USA Men’s Eagles 7s Second in Pool at Paris 7s: Cup QFs vs. England

May 13, 2017

USA Men’s Eagles 7s Second in Pool at Paris 7s: Cup QFs vs. England


Photo: Paris Sevens

Doug Coil

The USA Men’s Eagles Sevens traveled to Paris for the HSBC Paris Sevens at State Jean-Bouin on May 13-14. The USA entered Paris in fifth place with 101 points and will have Zealand in their sights in fourth place with 110 points. Being able to overtake New Zealand after the London Sevens, certainly has to be a goal in entering this Series.

Mike Friday make two changes in his squad, as Alex Schwartz of Old Blue, replaced Danny Barrett due to an injury. Don Pati also returned to the team in which he made his debut in Dubai. while Alex Schwartz of Old Blue will debut at the HSBC Paris Sevens at State Jean-Bouin May 13-14. Eighteen year old Naima Fualaau will be the 13th man. He traveled to Europe last week to play with the Samurai Barracudas team at the Greene King IPA 7s.

The Eagles were in Pool B at the Paris Sevens and start this stop against Argentina on Saturday, May 13, at 5:06 a.m. ET, with the live stream available to viewers in the United States on World Rugby’s website. Then they will play Wales at 8:32 a.m. ET before concluding pool play against New Zealand at 11:58 a.m. ET.

The USA side has been in four consecutive Cup Semifinals in Las Vegas, Vancouver, Hong Kong, and Singapore.They translated these Semifinals into a Silver, Bronze and two fourth place finishes.

In Pool play the USA won their first two matches 26-19 against Argentina and then 38-14  against Wales. This set up a match with New Zealand to determine who would win the Pool and for seeding for the Cup Quarterfinals. New Zealand used three second half tries to beat the Eagles 27-14 and win the Pool. The USA finished second .

USA v Argentina

Javier Rojas kicked to begin the match and Madison Hughes claimed the ball and passed to Martin Iosefo, who was then penalized for not releasing the ball. Argentina took the tap and went left resulting in a Fernando Luna try for an early 5-0 lead.

Ben Pinkelman went high for the restart and the ball was cycled through Iosefo to Hughes before Perry Baker went in for the try. Madison Hughes converted and the USA led 7-5. The USA claimed the restart and a Folau Niua dummy resulted in a try. Once again Hughes converted for a 14-5 lead.

The restart went to Argentina and the Andrew Durutalo was penalized at the breakdown. Argentina kicked to touch for a lineout and soon after Javier Rojas went in for a try and conversion to narrow the score to 14-12.

The USA claimed the restart, but with no time and deep in their territory, Niua kicked into touch and reset at halftime. Mike Friday time at the break to encourage the Eagles to go forward, engage and look for turnovers.

Folau Niua kicked the second half restart and Stephen Tomasin claimed the ball for the Eagles. Niua saw that Argentina did not have a sweeper back and grubbed the ball for a Martin Iosefo try. Hughes slotted his third conversion to increase the lead to 21-12.

The ensuing restart was tapped back by Maka Unufe where it quickly went wide right, then left and right again as it went from Unufe to Tomasin to Baker for a try and it was 26-12.

Unufe again tapped the restart into USA hands. Baker went into contact and the ball was poached.  A Unufe tackle saved a try, but a quick tap resulted in a Gaston Revol try and conversion to narrow the score to 26-19.

Argentina took the restart and gave up possession with a cross kick that bounced into touch. The USA however lost the lineout as Argentina tapped the ball back. The assistant referee raised his flag that an Argentina player stepped into touch, however play went on until Tomasin dislodged the ball on the tackle. The scrum was controlled by the USA and Niua went back and kicked over the in-goal area for a 26-19 win.

USA Starters: Durutalo, Tomasin, Pinkelman, Iosefo, Hughes, Baker, Niua

USA v Wales

Folau Niua kicked to begin the match against Wales and the Welsh captain Sam Cross captured the ball. He then drew in a defender and offloaded inside to Lloyd Evans for a try. Ethan Davies converted for a 7-0 lead.

The restart was tapped and Martin Iosefo controlled the ball. The ball was swung wide left and then right before Wales was penalized at the breakdown. Perry Baker then evaded three defenders before the ball went right to Madison Hughes, who offloaded to Martin Iosefo for a try. Hughes then converted to tie the score at 7 all.

WAles came right back in a duplicate of their first try. Cross drew in a defender and passes inside to Lloyd Evans for a try. Davies converted again for a 14-7 lead.

