April 8, 2016
USA Men’s Eagles 7s Defeat Portugal to Start Hong Kong Sevens
The USA Men’s Eagles Sevens team began the Hong Kong Sevens with a 21-5 win against Portugal. The play from the Eagles was sloppy at times offensively and their defense was tenacious.
Portugal kicked off to begin the match and the USA gained the first possession. They kept possession for the first few minutes through multiples phases. Finally their persistence paid dividends as the Test took the ball just shy of in-goal after a penalty and Martin Iosefo dove over for a try. Madison Hughes converted for a 7-0 lead.
The Eagles started another attack after Portugal’s Esteves dropped the ball. The USA moved the ball to the wing and Perry Baker did the rest, rounding the wing and turning on the afterburners for a try. Madison Hughes converted and the Eagles led 14-0.
In a defensive lapse by the Eagles just prior to halftime, Tiago Fernandes offloaded to Tomas Appleton for a try. At halftime it was USA 14 and Portugal 5.
Folau Niua kicked off to begin the second half. The USA poached the ball, but sloppy passing negated the attack.
With four minutes remaining in the match, Mike Friday substituted Ben Pinkleman and Maka Unufe for Danny Barrett and Martin Iosefo. At that point the USA had given the ball away seven times.
The Eagles took advantage of a penalty as Folau Niua kicked for territory. He then threw the ball in from a lineout, but Portugal gained possession from the tap. The ball was swung wide by Portugal and the Eagles regained possession. In a nifty offload by Unufe, Madison Hughes scampered in for the Eagles third try. He made his own conversion for a 21-5 lead with one minute remaining. Nate Augspurger then was brought in to replace Hughes.
Shortly later the match ended with the Eagles winning 21-5 over Portugal. The Eagles will take the win, and will want to minimize handling errors when they take on Argentina and then Australia.
Men’s Eagles Sevens v. Portugal
- Nate Ebner 2 Ben Pinkelman 3 Danny Barrett 4 Garrett Bender 5 Zack Test 6 Peter Tiberio 7 Folau Niua 8 Maka Unufe 9 Nate Augspurger 10 Madison Hughes (C) 11 Perry Baker 12 Martin Iosefo
Eagles Starters: Barrett, Bender, Test, Niua, Hughes, Baker, Iosefo
Portugal v. USA
1. Aderito Esteves 2 Vasco Ribeiro 3 Jose Cabral 4 Pedro Leal 5 Antonio Vidinha 6. Vasco Poppe 7. Pedro Silverio 8. Vasco Mendes 9. Joao Belo 10. Tiago Fernandes 11. Tomas Appleton 12. Antonio Monteiro
Men’s Eagles Sevens 21
Tries: Iosefo, Baker, Hughes, Conversions: Hughes (3)
Tries: Appleton, Conversions: N/A
Men’s Eagles Sevens: Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens
v. Portugal – W 21-5
v. Argentina – Saturday, April 9 @ 12:48 a.m. ET
v. Australia – Saturday, April 9 @ 5:10 a.m. ET