A shorthanded US 7s team logged milestone victories against England and Scotland, but fell to Argentina 26-21 in the Australian 7s bowl final.
The dramatic finish ends a six-tournament season with 6 points, presently good for 12th place -- ahead of France and Canada -- and the final automatic slot in the 2008-09 7s World Series. The tournament has two more stops to go in London and Edinburgh in late May / early June.
Having decided not to replace injured Takudzwa Ngwenya, the 11-man US saw two more players sidelined on day 1 of the Adelaide competition.
In day 2's opener, Chris Wyles' overtime try lifted the Americans to a first-ever win over the English, 26-19. Wyles then added four in a 29-14 victory over Scotland, another first, lifting the OMBAC center to a tournament-high seven.
The 3-3 weekend included a day 1 win over Canada, which earned the US top seed in next fall's North American qualifiers for the 2009 7s World Cup.
A busy slate of collegiate territorial playoffs filed out the round of 16, with a pair of familiar faces returning to the national stage and one regular missing out. Air Force and Bowling Green are each in pool D, as is Kutztown, which replaces 2007 semifinalist Navy.
Utah v Air Force and Colorado v
St. Mary's Utah look like particularly rugged
opening-round matchups. Penn State v Minnesota, in any other sport a Big
10 rivalry, is in rugby a inter-territorial contest.
After week 3, unbeaten Charlotte and Boston are the surprise of the Super League, while 2006 titlist OMBAC lies in fourth place and will likely need to down PAC in Washington to stay in the hunt. The San Diegans may be buoyed by the return of Clever and Wyles.
Western division rival Golden Gate also could use a win over the Lions in Chicago, while Old Blue's crosstown match with New York AC takes on similar urgency.
Division 1 Round of 16 (unofficial)
Cal v Tennessee, Army v Cal Poly
St. Mary's v Air Force, Bowling Green v Kutztown
Penn State v Minnesota, Colorado v Utah
San Diego State v Arkansas State, Dartmouth v Brigham Young