USA Sevens Analysis: Ticket to Rio, Booked!

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Rio TicketCARY, NORTH CAROLINA – A little known fact is that Cary is a great stopover on the way to Rio. Well for USA Sevens Eagles Men and Women, it turned out to be the this way. Now before the extra hard work begins and we look too far forward, lets focus on the here and the now and enjoy the moment.

The @Eagles7s and @USAWomens7s both punched their tickets to the XXIX Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, over the weekend. Both teams went into the tournament as favorites backed by their strong performances over the course of the HSBC Sevens World Series and the Women’s Sevens World Series, respectively. Let’s look at the performance by each team and their fantastic achievement.

As rugby is a gentleman’s game, we insist on Ladies First:

You can only beat who is in front of you!” That age old rugby saying is the only way to put the USA Women’s teams performance in perspective. Look at these scores:

Women’s Eagles Sevens | 2015 NACRA Sevens Championships
v. Jamaica – W 45-0
v. Barbados – W 74-0
v. Cayman Islands – W 50-0
Cup QF v. Bahamas – W 59-0
Cup SF v. Jamaica – W 53-5
Cup Final v. Mexico – W 88-0

Despite the scores, it would be disrespectful to say they were given an Olympic berth. They played the best rugby they could regardless of their opposition. They played each match like it was a Sevens Series match and they didn’t take a second off. It was not their fault that their opposition was not New Zealand or Australia but Jamaica and Mexico. You can only beat who is in front of you and that is just what these ladies did.

With all that said lets look at the final results:

Cup: USA
Second: Mexico

Third: Trinidad & Tobago
Fifth: Cayman Islands
Seventh: Bahamas

Qualified to Repechage: Mexico, Trinidad & Tobago

mnt7-nacra7-final-articleThe USA Sevens Men had a slightly tougher road to hoe.  The USA managed to continue their great form from the London 7s into the weekend.  Look at these scores:

Men’s Eagles Sevens | 2015 NACRA Sevens Championships
v Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – W (forfeit)
v Barbados – W 54-0
v Mexico – W 50-0
v Jamaica – W 40-5
Cup Semifinal v Cayman Islands – W 64-0
Cup Final v Canada – W 21-5

The road to Rio ran through Canada and everyone going into the tournament knew that including the Canadians. The problem for both sides was that, they were drawn to each other like magnets. Another difficulty is that by being light years better than the competition, neither side would get a tough match until they faced each other and that was a concern for both teams. They played a bunch of lead-up matches that never required them to get into 3rd gear. So with that in consideration, it was a matter of who would come into the match fired up. That team that was ready to book a place in Rio was the USA and it is tough to not believe that home field advantage was the difference.

nt7-rio-qualified-wrWith all that said lets look at the final results:

Cup: USA
Second: Canada

Third: Mexico
Fifth: Guyana
Seventh: Bahamas

Qualified to Repechage: Canada, Mexico

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And as always, stay low and keep pumping those legs.

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About Junoir Blaber 868 Articles
Born in Osu, Accra, Ghana, West Africa, Junoir Blaber is a rare commodity; while most Ghanians eat, sleep and dream Soccer (football), Junoir is all about Rugby. A self-proclaimed Rugbyologist, he has been involved in Rugby as a ref, coach, administrator and player since Columbus discovered Ohio. His useful/trivial rugby knowledge qualify Blaber as RWU's Senior Correspondent & known in rugby circles as The Rugby Rain Man. He can also be found moonlighting for our American partners at MeetTheMatts.com.