United States down Argentina for Las Vegas Sevens title
Los Angeles (AFP)
The United States won the Las Vegas Sevens Sunday, their first victory on home soil and just their second title ever in the World Rugby Sevens Series.
Danny Barret scored two tries and Perry Baker and Carlin Isles had one apiece at the Eagles routed Argentina 28-0 in a final few expected.
The hosts had ousted Fiji 19-7 in the semi-finals, as Argentina stunned defending champions and current series leaders South Africa 12-10 with a late Renzo Barbier try and conversion by Gaston Revol.
"I can't even tell you how it feels -- it's just amazing," Barrett said amid ecstatic celebrations at Sam Boyd Stadium.
The United States had reached three straight Vegas semi-finals but had never before been able to break through for a championship chance.
"We worked so hard for so long," Barrett said. "Three straight years in the semi-finals we get knocked out ... Our second Cup final victory ever -- it feels great to be home."
World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year Baker grabbed the first US try, and Baker's scintillating, spinning run then set up Barrett's first try which saw the Eagles up 14-0 at halftime.
Barrett struck again shortly after the break and late replacement Isles then showcased his vaunted speed in adding one more.
"So many emotions going through my head right now. Singing that national anthem with everyone was such a moving moment and then being able to perform the way we did, stick to our plan -- it's surreal," said US captain Ben Pinkleman. "We just knew this was our moment."
The Eagles' only prior series triumph came in London in 2015.
The booked their shot at a second with a 19-7 semi-final victory over Fiji.
Baker scored two tries as the USA scored 19 unanswered points in the second half to beat the fancied Fijians.
Argentina overcame a brace of tries by Siviwe Soyizwapi to knock out the Blitzboks -- who had won in Las Vegas last year on their way to the series crown.
Matias Osadczuk dotted down for Argentina before Barbier and Revol sealed the upset.
Fiji beat South Africa 26-22 in the bronze medal match with Jerry Tuwai grabbing two tries.
With five of the 10 series fixtures in the books, South Africa remain atop the standings on 92 points, 10 ahead of New Zealand.
Fiji remain in third place on 79 points followed by Australia on 72. Argentina remained in fifth place, while the United States moved up a notch to sixth -- bumping England down to seventh as the series heads to Vancouver, Canada, next weekend.
© 2018 AFP