US and Canada NA4 round-up
July 27, 2006

Down at halftime, the USA Falcons outscored the USA Hawks 31-0 in the second half for a 45-17 win and the right to play in the inaugural North America Four Rugby Series championship match where they will face Canada West, which suffered its only round-robin loss of the series to Canada East, 34-18 in front of 525 fans here at Ohio State?s Fred Beekman Park.

The NA4 championship game between the Falcons and West is slated for 8 p.m. here Saturday, July 29, preceded by the consolation between the USA Hawks and Canada East at 6 p.m.

"The team has a chance to make history Saturday night," said Falcons assistant Kevin Battle on facing Canada West for the inaugural NA4 title.

"We know that their key players are well rested and it?s a matter of how quickly we can get our guys to recover?but this is the game of rugby. We want to play the strongest Canadian side, but it will be tough."

"I think it will be two different styles," said Hawks head coach Pete Steinberg on playing the East in the consolation. "They play a very wide open
game. Our forwards have to dominate for us to be in a position to win. Part of the NA4, especially for us not being in a position to play for the championship, is to give the players as much of a chance to be seen by the national team selectors.

"We used a lot of players tonight and will do the same Saturday."

Patrick Bell converted Vaha Esikia's try in the 6th minute as the Falcons took the early 7-0 lead, but the advantage would be short-lived as the Hawks responded with a 17-7 run to close out the first half with the 17-14 edge.

Jason Kelly connected on a 22-meter penalty to pull within four, 7-3. Kelly converted Matt Potchard's try in the 30th minute for the Hawks' first lead of the game, 10-7, and increased the lead by 10 on a Scott Lawrence try and Kelly conversion in jus five minutes later, 17-7.

With time expiring in the opening half, Brian Barnard, who scored the Falcons' gamewinner Saturday night, came up big here again with a run to the outside to pull the Falcons within three, 17-14, going into halftime.

"We were pretty confident at halftime and knew we had to go out and do it. It was all about winning the game and sticking to our game plan," said Falcons head coach Jim Love on what he emphasized during the break.

The tactic worked as the Falcons would come out of halftime to hold the Hawks scoreless while putting 31 points on the board themselves.

The Falcons regained the lead on what would be the gamewinner (21-17) out of the break when hooker Patrick Bell converted his own try scored on a pushover in the 49th minute. Esikia and Bell combined again seven minutes later to increase the lead to 28-17. Bell connected on a Scott Lawrence penalty in the 61st minute, Falcons 31-17.

Both sides combined for seven replacements over the next 17 minutes, which was the longest scoring draught of the game before James Finau converted tries by both Andrew Osbourne and Kimball Kjar in the final two minutes of the game for the final 45-17 score.

"We had a number of opportunities to get over the line, especially playing with the wind in the first half? added Steinberg. "There were a lot of
turnovers in the second half that played into their (Falcons) hands. But we played well, again in pieces, but to beat them we needed to play well the entire 80 minutes which we didn't do.?

There were four lead changes and two ties in the first half, as both teams exchanged scores to open the game, with the West?s Geoff Warden crossing the line on a loose play try in the 11th minute and the East?s Carl Pocock run up the middle, which was converted by Derek Daypuck?s first of four, in the 18th.

Canada West regained the lead two minutes later on Ian Smortchevsky's try, but the advantage lasted only five minutes before Daypuck converted a penalty in the 25th minute to tie the game for the second time, 10-10. Daypuck converted Stu Ault's score in the 38th minute to give the East the edge over the West, 17-10 at intermission.

The East would dominate the second half, outscoring the West, 17-8, en route to the win.

The West was the first on the scoreboard in the second stanza on Bryn Keys score three minutes in, and Tom Larisch converted a penalty 14 minutes later for what would inevitably be its last score, and last lead of the match, as the East recorded 17 unanswered points to close the game.

Ault scored twice more, in the 66th and 75th minutes, both converted by Daypuck who also added a drop goal in the 73rd. Daypuck ended the match with a game-high 14 points.

