March 5, 2016
Eagles Beat Kenya In USA Sevens Cup Quarterfinal
The USA Rugby Men’s Eagles Sevens team finished second in their Pool. They picked up a 19-12 win against Wales, had a 26-26 draw against Canada and then lost 29-0 to South Africa, who finished first in the Pool.
Kenya finished 3-0 in winning their Pool. They had won 24-21 against Russia, 38-0 versus Portugal and then beat New Zealand 22-0.
The USA Men’s Eagles Sevens took care of business in the Cup Quarterfinals with a 26-14 win over Kenya. They play Fiji in a Semifinal match at 12:50pm PT.
Folau Niua started the match kicking deep and covered the kick well and won a penalty at the breakdown. Garrett Bender buled his way to written 3 meters before Danny Barrett touched down for a try. Madison Hughes converted for a 7-0 lead liess than a minute into the match.
This would set the tone for the Eagles in the match, as they had their best performance of the USA Sevens so far.
Two minutes later, a turnover was created by Perry Baker and Martin Iosefo and this enabled a pass across the pitch to Zack Test to be finished with a try in the corner. Madison Hughes converted again and the Eagles led 14-0.
Kenya was able to attack deep into USA territory and the Eagles defense was stellar. Folau Niua attempted to clear a loose ball, but the wind played havoc and resulted in a Kenya steal and a Collins Injera try in the corner. Kenya also took advance one minute later on a penalty after the hooter for a Billy Odhiambo try to tie the match 14-14 going into halftime.
The second half began with Garrett Bender winning a penalty at the breakdown. The Eagles spun the ball to Baker, but he ran out of space prior to being tackled. Niua the off loaded to Iosefo for a try. Hughes slotted his third conversion for a 21-14 lead.
Zack Test challenged the restart and later scored the Eagles fourth try with a minute remaining. That was the way the match would end with the Eagles beating Kenya 26-14.
USA Rugby caught up with Martin Iosefo after the match. He indicated “I think we started realizing what we can do collectively as a team. We just went back to what we do best in attack. We kind of went away from it in previous games, and that was our main focus going into the Quarterfinal. We didn’t really emphasize the attack in the previous game – we wanted to showcase our defense against South Africa – but then we kind of lost track of what we can do on attack.”
The USA will play Fiji with a depleted side due to injuries, but they are ready to play the HSBC World Sevens Series leader Fiji in Sunday’s Semifinal. Be sure to watch at 12:50pm PT.
USA Eagles Starters: Barrett, Bender, Test, Niua, Hughes, Baker, Iosefo
USA Men’s Eagles Sevens | HSBC USA Sevens
1. Carlin Isles 2. Ben Pinkelman 3. Danny Barrett 4. Garrett Bender 5. Zack Test 6. Will Holder 7. Folau Niua 8. Maka Unufe 9. Nate Augspurger 10. Madison Hughes (C) 11. Perry Baker 12. Martin Iosefo
Men’s Eagles Sevens | HSBC USA Sevens
v Wales – W 19-12
v. Canada – D 26-26
v. South Africa – L 29-0
v Kenya – W 26-14 Cup QF
v Fiji – Cup SF