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The USA Falcons won the three-day Serevi Rugbytown Sevens Sunday, beating Denver 36-19 in the Cup Final. Denver and the Falcons were the two most dominant teams throughout the weekend, though Army was impressive.
Army won the Armed Forces National Championship by going 4-0 in the all-military pool and beating Air Force in the military championship game on Saturday. Army beat Mexico in the Cup Quarterfinals and lost narrowly, 22-14, to the Falcons in the semis.
The win marks the first of any tournament by the Falcons, who have competed in several, like Rugbytown 7s and the Las Vegas Invitational, over the past few years. USA 7s assistant Chris Brown coached the team and was assisted by Paul Golding.
Maka Unufe was the Falcons’ standout performer throughout the tournament, and his four-try effort in the final was the difference. He left the game at the end of the first half with a cut on his head, and ran in a second-half hat-trick with a taped up dome.
From the opening kickoff Denver displayed some stellar defense, repelling a long possession by the Falcons. When Denver finally got the ball after Perry Baker was called for holding on in the tackle, Ben Pinkelman offloaded through two tacklers to Gannon Moore, who outraced Nese Malifa for the game’s opening try.
Perry Baker put the Falcons on the board immediately thereafter. He got some room, split Michael Al-Jiboori and Kevon Williams to break the line and left Maximo DeAchaval empty handed on the attempted cover tackle.
Denver then made a rare mistake, allowing the Falcons to take the lead. Al-Jiboori laid a grubber that Malifa scooped up, and Maka Unufe was able to shimmy through the defensive line and cruise under the posts. All of the first three conversion attempts were made, so the Falcons led 14-7
Al-Jiboori almost nullified the mistake with a midfield break, but Unufe was able to catch him from behind, and the attempted offload to DeAchaval went to ground.
The Falcons then extended their lead right on halftime. Bobby Impson was called for entering a ruck from offside deep in Denver’s own end, and a simple penalty play saw Mike Ziegler run in untouched. The conversion was missed, and the Falcons led 19-7 at the break.
Unufe scored back-to-back tries and dug the hole a little deeper for Denver just after halftime. The got the first by catching an offload from Andrew Durutalo after a series of turnovers. The second came after Denver missed long on a defensive lineout. Malifa converted the latter to make it 31-7.
Taylor Howden got one back for Denver shortly after a Falcon penalty. He threw a hard dummy on Ryan Thompson and cut back for the try. Kevon Williams put five more on the board for Denver when an attempted switch between Don Pati and Thompson hit the ground. De Achaval converted the Howden try, so Denver trailed 31-19 with about 90 seconds left, but Unufe ran in his fourth try directly off the kickoff to seal the win.
|3rd||Negro y Azul|
|10th||Royal Air Force|
|T-11th||Republic of Texas|
|FRI||Pool A||Army||29-0||Coast Guard|
|FRI||Pool A||Coast Guard||15-15||Air Force|
|FRI||Pool C||Negro y Azul||26-17||Bermuda|
|FRI||Pool D||All Americans||38-0||Royal Air Force|
|FRI||Pool A||Air Force||24-5||Navy|
|FRI||Pool A||Marines||24-14||Coast Guard|
|FRI||Pool C||USA Falcons||26-7||Negro y Azul|
|FRI||Pool C||USA Hawks||12-12||Bermuda|
|FRI||Pool D||Northeast||22-15||All Americans|
|FRI||Pool D||Denver||28-14||Royal Air Force|
|FRI||Pool A||Air Force||24-5||Marines|
|FRI||Pool A||Coast Guard||14-10||Navy|
|SAT||Pool C||USA Falcons||43-7||Bermuda|
|SAT||Pool C||Negro y Azul||22-14||USA Hawks|
|SAT||Pool D||Northeast||21-17||Royal Air Force|
|SAT||Pool D||Denver||24-14||All Americans|
|SAT||Pool A||Army||31-5||Air Force|
|SAT||Military Final||Army||26-15||Air Force|
|SAT||Bowl QF||Royal Air Force||37-7||Coast Guard|
|SAT||Bowl QF||USA Hawks||42-14||Bahamas|
|SAT||Bowl QF||All Americans||36-7||Navy|
|SAT||Cup QF||USA Falcons||26-12||Northeast|
|SAT||Cup QF||Denver||28-10||Air Force|
|SAT||Cup QF||Negro y Azul||28-21||Glenale|
|SUN||Shield SF||Coast Guard||19-5||Bahamas|
|SUN||Bowl SF||Royal Air Force||31-0||USA Hawks|
|SUN||Bowl SF||All Americans||24-7||Texas|
|SUN||Plate SF||Glendale||24-19||Air Force|
|SUN||Cup SF||USA Falcons||22-14||Army|
|SUN||Cup SF||Denver||21-12||Negro y Azul|
|SUN||Shield Final||Bermuda||29-14||Coast Guard|
|SUN||Bowl Final||All Americans||19-12||Royal Air Force|
|SUN||3rd/4th||Negro y Azul||17-10||Army|
|SUN||Cup Final||USA Falcons||36-19||Denver|