USA Falcons Finish 7th at Viña del Mar 7s

January 16, 2017

USA Falcons Finish 7th at Viña del Mar 7s


Photo: USA Falcons

Doug Coil

The Viña del Mar 7s in Chile was the second of two legs of the South American Sevens international competition and was held on January 14-15, 2017.

The rankings from Punta del Este were used to seed the Viña del Mar 7s. In Pool A, Argentina, was joined by the USA Falcons, Uruguay and Brazil. In Pool B were Fiji,  Chile, Colombia and the Canada Maple Leafs.

Fiji emerged as the winners of the Viña del Mar 7s with a 19-12 win over Argentina. Chile took the bronze with a 26-14 win over Canada and qualified for the HSBC Series in Las Vegas and Vancouver, and also secured a spot in the core-status qualifying bracket of the Hong Kong tournament.

With Uruguay’s 5th place finish, winning 21-5 over Colombia, they also qualified for the qualifying bracket at the Hong Kong Sevens joining Chile.

The USA Falcons finished the tournament is 7th place with a 14-7 win over Brazil. The Falcons entered the tournament with 11 players and by day two they began with 9 players and the attrition continued as they entered the last match with 8 players being available.

The Falcons started off Pool play jumping out to a 5-0 lead over Uruguay at halftime. Uruguay countered with a converted try. The Falcons reclaimed the lead, but the Teros countered as Uruguay emerged with a 12-10 win.

The Falcons then beat Brazil 12-5 before losing to Argentina 26-0. The later match represented an improvement over the last time the teams met in Uruguay the previous week.

By day two the availability of players dwindled. This placed the team in a difficult position as Chile jumped out to a 26- 0 lead before the Falcons scored two late second half tries to narrow the result to 26-10. The USA then faced Colombia and lost 26-15 before winning their last match against Brazil 14-7 for 7th place.

It wasn’t the desired goal for the Falcons, but the USA developmental sevens team gained valuable experience on the two week South American tour.

Read USA Rugby Falcons Finish 4th at Punta del Este 7s which recaps the Punta del Este 7s.


  • A: Argentina, USA, Uruguay, Brazil
  • B: Fiji, Chile, Colombia, Canada

At the Viña del Mar 7s there are international and club brackets. The matches for the international bracket are listed below.

Saturday, January 14, 2017 (Time local, EST is 2 hours prior)

  • Argentina 19-7 Brazil
  • USA Falcons 10-12 Uruguay
  • Fiji 33-0 Canada Maple Leafs
  • Chile 28-0 Colombia
  • Argentina 24-5  Uruguay
  • USA Falcons 12-5 Brazil
  • Fiji 36-5 Colombia
  • Chile 27-14 Canada Maple Leafs
  • Argentina 26-0 USA Falcons
  • Uruguay 24-7 Brazil
  • Fiji 31-12 Chile
  • Colombia 12-36 Canada Maple Leafs

Sunday, January 15, 2017 (Time local, EST is 2 hours prior)

  • Quarterfinal Argentina 19-0 Colombia
  • Quarterfinal Uruguay 5-24 Canada
  • Quarterfinal USA Falcons 10-26 Chile
  • Quarterfinal Brazil 0-54 Fiji
  • 5th Place Semi-final Colombia 26-15 USA Falcons
  • 5th Place Semi-final Uruguay 26-0 Brazil
  • Gold Semi-final Argentina 19-17 Chile
  • Gold Semi-final Canada 10-29 Fiji
  • 7th Place Final USA Falcons 14-7 Brazil
  • 5th Place Final Colombia 5-21 Uruguay
  • Bronze Final Chile 26-14 Canada
  • Gold Final Argentina 12-19 Fiji

USA Falcons: Walter Elder, , 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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