Wales then kicked deep with the ball bouncing out 5 meters from the line. The Eagles won the lineout and used quick hands right to Perry Baker and he delivered a 100 meter try. After Hughes converted it was 14-14 at halftime.

Wales kicked to begin the second half and Iosefo grabbed a tapped ball. Ben Pinkelman then beat  three defenders before going into contact. Martin Iosefo slipped through the defense for his second try of the match. Hughes slotted his third conversion for a 21-14 lead.

The USA controlled a loose ball on the restart and went wide to Baker for his second try. Hughes converted again, increasing the Eagles lead to 28-14.

Wales had a scoring opportunity when the ball was grubbed ahead, however Tom Gareth Williams was offsides giving the ball to the USA. From behind their 22 metrs, Maka Unufe found a gap and was off to the races for a long try and a 33-14 lead.

Wales took the restart, however a loose ball was picked up by Perry Baker. Alex Schwarz, who earned his first cap when he entered the match, was in support and received an unselfish offload from Baker for his first Series try. The conversion attempt by Mike Te’o went wide left, but the USA emerged with a 38-14 win and secured a place in the Cup quarterfinals.

USA Starters: Durutalo, Tomasin, Pinkelman, Iosefo, Hughes, Baker, Niua

USA v New Zealand

New Zealand struck first after runs by Jamie Booth and then Lewis Ormond found a gap and handed off to Jamie Booth for his first try in his Series debut. The USA came right back with Ben Pinkelman taking the restart and Perry Baker picked the ball from the breakdown and was off for a try. After Madison Hughes converted the Eagles had a 7-5 lead.

New Zealand claimed the restart, but the USA intercepted the ball and then Martin Iosefo lost it in contact. New Zealand won a scrum and the ball went wide with Joe Webber drawing in a defender and Fa’asiu Fuatai also added a try in his Series debut. Jamie Booth missed the conversion, but New Zealand had a 10-7 lead that stood by halftime.

The Eagles struck first in the second half as Pinkelman stepped past a defender and offloaded to Baker for a try. Hughes converted to retake the lead 14-10.

New Zealand then took advantage of picking up a loose ball as a Lewis Ormond offload to Tone Ng Shiu resulted in a try and a 15-14 lead.

The USA substituted many of their reserves and went on the attack before Matai Leuta went near the line. The ball was intercepted by New Zealand and they counter attacked with Regan Ware adding a try. The conversion was good and the match result was no longer in doubt.

The restart was kicked deep to the USA, but the Eagles were penalized at the breakdown and Regan Ware added a second try in the corner for a 27-14 win.

Both teams will advance to the Cup quarterfinals tomorrow, however New Zealand will be the number one seed and face France, while the USA will be the number two seed and face England Sunday at 4:50am ET.

USA Starters: Durutalo, Tomasin, Pinkelman, Iosefo, Hughes, Baker, Niua

Men’s Eagles Sevens: HSBC Paris Sevens – HSBC London Sevens
1. Alex Schwarz 2. Ben Pinkelman 3. Don Pati 4. Matai Leuta 5. Mike Te’o 6. Andrew Durutalo 7. Folau Niua 8. Maka Unufe 9. Stephen Tomasin 10. Madison Hughes (C) 11. Perry Baker 12. Martin Iosefo 13. Naima Fuala’au

Argentina: 1 Santiago Mare 2 Lucas Belloto 3 Fernando Luna 4 Conrado Roura 5 Jose Barros Sosa 6 Julián Dominguez 7 Germán Klubus 8 Joaquín Riera 9 Gastón Revol 10 Javier Rojas Ávarez 11 Franco Sábato 12 Lautaro Bazán Vélez 13 Mauro Perotti

Wales: 1 Lloyd Lewis 2 Tom Gareth Williams 3 Stefan Andrews  4 Luke Morgan 5 Owen Jenkins 6 Billy McBryde 7 Ethan Davies 8 Lloyd Evans 9 Adam Thomas  10 Sam Cross (cap) 11 James Benjamin 12 Ben Roach 13 Jack Maynard

New Zealand: 1 Tone Ng Shiu 2 Tim Mikkelson 3 Trael Joass 4 DJ Fobes (cap) 5 Lewis Ormond 6 Jamie Booth 7 Sam Dickson 8 Rocky Khan 9 Fa’asiu Fuatai 10 Regan Ware 11 Joe Webber 12 Sione Molia 13 Sherwin Stowers

Men’s Eagles Sevens – HSBC Paris Sevens
v. Argentina – W26-19
v. Wales – W38-14
v. New Zealand – L27-14

Cup QFs v England -Sunday, 4:50am ET

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant