(Picture & Text: World Rugby)
Canada won their first ever HSBC World Rugby Sevens series tournament after beating USA 26-19 in a heart-stopping final in Singapore.
The Canadians raced ahead into a 19-0 lead but USA scored twice through Perry Baker in a thrilling finale. A try in the dying moments from Lucas Hammond sealed the win for Damian McGrath's side.
Shocks and upsets were the order of the day as Fiji, South Africa and New Zealand all crashed out on at the quarter-final stages of the tournament on Sunday.
Elsewhere England won the bronze medal match at the National Stadium after beating Australia 14-12 while Wales beat Scotland 24-12 to win the Challenge Trophy.
Speaking after the historic match, HSBC Player of the Final Nathan Hirayama said: "It's an unbelievable feeling. A lot of us have been on the scene a long time and we came through some dark times, but to come away with that win was special."
Coach Damian McGrath, who coached Samoa to a shock win at the HSBC Paris Sevens last year, added: "It's incredible. Last night (on day one) we were beaten by Fiji so we had a little bit of soul searching and then we came back and beat some of the best teams in the world. This will show that Canadian rugby has so much to offer."
USA ran out in a tournament final for the first time since they won the HSBC London Sevens in 2015 and while Canada played in the Glasgow Sevens final in 2014 they hadn't featured in one since and never claimed a series tournament win.
The game kicked off with a quick try from Canada's Matt Mullins and while the USA was processing that, the Canadians struck again through Harry Jones to make it 12-0. USA pushed up the field but a break saw Mike Fuailefau touchdown after a kick ahead, and the Canadians were suddenly 19-0 ahead. Safe to say, USA were not expecting that.
But it wasn't long before speedster Perry Baker turned on the after-burners and one try followed by another from Stephen Tomasin made it 19-12 at half time; game on.
And then it looked like Canada would be waiting another lifetime for a precious tournament win. After the resumption of play, Baker, in imperious form all weekend, flashed down the win for yet another try to leave the USA fans at the National Stadium in full voice as the match was levelled, 19-19.
The match went back and forth until Lucas Hammond seized on an opening in the American defence to score and the Canadians hung on to claim the top prize on the night.
Captain John Moonlight said afterwards: “It’s hard to put that into words. We took a licking against Fiji yesterday, and from our coach. But we showed up today, we showed the world we can beat anyone. We beat three of the best teams today. We are flying. An unbelievable feeling.”
The action now moves to Paris for the penultimate round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series on May 13 and 14 at Stadium Jean Bouin. Click here to find out where you can watch the action.