USA Rugby Falcons Second in Pool at Punta del Este 7s

January 6, 2017

USA Rugby Falcons Second in Pool at Punta del Este 7s


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

Doug Coil

Pool play began for the 2017 Punta del Este Sevens on January 6 in Punte del Este, Uruguay and will conclude on January 7.  The tournament features an International and Club competition. A last minute change had Germany replacing Santa Fe in group C in the club competition.

The international bracket includes both the USA and Canada, as well as, 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 is largely a competition with the leading club teams from Uruguay and Argentina, with Germany now also in the field. 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.

For a preview of the tournament and the squads read USA Falcons Travel to Punta del Este Sevens & Seven Viña.”

USA Falcons Recap Day One

USA Falcons v Uruguay

The USA Rugby Falcons jumped out to a 7-0 lead within the first minute of play from a JP Eloff try that was converted. Uruguay came back to narrow the score to 7-5 on a Francisco Berchesi try for Los Teros.

In the second half, the Falcons continued their fast start with a converted try for a 14-5 lead. They then added a penalty try and conversion to increase their lead to 21-5 with two minutes left in the match. That was not the end for the Falcons as they added a final try to close out a 26-5 win.

USA Falcons v Brazil

Brazil drew first blood when then touched down for a 5-0 lead three minutes into the match. Not to be denied, the Falcons claimed the lead after a converted try. In this seesaw first half, Brazil added a second try for a 10-7 lead just prior to halftime.

In the second half, the Falcons added two additional tries for a comeback 17-10 win over Brazil. With the win, the Falcons are 2-0 in pool play and face 2-0 Argentina to win the pool in match 3.

USA Falcons v Argentina

Argentina scored three converted tries during the first half to take a commanding 21-0 lead at halftime. They added three more during the second half to win 38-0.

USA Rugby Falcons Day One

USA Rugby Falcons Head Coach Paul Holmes reflected on day one indicating that it was “a good day on the whole, Lots to build on for the quarterfinals tomorrow. Last game was a case of too many forced errors and missed tackles. We will build and be ready for tomorrow.”

Saturday Quarterfinals

  • Chile v Uruguay 3:30pm EST
  • Argentina v Canada 3:50pm EST
  • USA v Colombia 4:10pm EST
  • Fiji v Brazil  4:30pm EST

USA Rugby Falcons Squad

The USA Falcons, the developmental USA sevens side, is competing in both the Punta del Este 7s in Uruguay and the Seven Viña in Viña del Mar, Chile. The Falcons are captained by JP Eloff who has been capped for the Eagles XV and includes Eagles 7s capped players Anthony Welmers and Aladdin Schirmer.

The squad has many experienced players, as Anthony Welmers, Aladdin Schirmer, Tua Laei, Joey Sok and Alex Faison-Donahue each played on the Falcons tour to South America last year. Welmers played last year for Davenport University and now plays for the Grand Rapids Gazelles. Aladdin Schirmer is playing for the Seattle Saracens. Tua Laei is part of the Eagles pool. Joey Sok was in contention for a position with Team USA at the olympics and Alex Faison-Donahue excelled at Kutztown University. Cody Jerabek, who now plays for the Laramie Lumberjacks and had a stint in Pro Rugby after graduating at Wyoming, joined Schirmer and Laei in Australia this past summer on the Collegiate All-Americans tour.

Other members of the squad include Matt Hughston who 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. He also was a force at the Serevi Rugbytown 7s while playing for the Denver 7s. Finally there is Havea Unufe, the younger brother of the Eagles’ Maka Unufe, who has been training at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center.

Paul Holmes is the head coach of the Falcons. He was an assistant coach for the Ohio Aviators, the head coach of the Classic Eagles tour to Bermuda and is well known for his coaching with Tiger Rugby.

After the Punta del Este 7s, 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: Germany 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 Germany v La Tablada 5-31
• 16:20 OBC v Trébol 12-33
• 16:40 CPC v La Plata 12-17
• 17:00 Montevideo Cricket v Liceo Naval 0-21
• 17:20 Canada v Chile 17-19
• 17:40 Colombia v Fiji 0-33
• 18:00 Uruguay v USA Falcons 5-26
• 18:20 Argentina v Brazil 24-7
• 18:40 Germany Santa Fé v OCC 10-17
• 19:00 Entre Ríos 7 v Trébol 10-14
• 19:20 Córdoba Athletic v CPC (score not reported)
• 19:40 Moby Dick v Montevideo Cricket 43-7
• 20:00 Colombia v Canada 19-12
• 20:20 Fiji v Chile 24-7
• 20:40 Brazil v USA Falcons 10-17
• 21:00 Argentina v Uruguay 31-7
• 21:20 La Tablada v OCC Santa Fé 29-7
• 21:40 OBC v Entre Ríos  5-10
• 22:00 Córdoba Athletic v La Plata 12-5
• 22:20 Moby Dick v Liceo Naval 19-10
• 22:40 Chile v Colombia 28-5
• 23:00 Uruguay v Brazil 26-7
• 23:20 Fiji v Canada 50-5
• 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 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 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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