March 12, 2017
Eagles on to Cup Semi-Final after win against Argentina
Photo: All World Photo
The USA Men’s Eagles Sevens beat Japan, France and Australia convincingly in winning Pool C at the Canada Sevens at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. As a result, they advanced to the Cup Quarterfinals against Argentina, a rematch from the USA Sevens last weekend.
Argentina came back to beat Fiji in their final Pool B match forcing a three way tie for first with Fiji and Wales. Point differential secured a second place pool finish for Argentina behind Fiji, while Wales lost out on the Cup Quarterfinals by one point.
Mike Friday implored the team to set the tone from the start of the Canada Sevens against Japan by starting strong and keeping the foot to the throttle throughout the entire match. The Eagles Sevens team did this against both Japan and Australia, with only a slight hiccup against France.
The Eagles Sevens team will need to take the momentum from day one into the match against Argentina. The USA controlled the restarts and was effective in creating turnovers from the breakdowns in pool play. This helped them to have the majority of possession in all three matches.
USA v Argentina
The USA Men’s Eagles came back with two second half tries to beat Argentina 14-12 in the Cup Quarterfinals. They will meet HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series leader South Africa for the second week in a row, as South Africa defeated Canada 36-7.
Argentina’s Matias Osadczuk claimed the opening restart and after a high tackle and an accidental boot to the head, Danny Barrett was sent to the bin. Argentina took advantage of the Eagles being down a man when Fernando Luna intercepted a Martin Iosefo pass and offloaded to Bautista Delguy for a try. Javier Rojas then converted for a 7-0 lead.
The restart was kicked long to Madison Hughes and Ben Pinkelman broke down field, but lost the ball forward on the tackle near midfield. The USA took a tighthead ball and quick hands to Iosefo drew in a defender and offloaded to Perry Baker for a try under the posts. Madison Hughes converted to tie the match at 7 all.
Matias Osadczuk claimed the restart and the ball was spun wide. The Eagles were penalized at the breakdown and Osadczuk added a try that was converted by Javier Rojas for a 12-7 lead at the break.
The Eagles added another try two minutes into the half as Hughes grubbed the ball and Baker took the ball into contact. Argentina was penalized at the breakdown and a long pass by Stephen Tomasin to Danny Barrett resulted in his sidestep of Osadczuk for a try. Madison Hughes converted for a 14-12 lead.
The USA then reached deep to defend the sustained attack by Argentina. Folau Niua created a penalty by Argentina and kicked for touch to take time off the clock before a lineout. Maka Unufe then went into contact and Argentina was penalized again for not releasing. Niua took the tap and raced back into USA territory and ran into touch for the 14-12 win.
The USA will meet South Africa in the Cup Semi-finals. They will need to be at the top of their defensive game, while continuing their aggressive play. They almost pulled off a win in Las Vegas, will Vancouver be different and lead to a Cup final.
Men’s Eagles Sevens: 1. Pat Blair 2. Ben Pinkelman 3. Danny Barrett 4. Matai Leuta 5. Walt Elder 6. Andrew Durutalo 7. Folau Niua 8. Maka Unufe 9. Stephen Tomasin 10. Madison Hughes (C) 11. Perry Baker 12. Martin Iosefo
Men’s Eagles Sevens – HSBC Canada Sevens
- v. Japan – W52-0
- v. France –W31-19
- v. Australia – W29-5
- v. Argentina – Cup QF- W14-12
- v South Africa – Cup SF –