March 5, 2016
Eagles Narrowly Loses To Fiji In USA Sevens Cup Semifinal
Photo: Norma Salinas Photography
The USA Men’s Eagles Sevens hoped to take the momentum of their Cup Quarterfinal win yesterday into the match today against Fiji. They had played their best rugby match of the HSBC World Sevens Series against Kenya and would need to be at the top of their game in playing against first place Fiji.
The match begin with both teams battling for possession. Fiji took the early lead when Jasa Vermalua evaded a tackle for try near posts and Vaemo Ravouvou converted for 7-0 lead.
The Eagles then attacked within Fiji territory before Fiji earned a penalty. After advancing to midfield the ball was knocked on and the USA won a scrum. Fiji aggression in the breakdown and results in a penalty to the USA. Test starts a penalty, and the Eagles are patient during multiple phases and Danny Barrett finds the gap for a try under the posts. Madison Hughes converts and the score is tied at 7 all.
Fiji attacks from the restart and the ball goes into touch. The lineout was long and results in Vatemo Ravouvou try in the corner just beyond the reach of Martin Iosefo. He converts his own conversion and Fiji takes the lead again at 14-7 with a minute remaining.
Fiji kicks deep and the ball bounces into touch within the 22 meter mark. A Eagles lineout is knockon and Fiji is not able to take advantage as they are penalised. Fiji kicks the ball away and is yellow carded.
The USA attacks, but loses possession and several offloads later Pio Tuwai has a try. The conversion was good and Fiji increase their lead to 21-7.
From the restart the Eagles swing the ball from left to right before Test knocks on Fiji kicks the ball deep and Baker is there to recover, but runs out of space and offloads. Fiji attacks from a scum, but the USA eagles defend well and earn a scrum deep in their territory. Ben Pinkelman is tackled high and Fiji has a second yellow on Masivesi Dakuwaqa.
Perry Baker turns the penalty into a try and Madison Hughes converts. USA is within a converted try.
On the restart, the ball is kicked deep and Fiji catches and kicks to touch to advnace to the Cup Final. The Eagles will play for third place in a rematch against South Africa at 3:28pm PT
USA Eagles Starters: Barrett, Bender, Test, Niua, Hughes, Isles, 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 0-29
- v Kenya – W 26-14 Cup Q
- v Fiji – L 14-21 Cup SF
- v South Africa – 3rd Place