Hirayama captains Canada to silver at Pan Am Games

Defending champions fall to Argentina in gold medal game in Peru

Richmond’s Nathan Hirayama has captained Canada to a silver medal in men’s rugby sevens at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.

Canada completed the two-day competition with a 33-10 loss to Argentina on Sunday. The Canadians had advanced to the gold medal game with a 35-5 win over Brazil earlier in the day.

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Despite the strong start, Canada looked lost at times against a game opponent that was looking to avenge losses in both previous Pan Am finals.

Argentina's steady pressure and aggressive line speed proved to be too much.

“They just brought it,” Hirayama said. “They brought the pressure on us defensively and we just couldn't find a way to break them.

“They were smothering and just quicker to the punch. That's what it felt like.”

Josiah Morra scored on Canada's first possession but Luciano Gonzalez Rizzoni answered. The Argentine quickly added a second try after intercepting a pass deep in Canadian territory. 

German Schulz rumbled in late in the half to give Argentina a 21-5 lead into the break.

Argentina continued its crisp passing and quality tackling in the second half and refused to let Canada mount much of an attack.

With Hirayama off due to a yellow card, Argentina put it away as Gonzalez Rizzoni scored a third try. Lautaro Bazan Velez added some insurance for the victors and Sean Duke had a try for Canada as time expired.

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