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The USA Maccabiah Games rugby team will start their 15s tournament against Canada on July 21, but already have gold, as they defeated Israel 17-14 in the final of the rugby 7s event Wednesday in Tel Aviv.

This is the first rugby gold for the USA in what is dubbed the Jewish Olympics since 1997, when they beat South Africa for the 15s title.The accomplishment was made all the more impressive due to the fact that the USA's best 7s player, current Eagle Zack Test, was unable to play due to injury. Former USA 7s player Dallen Stanford, who captained the squad, was named tournament MVP.

This is the first year that 7s has been competed in the Maccabiah Games. The USA has a strong team, but so does South Africa and Great Britain, and Israel looked better than they have ever looked in the 7s tournament.

Below are photos and box scores from the 7s tournament:



Pool Play
USA 12 South Africa 12
Tries: Taylor Howden, Kevin Swiryn
Con: Taylor Howden
 

USA 5 Israel 10
Try: Taylor Howden
 

USA 35 Great Britain 0
Tries: Dallen Stanford (2), Kevin Swiryn (3)
Con: Taylor Howden (4), Dallen Stanford


USA finished 1-1-1, good enough for 2nd behind Israel. Top two play for gold.
 


Gold Medal Match
USA 17 Israel 14
Tries: Dallen Stanford, Joel Cohen, Willie Rudman
Con: Taylor Howden



USA 12 SA 12

Tries: Taylor Howden, Kevin Swiryn

Con: Taylor Howden

 

USA 5 Israel 10

Try: Taylor Howden

 

USA 35 Great Britain 0

Tries: Dallen Stanford (2), Kevin Swiryn (3)

Con: Taylor Howden (4), Dallen Stanford

 

Final: USA 17 Israel 14

Tries: Dallen Stanford, Joel Cohen, Willie Rudman

Con: Taylor Howden