Canada become world champions!
Canada become world champions as they beat rivals USA 54-50 in a thrilling final encounter.
The two sides had kick started the tournament against each other on Monday, with Canada winning that game by a single point in the pool stages, writes Nathaniel Holland.
Zak Madell had stolen the show for Canada this week in their first four games, but it was his team mate Michael Whitehead who was pushing Canada in the opening moments.
The 3.0 player scored a quick hat-trick in the opening two minutes as they took an early lead against USA.
Although Whitehead was scoring the points, Madell was influential in play and he ended up rolling over for five of his side’s first ten tries.
Madell was pumped for the game and that showed when he sent Eagles star Joe Delagrave flying with a huge smash.
USA were going about their business effectively and didn’t let the threat of Madell get on top of them.
Some superb clock management from James Gumbert’s USA in the closing seconds of the first period gave them a one point advantage into the first quarter as Josh Wheeler crossed the line with two seconds left on the clock.
The one point deficit was the motivation Canada needed and they pressured USA and managed to turnover possession as they quickly drew level and went two points ahead after the second period.
The game was balanced on a knife-edge but Canada retained their two-point lead heading into the final quarter as USA battled to keep them in the game.
Two points was a manageable score for USA to try and pull back but Canada showed great qualities and, just like Monday, it was the Madell/ Aoki duel, with both players rolling over the 20 try mark each in the final period.
Canada were boosted by the performance of captain and leader Trevor Hirschfield as he didn’t put a pass wrong all game to help his team claim victory.
In the final moments Canada stretched the lead by four to end the game with a 54-50 victory to claim gold.