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Ian Muir photo

After a frustrating loss to Scotland in the semi-finals, the London 7s ended with a thud for USA, losing 22-19 to Canada. Canada opened well, and then came back from a second half deficit to claim the bronze medal. The bronze medal match between USA and Canada was a rematch of the final in Singapore, which Canada also won. 

The opening kick was a mess, and Canada had the first chance at possession with an attacking scrum. Harry Jones immediately targeted Perry Baker, but the initial defense from USA was good. Canada stayed patient, maintained possession, and eventually created an overlap which Mike Fuailefau turned into the first try of the match. That was the last real Canadian possession of the half.

The Canadians were offside at the restart, giving USA its first possession. Maka Unufe finished the passage in which every American player was involved and tied the match. Madison Hughes converted to put USA up 7-5.

Unufe won the restart, so USA was on attack again. Baker split a pair of Canadian defenders and then offloaded, but Matai Leuta was caught by Justin Douglas before he reached the try zone. The Eagles ended up with a five-meter scrum, and won a free kick when Canada pushed early. Andrew Durutalo took the tap quickly, and when the ball was shifted wide, the try was relatively simple for Baker. Hughes’ conversion was the last act of the first half.

At halftime, USA 14, Canada 5.

Canada won the ball from the opening kick of the second half and quickly scored. Jones scored the try, but it was a break by Lucas Hammond that put the Eagles’ defense under pressure.

USA were able to control the restart and had a sustained passage of possession until a Stephen Tomasin pass was intercepted, and then Canada won a penalty and moved play into the USA half. Shortly after the lineout, Matt Mullins was able to step inside Baker and stride into the try zone. The conversion was missed to make it 15-14 with Canada in the lead.

USA again won possession from the restart, but a pass from Mike Te’o went through Tomasin’s hands to give the ball back to the Canadians. Hughes forced a knock on with a good tackle, but it was Canada who scored next when Nathan Hirayama charged down a Hughes kick following the scrum.

With 30 second to play, Canada was up 22-14. The USA kept the ball from the restart long enough for Baker to create a try for Alex Schwarz and make the final score 22-19.

The Eagles finished fourth in London and fifth in the overall series table.