USA Falcons 3 2 0 17
Canada West 3 1 1 16
Canada East 2 2 1 12
USA Hawks 1 4 0 5

Fred Beekman Park (Columbus)
Saturday, July 22
USA Falcons def. Canada East, 25-24
Canada West def. USA Hawks, 46-7
Wednesday, July 26
USA Falcons def. USA Hawks, 45-17
Canada East def. Canada West, 34-18
Saturday, July 29
6 p.m. - Consolation: USA Hawks vs. Canada East
8 p.m. - Championship: USA Falcons vs. Canada West

USA Falcons def. USA Hawks, 45-17 (Halftime: USA Hawks, 17-14 )
Referee: Phil Smith, Canada
USA Falcons (45)
Tries: Esikia (2), Barnard (1), Osbourne (1), Kjar (1), Bell (1)
Conversions: Bell (4), Finau (2)
Penalty Goals: Bell (1)

USA Hawks (17)
Tries: Potchard (1), Lawrence (1)
Conversions: Kelly (2)
Penalty Goals: Kelly (1)

USA FALCONS: 1. Mike French (John McCafferty @68); 2. Patrick Bell (Mark Griffin @64); 3. John Vitale (French @68); 4. Alec Parker; 5. Hayden Mexted (Brian Schoener @71); 6. Matt Rader; 7. Kevin Armstrong (Ronald Rosser @64); 8. Mark
Aylor; 9. Doug Rowe; 10. Alipate Tuilevuka (Andrew Locke @59); 11. James Finau; 12. Vaha Esikia; 13. Andrew Osbourne; 14. Brian Barnard; 15. Garry Sullivan (Kimball Kjar @40)

USA HAWKS: 1. Brian Olmes; 2. Matt Wyatt (Kevin Wiggins @71); 3. Chris Moreno (Henry Bloomfield @50); 4. Matt Potchard (Blake Burdette @60); 5. Adam Russell (David Williams @54); 6. Louis Stanfill; 7. Justin Stencil (Adam Casias @59);
8. Scott Lawrence; 9. Tyson Meek; 10. Jason Kelly; 11. Ian Flanigan; 12. Salesi Sika; 13. Nathan Rogers (Andrew King @65); 14. Peter Sio; 15. Jeremy Nash

Canada East def. Canada West, 34-18 (Halftime: Canada East, 17-10)
Referee: Al Klemp, United States
Canada West (18)
Tries: Warden (1), Smortchevsky (1), Keys (1)
Penalty Goals: Larisch (1)

Canada East (34)
Tries: Pocock (1), Ault (3)
Conversions: Daypuck (4)
Penalty Goals: Daypuck (1)
Drop Goals: Daypuck (1)

CANADA WEST: 1. Hubert Buydens (DTH Van der Merwe @72); 2. Pat Riordan; 3. Scott Franklin (Ed Fairhurst @72); 4. Pat Kearney; 5. Daryl Hall; 6. Tom McKeen; 7. Milan Mrdjenovich; 8. David Biddle (Patrick Dessaulles @50); 9. Ian Smortchevsky; 10. Rob Turk (Mark Lawson @32/Turk @35); 11. Bryn Keys; 12. Ryan McWhinney; 13. Kyle Haley; 14. Geoff Warden; 15. Tom Larisch;

CANADA EAST: 1. Dan Pletch (Jordan Kozina @71); 2. Aaron Abrams; 3. Mike Pletch; 4. Scott Dunham; 5. Stu Ault; 6. Mike Webb (Jordan Kozina @61)/Webb @68); 7. Kevin Parfrey (Koneraad Buseman @54); 8. Aaron Carpenter; 9. Matt Weingart; 10.
Derek Daypuck (Jordan Allers @78); 11. Kris Witkowski (Jarod Selby @47); 12. Adam McClusky; 13. Carl Pocock; 14. Rich O'Malley (Rob Wilson @58); 15. Cairan Hearn

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