7s: Rivalry with Korea Rekindled
USA National Teams Press Release
April 2, 2000
(Berkeley, California) 2 April 2000 -- A resurgent Korean team turned the
tables on the USA at the Japan 7s Sunday, ending the Americans' tournament
run at 2-3.
The Eagles saw Korea in the semi-final of the bowl competition after a
24-12 pool win over Taiwan and a 31-7 bowl quarter final result over Sri
Lanka. The USA had edged out the Koreans in Hong Kong the week prior, but
this time the Korean team took its revenge, dispatching the Eagles 42-5.
The USA's tournament hopes took a first blow in Saturday's opening round
against France. The Eagles were locked in a 12-12 tie at the half thanks to
tries from scrumhalf Kevin Dalzell and wing Don Younger.
But after the break, the French capitalized on a couple of American errors
to run in two unanswered tries and record a 26-12 win, ending the Eagles
hopes of an upset.
"The guys were really let down after the France match," said head coach
Tommy Smith. "We had trouble getting up for Chinese Taipei." A predictably
comprehensive 40-0 loss to New Zealand interceded before the tepid outing
against Taiwan, where flyhalf Nelo Lui had three tries and Don Younger one
The tournament leaves the USA proving competitive against other amateur
teams, but still struggling to make a mark against professional
sides--which is the bulk of the teams competing in the inaugural World 7s
Series. The circuit's final fixture will be the Air France 7s at the end of
May. Before that, the Eagles face a crucial Rugby World Cup 7s qualifier in
Santiago, Chile, the first weekend in May.
USA: Ryan Bannan, Kevin Dalzell, Craig Hartley (c), Dave Hodges, Chris
Kron, Kevin Linzey, Nelo Lui, John McGeachy, Jovesa Naivalu, Kurt Shuman,
Don Younger, Jon Younger. Coach: Tommy Smith Manager: Doug Brown
Physiotherapist: Jeff Ward.