a spot on the podium. Perry Baker and Stephen Tomasin both scored twice in the game, with Mike Te'o and Garrett Bender contributing tries as well.
Canada bested Argentina in the gold medal match, picking up late tries from Phil Mack and Harry Jones to claim a 22-19 win. The competition proved quite the spectacle for Rugby Canada, hauling in two gold medals in front of a reported crowd of 18,000 fans.
The men's and women's 7s teams will now take a much deserved break after a very long season. The men will commence with the HSBC Sevens World Series in December following the World Cup. The Women's World Series dates have not yet been announced.