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The matchup for the Cup Final in the Men’s Elite bracket at the Las Vegas Invitational is set. Serevi Selects will face Tribe Saturday morning for the championship. The sides have already played in the tournament, with Tribe winning Thursday.
To get there, Tribe defeated Denver in the quarter finals, 14-10. Tribe’s first try came from a possession starting deep inside their 22, while the second came from a turnover inside Denver’s half. Those two early tries were too much of a hole for Denver to climb out of. Malon Al-Jiboori scored Denver’s first try and was one of the standout players. It was 14-5 at the half, and neither side started crisply in the second half. Denver did get another try in the second half, but it was not enough. The match concluded with Tribe running out the clock. Tribe coach Lewis Holland had mentioned their tendency to play better in the first half than the second, but they had enough to advance.
In the other semi-final, the Germany Developmental side started well. They scored a try using pace out wide early, and their defense was ready for the Serevi Selects early on. Most of the first half was an arm wrestle, and the halftime score was 5-0. In the second half, Psalm Wooching scored a statement try with two big fends and a big five into the try zone. Shalom Suniula kicked over the difficult conversion to give Serevi Selects the lead. The Germany response was a well-worked, patient try. Then it was Serevi Selects turn, though they had to work hard for the try that tied the match 12-12 as Germany continued to work hard on defense. With little time remaining, a Germany player was injured and stayed down in back play. He was tended to and then left the field while play continued. When he left the field, another player for Germany entered the match, still while play was continuing, sprinted down the field and made a tackle. Germany was yellow carded for the improper substitution. On the last play of the match, Setareki Bituniyata scored the match-winning try. The final score was 17-12.
In the quarter finals earlier in the day, Denver defeated Selects, 33-14. Northeast ODA lost to Tribe 19-14. In that match, Tribe was up 12-0 at half, but the Northeast comeback started too late. Germany controlled the match against Borelli Walsh and won 30-12. Against 1823, Serevi Selects started well and won 26-5.
The final is on Friday in Sam Boyd Stadium at 10:34am, local time.