Eagles Sevens Exit Wellington Sevens after Challenge Trophy Semi-Final Loss to Kenya

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January 29, 2017

Eagles Sevens Exit Wellington Sevens after Challenge Trophy Semi-Final Loss to Kenya

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Doug Coil

The USA entered day two at the Wellington Sevens after going 1-1-1 in their Poll and finishing the day in third place. As a result they found themselves contending for the Challenge Trophy and faced Japan in the Quarterfinals.

In the Quarterfinals, the Eagles took care of business with two Danny Barrett tries and another by Carlin Isles to beat Japan 19-14. The match also claimed Martin Iosefo who appeared to be injured and was replaced by Don Pati for the rest of the match. Fortunately, Iosefo was fine and started the next match against Kenya.

The USA faced Kenya in the Challenge Trophy Semi-finals, but Kenya prevailed 19-12 and the Wellington Sevens were history for the Eagles Sevens.

The Eagles finished the tournament in 11th place, which coincidentally, is the place they find themselves in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series standings with 23 points. Teams are bunched up after the third leg of the Series, with 8th to 10th place Australi, Argentina and Kenya with 25 points and, 7th place France with 28 and 6th place Wales with 30. Canada is just behind the USA in 12th with 21 points.

The teams were drawn for the Sydney Sevens next weekend and the USA will have another opportunity to advance to the Cup round after pool play. They will need to start from the first match and assert themselves in order to contend.

  • Pool A: South Africa, England, Kenya, Japan
  • Pool B: Fiji, France, Wales, Samoa
  • Pool C: Scotland, New Zealand, Australia, Papua New Guinea
  • Pool D: Canada, Argentina, USA, Russia

Day One Recap

USA v Japan

The Eagles gathered Japan’s opening restart and swung the ball out to Carlin Isles who went into contact. The USA continued to maintain possession with Martin Iosefo and Madison Hughes advancing the ball before Japan was pinged for a penalty. The USA then won a lineout inside Japan’s half before losing the ball forward. After a scrum to Japan, Stephen Tomasin won a turnover at the breakdown and Japan was penalized for a high tackle on Isles. Danny Barrettt took an offload from Tomasin in for a try. Hughes converted for a 7-0 lead two minutes into the match.

Hisayoshi Matsuoka evened the score at 7-7 in the sixth minute and then claimed a 14-7 lead at halftime from a quick penalty tap, which allowed Dai Ozawa to add a try.

Early in the second half, Danny Barrett caught an overthrown ball from a Japan lineout, and used his physical prowess to go in for his third try of the tournament. Madison Hughes converted and the match was knotted at 14 all.

In the 11th minute the Eagles executed a set play as Isles went in for the try near the corner after an offload by Folau Niua and the Eagles took a 19-14 lead.

Japan was then unsuccessful in an attack that went near the USA try line. Andrew Durutalo received a yellow card with no time for taking part in a play after not advancing behind the try line. It could have resulted in a penalty try, but the referee played on and the Eagles emerged with the win.

In the other Challenge Trophy Semi-Final, Kenya defeated Russia 24-5.

Men’s Eagles Sevens v. Japan
1. Carlin Isles 2. Matai Leuta 3. Danny Barrett 5. Don Pati 6. Andrew Durutalo 7. Folau Niua 8. Connor Wallace-Sims 9. Stephen Tomasin 10. Madison Hughes (C) 11. Perry Baker 12. Martin Iosefo 13. Pago Haini

Starters: Durutalo, Tomasin, Barrett, Hughes, Iosefo, Niua, Isles

Replacements: Pati, Baker

Japan v. USA
2. Dallas Tatana 3. Yoshiaki Tsurugasaki 4. Jonmoon Han 5. Leon Ellison 6. Dai Ozawa 7. Patrick Stehlin 8. Pouli Teaupa 9. Ryoto Kano 10. Rikiya Oishi 11. Masahiro Nakano 12. Hisayoshi Matsuoka

Men’s Eagles Sevens – 19
Tries: Barrett (2), Isles
Conversions: Hughes (2)

Japan- 14
Tries: Matsuoka, Ozawa
Conversions: Ellison

USA v Kenya

The Eagles lost Folau’s Niua opening restart and then turned Baker was isolated on the wing and in the ensuing tackle, his losse ball was gathered by Daniel Sikuta who went in for a try and a 5-0 lead in the 3rd minute.

The restart was sent deep to Tomasin and spun the ball wide to Baker, who scampered past defenders and raced the rest of the way in for a 90 meter try. Hughes slotted the conversion and the Eagles led 7-5 at halftime.
Kenya reclaimed the lead, as Billy Odhiambo evaded Barrett on the wing for a try and 12-7 lead. Kenya then kicked deep on the restart and went into touch 5 meters from the try line. A combination of the wind and an inaccurate throw resulted in Odhiambo adding a second try sealing the match in the 14th minute with a 19-7 lead.

The restart went directly into touch and Don Pati advanced the ball into Kenya’s half. Kenya was penalized several times before Collins Injera was yellow carded. Hughes took the tap and dove in for the try and the score ended at 19-12.

Men’s Eagles Sevens – v. Japan
1. Carlin Isles 2. Matai Leuta 3. Danny Barrett 5. Don Pati 6. Andrew Durutalo 7. Folau Niua 8. Connor Wallace-Sims 9. Stephen Tomasin 10. Madison Hughes (C) 11. Perry Baker 12. Martin Iosefo 13. Pago Haini

Starters: Durutalo, Tomasin, Barrett, Hughes, Iosefo, Niua, Baker

Replacements: Pati, Isles

Kenya v. USA
1. Bush Mwale 2. Oscar Ouma 3. Daniel Sikuta 4. Augustine Lugonzo 5. Billy Odhiambo 6. Samuel Oliech 7. Eden Agero 8. Andrew Amonde 9. Nelson Oyoo 10. Brian Tanga 11. Collins Injera 12. Willy Ambaka 13. Leonard Mugaisi

Men’s Eagles Sevens – 12
Tries: Baker, Hughes
Conversions: Hughes

Kenya – 19
Tries: Sikuta, Odhiambo (2)
Conversions: Agero (2)
Discipline: Injera (Yellow)

Men’s Eagles Sevens – HSBC Wellington Sevens
v. France – D 21-21
v. Samoa – W 24-12
v. New Zealand – L 24-12
Challenge Trophy QF v. Japan – W 19-14
Challenge Trophy SF v. Kenya – L 19-12

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant