February 6, 2017
Eagles Sevens 6th at Sydney 7s
The USA Men’s Eagles finished 6th at the Sydney 7s after going 2-1 in Pool play in winning Pool D . In day two they lost to the tournament champions South Africa then won against Wales, before losing to the Olympic Champions Fiji in the 5th/6th place match.
The Eagles Sevens team came into day two with nine members of the squad as a result of injuries during day one. They did activate Chris Coyle and he gained his first Eagles 7s cap as he entered the match against Fiji in the final minutes.
USA v South Africa – Cup Quarterfinal
The USA entered the match against South Africa having sustained three injuries in day one and would have a limited bench. South Africa is an explosive team, just like the USA. They won two of the first three stops on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and would also win the Sydney 7s starting day two with a 21-10 quarterfinal win over the Eagles.
The Eagles have had some success in the last year against South Africa and pressured them from the start. Andrew Durutalo poached the ball at the breakdown and Danny Barrett was taken into touch by three defenders near the try line. South Africa then went through multiple phases until Carlin Isles picked up a loose ball and was off to the races for a try and a 5-0 lead.
The lead would not last long as Justin Geduld would a gap and ran in for a long try that was converted by du Preez for a 7-5 South Africa lead. Geduld then combined with Chris Dry with the later going in for a try prior to halftime. Du Preez converted again and it was 14-5 at halftime.
The USA took advantage of a penalty and Folau Niua kicked to touch. The Eagles won the lineout and swung the ball out wide to the the touchline and back again. With the ball in Danny Barrett’s hands, the defender focused on him and this allowed Stephen Tomasin to take the offload in for a try to narrow the lead to 14-10.
The Springboks sealed the match as Seabelo Senatla sped down the pitch in a dual with Carlin Isles for a try. Geduld converted and it South Africa gained a 21-10 win and advanced to the Cup Semi-finals, while the Eagles would play for 5th place.
The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series will miss Senatla, the Final player of the match, as he leaves to play Super Rugby.
USA v Wales – 5th Place Semi-final
The Eagles drew first blood against Wales after a Stephen Tomasin tackle and a penalty as Folau Niua offloaded to Martin Iosefo for a try. Madison Hughes converted and the USA led 7-0.
The Eagles won the restart and Andrew Durutalo fed Carlin Isles a pass for the try. Hughes converted again and the Eagles increased their lead to 14-0.
The Eagles had starved Wales of possession during the first half, until a late attack prior to halftime and was defended well by the Eagles.
The second half had Madison Hughes kicking ahead and Carlin Isles chasing, but in the process of retrieving the ball, he lost the ball forward. Wales then attacked after a penalty and James Botham went in for a try to narrow the score to 14-5. He then added a second try as Luke Treharne took a quick tap near the line and the offloaded the ball to him for a try. The lead was cut to 14-10.
The Eagles then sealed the match with Carlin Isles 5th try of the tournament and a 19-10 win. This set up a match against Fiji.
USA v Fiji – 5th place Final
The USA topped the teams in gaining possession of the restarts at the tournament and the start of this match was no exception. Madison Hughes almost had the first try for the USA, but he was taken into touch near the try line. Quickly Fiji was able to attack with Nemani Nagusa finding a gap for a try and after a Kolinisau conversion the score was 7-0.
The Eagles then tied the match at 7 all as offloads from Hughes to Iosefo to Tomasin resulted in a try and a Hughes conversion.
The teams then traded first half tries as Nagusa added his second and Kolinisau converted. After a tap from Folau Niua, Danny Barrett went in for a try. At halftime Fiji held a narrow 14-12 lead.
During the second half, the floodgates opened. First Samisoni Viriviri added a try and Nacanieli Lababala added another in the first two minutes of the half. The score was now 28-12.
Chris Coyle entered the match in the closing minutes, earning his first Eagles 7s cap. A lineout throw went long over him, as Jasa Veremalua added a final try for Fiji and a 35-12 win.
With the 6th place finish, the USA moved to 8th in the World Rugby Sevens Series standings.
Las Vegas Sevens March 3-5, 2017
The Eagles 7s have almost a month to heal, train and contend in their home series stop in the United States. The Las Vegas Sevens have added a Women’s stop and the Women will carry momentum into the series with their second place finish at the Sydney 7s.
Pools were drawn for both the men’s and women’s series at the conclusion of the Sydney 7s. They are as follows:
Las Vegas Sevens Men’s Pools
- Pool A: South Africa, Wales, France, Canada
- Pool B: England, USA, Samoa, Chile
- Pool C: New Zealand, Argentina, Russia, Kenya
- Pool D: Australia, Fiji, Japan, Scotland
Las Vegas Sevens Women’s Pools
- Pool A: Canada, France, Russia, and Sudamerica Rugby Sevens Champion
- Pool B: USA, Fiji, Ireland, Spain
- Pool C: New Zealand, Australia, England, Brazil
Men’s Eagles Sevens – HSBC Wellington Sevens
1. Carlin Isles 2. Matai Leuta 3. Danny Barrett 4 Chris Coyle 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: Barrett, Tomasin, Durutalo, Hughes, Niua, Iosefo, Isles
Men’s Eagles Sevens – HSBC Sydney7s