USA Falcons Travel to Punta del Este Sevens & Seven Viña

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January 3, 2017

USA Falcons Travel to Punta del Este Sevens & Seven Viña

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Photo: Sudamérica Rugby for Punta del Este & Viña del Mar Sevens

Doug Coil

The 2017 Punta del Este Sevens will be held on January 6-7 in Punte del Este, Uruguay’s beach resort city. The tournament will have both an International and Club competition.

In the international bracket, both the USA and Canada join Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Fiji and Uruguay. These teams will also compete in the Seven Viña in Viña del Mar, Chile on January 14-15. Upon the conclusion of the Seven Viña, the two highest point scorers from among Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Uruguay will compete in Las Vegas, Vancouver and the Hong Kong Sevens.

The club bracket will see a competition with the leading club teams from Uruguay and Argentina. Clubs from Uruguay are the Old Boys, Old Christians, Carrasco Polo and Montevideo Cricket. Clubs from Argentina are the UER 7, Santa Fé 7, La Tablada, Liceo Naval and Córdoba Athletic. Also competing is the select side Moby Dick.

The USA Falcons, the developmental USA sevens side, traveled earlier today to the Punta del Este, Uruguay and after the weekend will travel to Viña del Mar, Chile to compete in Sudamérica Rugby’s premier rugby sevens tournaments at the Punta del Este Sevens and the Seven Viña. The Falcons will be captained by JP Eloff who has been capped for the Eagles XV and will include Eagles 7s capped players Anthony Welmers and Aladdin Schirmer.

In addition to Welmers and Schirmer, Tua Laei, Joey Sok and Alex Faison-Donahue each played on the Falcons tour to South America last year. Cody Jerabek joined Schirmer and Laei in Australia this past summer on the Collegiate All-Americans tour.

Other members of the squad have extensive rugby experience. Matt Hughston played for PRO Rugby’s Ohio Aviators, Charlotte Rugby Club and has played for Tiger Rugby. Chris Mattina is a University of Delaware graduate who plays for the New York Athletic Club and played on the national stage in the Elite City 7s in 2015. Mattina also was named MVP for the Northeast Academy at the New York Sevens a month ago. Alex Elkins, joins Joey Sok from the Columbus Rugby Club (Scioto Valley). Elkins also played with Matt Hughston and JP Eloff on the Ohio Aviators and was a force on the wing. Walt Elder plays for the Kansas City Blues and his performance at the USA Rugby Club Nationals drew the selectors attention.

Paul Holmes, who is the head coach for the South American tour, said in an article by USA Rugby published today that “South America is a great opportunity for national team coaches to get a look at players at a higher level on an international stage. The main objective is always to put a team together that we believe can play and achieve at a high level. It’s obviously expected that these players put their best foot forward and grasp the opportunity at hand.

“JP’s experience is invaluable and I have known and respected him for many years, and watched his progression through college to men’s rugby.”

“This tour isn’t going to be easy by any means. These guys haven’t played together much and we need to bring things together quickly. We will just take each training and game at a time. I believe in this squad and am excited; relishing the opportunity for these guys. I am expecting them to make USA proud on and off the field.”

The Falcons pool play schedule on January 6 for the Punta del Este Sevens includes  Uruguay at 4pm ET, Brazil at 6:40pm ET and Argentina at 9:40pm ET. On Jan. 7th the tournament will conclude.
The team will then travel to Viña del Mar, Chile for the Seven Viña on January 14-15. There the Falcons will compete in pool play Jan. 14 against Argentina at 12:20pm ET, Fiji at 3pm ET and against rivals Canada at 6:10pm ET. Play will then conclude Jan. 15.

Punta del Este 7s Pools
Group A: Fiji, Canada, Chile, Colombia
Group B: Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, USA
Group C: Santa Fé, La Tablada, OCC
Group D: Entre Ríos, Old Boys, Trébol
Group E: Córdoba Athletic, La Plata, CPC
Group F: Moby Dick Liceo Naval, Montevideo Cricket

Punte del Este 7’s Friday January 6 Schedule (Time local, ET is 2 hours prior)
• 16:00 OCC v La Tablada
• 16:20 OBC v Trébol
• 16:40 CPC v La Plata
• 17:00 Montevideo Cricket v Liceo Naval
• 17:20 Canada v Chile
• 17:40 Colombia v Fiji
• 18:00 Uruguay v USA Falcons
• 18:20 Argentina v Brazil
• 18:40 Santa Fé v OCC
• 19:00 Entre Ríos 7 v Trébol
• 19:20 Córdoba Athletic v CPC
• 19:40 Moby Dick v Montevideo Cricket
• 20:00 Colombia v Canada
• 20:20 Fiji v Chile
• 20:40 Brazil v USA Falcons
• 21:00 Argentina v Uruguay
• 21:20 La Tablada v Santa Fé
• 21:40 OBC v Entre Ríos 7
• 22:00 Córdoba Athletic v La Plata
• 22:20 Moby Dick v Liceo Naval
• 22:40 Chile v Colombia
• 23:00 Uruguay v Brazil
• 23:20 Fiji v Canada
• 23:40 Argentina v USA Falcons

Punta del Este 7’s Saturday January 7 Schedule (Time local, ET is 2 hours prior)

International Bracket Squads

Pool A

Fiji: The 2016 Olympic Gold Medalists Fiji, the only non Americas team, will be fielding an ‘A’ side known as the Fiji Baabaas 7’s.

