United States came from behind twice to win their first Pan American Games gold medal in Santiago on Saturday.
USA are the new Pan American Games champions, beating Canada – champions in 2019 and 2015 – in a pulsating final.
Both teams qualified through their pools with some ease, in the case of the USA without dropping a point. Canada were pushed all the way by Brazil, but in their other games also failed to concede.
The only surprise result on Day 1 was Jamaica’s 24-21 win against Paraguay -the first ever win for a Caribbean team against a South American team at the Games.
Jamaica also came within seconds of beating Mexico in the 5th/8th place semi-finals on Day 2, but in the end had to settle for 8th place, but it was a memorable two days for Caribbean rugby.
The United States continued their faultless run to the final with a 36-0 win against Brazil in the semi-finals, after Canada had seen off Colombia almost as decisively 45-14.
Brazil took bronze far more easily than expected with a big 45-0 win against Colombia.
And so to the final. Canada struck first with an unconverted try from Piper Logan, but USA pulled level through Kristi Kirshe before Alena Olsen’s conversion gave USA a 7-5 lead at the break.
Piper Logan scored again for Canada at the start of the second half – this time converted. The lead held until with two minutes to go Alex Sedrick levelled the scores, and Olsen’s conversion put USA back in from 14-12.
From the final play Naya Tapper wrapped the game up for the USA, giving them gold 19-12.
Pool A: United States 44-0 Jamaica; Paraguay 7-32 Colombia; United States 33-0 Colombia; Jamaica 24-21 Paraguay; United States 39-0 Paraguay; Colombia 26-14 Jamaica
Pool B: Brazil 47-0 Mexico; Canada 36-0 Chile; Canada 69-0 Mexico; Chile 0-41 Brazil; Canada 29-21 Brazil; Mexico 5-27 Chile
5th-8th Place Semi Finals: Paraguay 14-10 Chile; Jamaica 14-19 Mexico
Semi-Finals: Colombia 14-45 Canada; United States 36-0 Brazil
7th Place: Chile 34-5 Jamaica
5th Place: Paraguay 26-12 Mexico
3rd Place: Colombia 0-45 Brazil
Final: United States 19-12 Canada