Team USA Men’s Rugby Sevens Finish 9th in Rio After Win Against Spain

August 11, 2016

Team USA Men’s Rugby Sevens Finish 9th in Rio After Win Against Spain


Photo: Team USA Men’s Rugby Sevens

Doug Coil

Team USA Men’s Rugby Sevens reached the 9th Place match against Spain after finishing third in their Pool. In Pool play they began with a 3 point loss to Argentina with no time, a 26-0 win against Brazil and a 5 point loss to Fiji. In the Place Semifinals, they won 24-12 against Brazil.

After the match against Brazil, Mike Friday said “We’ve come from being given less than a 10-percent chance of even making the Olympics to being here and being contenders.” I’m disappointed for the lads and I’m disappointed for the USA people because we’ve got a great game here, and the USA’s embracing it. We have a good team here, three years ahead of schedule, but we were hoping – and we set our standards – to be in the main competition come the end of today.”

Friday then added “I’m really proud of the character of the boys.” They’ve come out after the disappointment of having to deal with the injustice in the Fiji game. They’ve come out showing the real character and personality you’d expect from the USA Rugby team, and kind of illustrated the character of the USA people.”

“We had to put [our situation]in perspective. What I wanted them to do was represent the country and themselves – they equipped themselves really well in what were very difficult circumstances.”

The USA Men’s Rugby Sevens team has made the USA proud with their grit and determination. They epitomize the Olympic spirit and are athletes that may be emulated by the growing rugby youth numbers in the United States.

USA v Spain Recap
Both the USA and Spain required replacements for this final match of their Olympics in Rio. Martin Iosefo replaced an injured Perry Baker and Pablo Fontes was a replacement for Spain.
Spain controlled the ball early in the match and struck first as Pablo Fontes skirted around Martin Iosefo for a try in the corner. The conversion was missed, but Spain had a 5-0 lead.
The restart was taken by Garrett Bender, and he was hit while in the air by Losado. This infraction sent Losado to the bin.

The USA was able to capitalize after a penalty as Niua took the tap and Iosefo offloaded to Barrett for the try. Madison Hughes converted for a 7-5 lead.

The USA then added another try prior to halftime as Pinkelman took the lineout and Iosefo offloaded to Isles for a long try. The conversion was missed, but the USA lead 12-5 at halftime.

Spain attacked early in the second half with excellent offloads and Angel Lopez got to his feet after a Zack Test tackle and went in for a try. The conversion was missed, so the score was knotted at 12 all.

Both the USA and Spain made four substitutions and immediately they paid dividends for the USA. After the restart, Maka Unufe went in for a try that was converted by Hughes. An Andrew Durutalo offload to Carlin Isles also resulted in another try.

The match ended with the USA winning 24-12 over Spain and taking 9th place at the Olympics with Spain in 10th. While that is not the way either team wanted to finish, they represented their countries well.

Pool Round 1

  • Australia 14-31 France
  • South Africa 24-0 Spain
  • Great Britain 31-7 Kenya
  • New Zealand 12-14 Japan
  • USA 14-17 Argentina
  • Fiji 40-12 Brazil

Pool Round 2

  • Australia 26-12 Spain
  • South Africa 26-0 France
  • Great Britain 21-19 Japan
  • New Zealand 28-5 Kenya
  • USA 26-0 Brazil
  • Fiji 21-14 Argentina

Pool Round 3

  • France 26-5 Spain
  • South Africa 5-12 Australia
  • Kenya 7-31 Japan
  • New Zealand 19-21 Great Britain
  • Argentina 31-0 Brazil
  • Fiji 24-19 USA

Pool Day 2 Results and Standings

Pool Day 1 Results and Standings

Place 9-12

  • USA 24-12 Brazil
  • Spain 14-12 Kenya


  • Fiji 12-7 New Zealand
  • Japan 12-7 France
  • Great Britain 5-0 Argentina -Extra Time
  • South Africa 22-5 Australia

Thursday, August 11

  • Place 11-12: Brazil 0-24 Kenya
  • Place 9-10: USA 24-12 Spain
  • Place 5-8: New Zealand 24-19 France
  • Place 5-8: Argentina 26-21 Australia
  • Semifinal 1: Fiji 20-5 Japan
  • Semifinal 2: Great Britain 7-5 South Africa
  • Place 7-8: France 12-10 Australia
  • Place 5-6: New Zealand 17-14 Argentina
  • Bronze Medal: Japan 14-54 South Africa
  • Gold Medal: Fiji 43-7 Great Britain

Team USA Rugby Sevens Squad – Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games
1. Carlin Isles 2. Ben Pinkelman 3. Danny Barrett 4. Garrett Bender 5. Zack Test 6. Andrew Durutalo 7. Folau Niua 8. Maka Unufe 9. Chris Wyles 10. Madison Hughes 11. Perry Baker 12. Nate Ebner

USA Starters v Brazil: Barrett, Bender, Hughes, Iosefo, Isles, Niua, Pinkelman

USA Substitutions: Durutalo, Test, Unufe, Wyles

Team USA Rugby Sevens – Traveling Reserves
Nate Augspurger,  Martin Iosefo,  Shalom Suniula

Team USA Rugby Sevens Squad – Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games
v. Argentina –Recap L17-14
v. Brazil – Recap W26-0
v. Fiji – Recap L24-19

Placing Semifinal v Brazil W24-12

Place 9th v Spain W24-12

Preview article: Team USA Men’s Rugby Opens Rio Olympic Sevens Against Argentina

View the Olympic Rugby Squads!

About Author

North American Rugby News With A USA Slant