by Matt Tidcombe
The Maple Leafs fell 38-12 to Argentina in the inaugural Halloween 7s cup final Sunday afternoon in St. Petersburg, Fl.Earlier in the day, Phil Mack’s try in extra time sent the Maple Leafs into the cup final after a thrilling 22-17 win over the USA Falcons.
Adam Zaruba was ruled out of the tournament after sustaining an injury during the team’s practice run on Friday. The Maple Leafs will play the tournament with 11 players.
MAPLE LEAFS 22–17 USA FALCONS (AET)
Canada got a hat-trick from Justin Douglas while Phil Mack’s extra time try sent Canada into the cup final.
Canada struck first as Justin Douglas continued his great tournament by touching down after a great pass from Nanyak Dala.
However, the Falcons came roaring back with two tries in the final minute of the half as Seth Halliman and Will Holder scored, the latter coming after Andrew Durutalo intercepted a Dala pass, to give the Falcons a 12-5 half time lead.
Holder extended the Falcons lead to 17-5 as he scored a minute into the second half but Douglas answered with two tries, the second of which came with 30 seconds left and was converted by Nathan Hirayama, to send the game into extra time.
Mack would win the game in extra time as he found a hole, broke a few tackles and dived over for the winning try to send Canada into the cup final.
MAPLE LEAFS 12–38 ARGENTINA
Argentina ran in six tries as they defeated Canada to win the cup final at the Halloween 7s.
Fernando Luna got the scoring underway as he collected a loose ball and sprinted past the Canadian defenders to score under the posts.
After a period of sustained pressure the Maple Leafs were finally rewarded as Sean Duke dived over after Phil Mack had spread the ball wide from a lineout. Nathan Hirayama couldn’t convert leaving Canada behind 7-5.
Argentina hit back immediately as Joaquin Riera outran Admir Cejvanovic to dot down underneath the sticks after Argentina forced a turnover at the breakdown but Canada replied right before the break as Hirayama grabbed his first try of the tournament after Justin Douglas had slipped through the defence leaving Canada behind 14-12 at the interval.
It took less than 45 seconds into the second half for Argentina to grab their third try as Santiago Alvarez took a feed from the lineout, broke a tackle and cruised in to extend the lead to 21-12.
Rodrigo Etchart added a fourth Argentina try with a burst of speed through a gap in the Canadian line and Luna’s second try of the game, plus a final try from Axel Muller, sealed the win for Argentina as they claimed the inaugural Halloween 7s with a 38-12 win.
Maple Leafs squad for the Halloweens Sevens (Name, club, hometown):
Admir Cejvanovic – (Burnaby Lake RFC/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Nanyak Dala – (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK
Justin Douglas – (Abbotsford RFC) Abbotsford, BC
Sean Duke – (Unattached/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Mike Fuailefau – (Castaway Wanderers/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Lucas Hammond – (Toronto Nomads/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
Nathan Hirayama – (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Pat Kay – (Unattached/BC Bears) Duncan, BC
Phil Mack – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
John Moonlight, captain – (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Pickering, ON
Conor Trainor – (UBCOB Ravens/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Adam Zaruba – (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Maple Leafs Halloween Sevens Day 1 Schedule:
Maple Leafs 25-14 New York City
Maple Leafs 33-0 Ohio 7s
Maple Leafs 27-21 USA Hawks
Maple Leafs Halloween Sevens Day 2 Schedule:
Maple Leafs 22–17 USA Falcons (AET)
Maple Leafs 12-38 Argentina
Maple Leafs Coaching Staff:
Head Coach – Liam Middleton
Maple Leafs Coach – Dave Moonlight
Assistant Coach – Lee Douglas
Physiotherapist – Helen Holubec
Manager – Ken Goodland