Saturday, January 10, 2015

Seven de Mar del Plata: Day One Results

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The traditional Seven de Mar del Plata carries with it extra importance this year due to it being the year of the Pam American Games. The event in the Argentine beach resort town involves three separate tournaments, two of which are determining the final participants in the men's and women's sections Toronto 2015 while the third is crucial preparation for the upcoming Sevens World Series international competitions in Wellington and Las Vegas. Decision time in Mar del Plata will be tomorrow. At which time the final two places for both the men's and women's divisions of Rugby Sevens at the 2015 Pan American Games will be determined. There will also be a champion from the international competition which features test sides from both North and South America yet could be won by a local Argentine side.

On day one in Mar del Plata Brazil and Chile led the way in the men's section as both country's went undefeated. Brazil started with a 19-15 win over Paraguay and followed it up with an impressive 31-5 victory over Colombia before competing to a 7-7 draw against Chile. The Chileans had won their first two matches against Colombia and Peru by scorelines of 33-5 and 47-5. 

The remaining men's fixtures will be played on Sunday. They are to be Brazil v Peru, Colombia v Paraguay, Peru v Colombia and Chile v Paraguay. Later on in the day there will be the Cup Final which is to include the top two sides, thus putting the two Pan American Qualifying against each-other. 

In the women's division  there are seven competing countries compared to five in the men's. Despite having been included Venezuela's men's team is absent from the competition. The women's team is , however, involved. Venezuela's women's team had a very impressive day in Mar del Plata as it won all three matches by defeating both Colombia and Uruguay by scorelines of 10-5 and also knocking-over Peru 26-12. 

Not competing from South America was Brazil due to the women having secured qualification by winning the 2014 South American Games in Santiago. Venezuela is therefore very well placed to obtain one of the two qualifying spots. The other remains open due to day one results that saw Paraguay and Peru winless but the remaining teams all victorious. 

Argentina defeated Paraguay 24-0 and Chile 41-5 to also be well placed while Colombia's 12-7 and 36-0 wins over Uruguay and Peru mean Venezuela's neighbor is another that could finish in the top two. The strength of Chile and Uruguay in men's rugby was, in other words, not replicated by the women.

The third competition, the international event, featured understrength teams from Argentina, Canada and the USA and id showed as upsets occurred with all losing unexpectedly. Canada started the day with a 19-10 loss against Uruguay  before also losing against both Mar del Plata and the invitational Litoral 7s team. 

Mar del Plata also defeated the USA 12-10 and Argentina 14-5 while the Litoral 7 side defeated Uruguay 10-0. In the remaining matches Argentina defeated the USA 29-12 and the Litoral 7 by 33-5 while the USA won a tight match 15-12 against Uruguay. 

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