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Army Strong as Seattle Wins Can-Ams

Men Senior Rugby

Army Strong as Seattle Wins Can-Ams

The Seattle Saracens (former Seattle-OPSB) team defeated a US Army squad 24-10 in the Cup Final of the 38th Annual CAN-AM 7s this past weekend in Ferndale Wash.
Seattle was led by Eagle 7s player Mike Palefau, former Fijian 7s player William Rasileka, Fijian speedster Isimeli Daveta, and capped 15s Eagle John Cullen. Cullen, who is still an up-and-comer, has been invited to the High Performance 7s Camp this week. Seattle won all six of their games on the day.

This was not a surprise, as Settle is the defending national 7s champs, and have upgraded since then. In fact, Seattle also won the Lighthouse 7s in Burnaby the same weekend, with Kevin Swiryn, Rocco Mauer, and Ben Gollings heading up a strong outfit north of the US-Canadian border.

But perhaps the story of the Can-Ams was the performance of the Army squad. Former West Point All American and current US Army captain Andy Locke, and another former West Point All American, Lt. Ben Leatigaga, were instrumental in the Army success on the weekend, as was Staff Sergeant Paul Nieves. The Army finished the day 4-2, losing only to Seattle.
"This was a great opportunity to see how the new Army hopefuls would fair against experienced 7s sides," said Army Coach Col. Mark Drown. "The opportunity to play against Seattle twice was just simply awesome.  You can't ask for a better test to evaluate your players."

Seattle coach and Fijian 7s legend Waisale Serevi met with the Army team.

"Serevi is an exceptional Ambassador for the game of 7s and our boys appreciated his words of praise and encouragement after the final," added Brown.

Army used the CANAM 7s as  a final opportunity to evaluate players for the the All Army 7s side that will defend its 2013 Armed Forces Championship and look improve their 6th place finish at the Serevi International Invitational in Glendale Colorado this August.

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