Fiji BaaBaas: 1. Seru Cavuilati 2. Mesulame Kunavula 3. Levani Kurumudu 4. Meli Rusa 5. Semisi Matawalu 6. Amenoni Nasilasila 7. Kalione Nasoko 8. Sevuloni Naturudregadrega (Sevuloni Tawake) 9. Timoci Sinate 10. Rusiate Tadulala 11. Alivereti Veitokani 12. Nacanieli Lalalaba

Canada Maples Leafs: Jake Thiel, Josiah Morra, Kevin Vertkas, Riley DiNardo, Aaron McLelland, Aidan McMullan, Kainoa Lloyd, Brett Johnson, Aaron Hersant, Crosby Stewart, Andrew Battaglia, Kyle Lagasco + Head Coach Lee Douglas, Ass’t Coach Andrew Hall, Athletic Therapist Nicole Allen

Chile Condores: 1 Franco Velarde 2 Ignacio Silva Aninat 3 Bernardo Moltedo 4 Felipe Brangier 5 MartÍn Verschae 6 Nicholás Herreros 7 Marcelo Torrealba 8 Benjamín Devidts 9 Francisco Urroz 10 Lucas Westcott 11 Francisco Metuaze 12 Julio Blanc

Colombia Los Tucanes: Alejandro Vanegas Rodríguez, Sebastián Mejia, Andrés Felipe Alvarez Echeverri, Juan José Zapata Congote, Jhoan Sebastian Zurique Borja, Jhon Arley Urrutia Robledo, Juan Gabriel Dávila Metaute, Daniel Lopez Montoya, José Ricardo Ramirez Talero, Cristian Camilo Benítez, José Manuel Diosa Gómez, Brayan Campiño

Pool B

Argentina: Argentina will take a largely developmental side to the Punta del Este 7s as Head Coach Santiago Gómez Cora has included only Renzo Barbier, José Barros Sosa, Nicolas Menéndez, and Matías Osadczuk from the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series from Capetown. The rest of the senior players will rest with the next stop on the Series resuming in Wellington, New Zealand on January 28.

Argentina Los Pumas: Renzo Barbier (San Luis), José Barros Sosa (Tucumán Lawn Tennis), Lautaro Bazán (Córdoba Athletic), Lucas Belloto (Huirapuca), Felipe Del Mestre (Pucará), Juan Delguy (Pucará), Matías Ferro (Tucumán Lawn Tennis), Luciano González (La Tablada), Nicolas Menéndez (Lomas Athletic), Matías Osadczuk (SITAS), Mauro Perotti (CASI), Joaquín Riera (Los Tarcos)

Brazil Tupis: Ariel Da Silva Rodrigues (Oldbury)- Bruno Garcia Da Silva (Oldbury)- Daniel Lima da Silva (White River)- Felipe Gomes Rosa (São José Dos Campos)- Laurent Johann Jose Bourda-Couhet (Girl Scouts)- Lucas Drudi Romeo (Oldbury)- Matthew Star Miller Tavares (Runcorn)- Matheus Augusto De Souza Claudio (Oldbury)- Matheus Cruz Vergueiro and Silva (Oldbury)- Matheus Da Cruz Daniel (Oldbury)- Robert Aguinaldo Tenorio Da Silva Santos (Pasteur)- Ronaldo Da Silva Santos (Pasteur)

Uruguay Los Teros: 1 Gabriel Puig 2 Guillermo Strauch 3 Mateo Tortorella 4 Santiago Civetta 5 Federico Cibils 6 Sebastian Janssen 7 Lucas Duran 8 Ian Schmidt 9 Ignacio Inchausti 10 Ignacio García 11 Francesco Berchesi 12 Martín Fitipaldo + Head Coach Francisco Bulanti

USA Falcons: Walter Elder, Alex Elkins, JP Eloff (captain), Alex Faison-Donahoe, Matt Hughston, Cody Jerabek, Tua Laei, Chris Mattina, Aladdin Schirmer, Joey Sok, Keaweamahi “Havea” Unufe, Anthony Welmers + Head Coach Paul Holmes, Athletic Trainer Kevin Ng

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant