The USA Rugby High School All-Americans, sponsored by Aircraft Charter Solutions, followed up their undefeated Rosslyn Park Sevens day one performance with a hard-fought 15-5 loss to Ysgol Gyfun Gwyr in the first match of day two. With the loss, the HSAAs are dropped into the Plate competition.
Freezing cold, thick mud awaited the HSAAs on the field--unfamiliar conditions for the HSAAs but normal for the opposition. The HSAAs were on their heels from the start and Ysgol Gyfun Gwyr raised its game to take advantage.
The HSAAs defended well, but the consistency in mental toughness from day one was not there for every player and little mistakes proved the difference. The HSAAs will have to improve for the Plate competition with the standard of play rising as the tournament progresses.
Bicton College and The King’s School, Macclesfield, await the HSAAs in the Plate Quarterfinals group stage.
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The HSAAs win against Bicton College 21-10
Conversions: Mitchel Gusman (3)
The HSAAs were knocked out of Rosslyn Park Sevens Friday in the Plate Semifinal by Oaklands College (Saracens Academy). Head Coach Salty Thompson’s team defeated Bicton College 21-10 and The King’s School, Macclesfield, 27-7 in the Plate Quarterfinals group stage before the 15-10 Semifinal loss.
After the HSAAs’ first loss of the tournament against Ysgol Gyfun Gwyr in the play-off match Friday morning pushing the HSAAs to the Plate competition, they got back on track against Bicton College with a comprehensive win. Billy Maggs, Jesse Mader and James Viafale each scored a try and Mitchel Gusman converted all three for the 21-10 win.
The HSAAs showed their strengths against The King’s School, Macclesfield, in the final group match, getting tries from Zach Webber, Niall Barry and Maggs, with David Todd scoring twice. Gusman added another conversion for his 17th of the tournament.
Close in all departments, the HSAAs’ heartbreaking Plate Semifinal match against Oaklands College (Saracens Academy) went down to the wire, but Oaklands came out on top 15-10 to send the HSAAs home for the second consecutive year before they could win silverware.
At last year’s Rosslyn Park Sevens, the HSAAs were eliminated from competition in the Round of 16. The improvement is thanks to the coaching of Thompson and his staff, the boys’ development and hard work, and the sponsorship of Aircraft Charter Solutions, which allows the HSAAs to travel around the world competing against the best young rugby teams.
The U17 High School All-Americans are in action next at the Wellington College Tournament in England on March 30 against Wales U16s. The Belgium U17s and England South U16s are also in the HSAAs group.
Match Day Two Results
Plate Group Stage | vs. Bicton College
Tries: Maggs, Mader, Viafale; Conversions: Gusman (3)
Plate Group Stage | vs. The King’s School, Macclesfield
Tries: Todd (2), Webber, Barry, Maggs; Conversions: Gusman