The USA bounced back this evening at the Vegas IRB Sevens tournament with a 24-7 victory over Japan. Tries from Roland Suniula, Zach Test, Paul Emerick and Tai Enosa ensued the home side gave their vibrant supports something to celebrate.
Earlier in the day the Americans went down 27-5 against a clinical South African side, and then had a very physical match against Samoa, losing 28-12.
Against Japan, several errors in the opening stages saw the Americans defend for 3 minutes inside their own half. Then from a lineout flyhalf Roland Suniula threw a miracle skip pass to Emerick, with the powerful center streaking up the field. Two rucks later, that man Suniula dived under the poles for a very well worked try. Scrumhalf Tai Enosa kicked the conversion for a 7-0 lead. That’s how the first half ended.
The opening play of the second half saw a great turnover from Zach Test, which lead to Vegas poster boy Emerick break the line at pace and score a fantastic try. The Cactus – as his teammates call him - was able to bump off the Japanese sweeper, much to the delight of the wild crowd! Next up a great break down the blindside from hooker Marco Barnard setup a ruck near the Japanese tryline. Quick hands from Captain Matt Hawkins sent Test over in the corner for the 5 pointer.
Enosa then used his magic goose-step to score the fourth try for the USA, and added the conversion for a 24-0 lead. Miles Craigwell, Colin Hawley and Taylor Mokate (a replacement from the reserve pool) all came on in the last few minutes for the home side. Japan managed to score a consolation try, with the game ending at 24-7.
Starters: Matt Hawkins (Captain), Marco Barnard, Zack Test, Tai Enosa, Roland Sunuila, Paul Emerick, Justin Boyd.
Substitutes: Miles Craigwell, Colin Hawley, Taylor Mokate.
Tries: Roland Suniula, Zack Test, Paul Emerick, Tai Enosa.
Conversions: Tai Enosa (2)
Photo Credit: Ian Muir