Eagles Sevens Gain Cup Final at USA7s
The USA Rugby Men’s Eagles Sevens advanced to the Cup Final after a 19-7 win over Fiji in the Cup Semi-Finals. Argentina beat South Africa 12-10, to face the Eagles. To read about how the Eagles Sevens advanced to the Cup Semi-Finals, click here.
After three consecutive years of appearing in the Bronze Final, the Eagles Sevens appeared in the home tournament final for the first time. Getting to their 4th Cup Final in history was a charm, as they defeated Argentina 28-0. That gives the team 2 wins in 4 cup final appearances. They also won at the 2015 London Sevens, but lost in Adelaide, Australia in 2010 to Samoa and in Singapore in 2016 to Canada.
In the bronze medal final, Fiji beat South Africa 26-22. Fifth place went to New Zealand, who beat Australia in extra time 17-12. The Challenge Trophy was claimed by France with a 26-19 win over Canada. Finally, the 13th place final had Samoa defeating Spain 28-7.
Eagles Sevens vs. Argentina Recap
Folau Niua kicked to begin the Cup Final and Ben Pinkelmann gathered the ball. Phases later, and a swarming Argentina defense led to a Matei Leuta knock on. The USA won a penalty after the Argentina scrum and Kevon Williams found a seam. A long pass by Leuta to Baker was all that was needed to get the Eagles Sevens team on the board first and with Niua converting the USA took a 7-0 lead.
The USA added another try after a Danny Barrett break, a couple of spins by Perry Baker, and an offload inside to Barrett for a try under the posts. Niua converted again for a 14-0 lead at the break.
Argentina kicked the ball deep to Kevon Williams to begin the second half. Martin Iosefo found a gap in the defense and Barrett finished up with his second try of the match. Niua converted again for a 21-0 lead.
Mike Friday then inserted Carlin Isles and Malon Al-Jiboori into the match. What was of interest, is having Perry Baker at center with Carlin Isles next to him on the wing. Isles would have two offloads from Baker. The first was high and went into touch. The second just before time expired, had Isles rounding the wide channel and scoring his 99th try in the corner. Niua was perfect with conversions in the match and the Eagles went undefeated in winning their first HSBC Sevens Series tournament on home soil 28-0.
Danny Barrett was named the Man of the Final, while Perry Baker had 8 tries in the tournament.
Eagles Sevens: 1 Carlin Isles 2 Ben Pinkelman 3 Danny Barrett 4 Matai Leuta 5 Joe Schroeder (Injury) 6 Malon Al-Jiboori 7 Folau Niua 8 Maka Unufe (Injury) 9 Cody Melphy 10 Kevon Williams 11 Perry Baker 12 Martin Iosefo 13 Chris Mattina
Men’s Eagles Sevens Staff
Head Coach – Mike Friday
Assistant Coach – Chris Brown
Physiotherapist – Brian Green
Team Manager – Scott Novack
Men’s Eagles Sevens Schedule
- Pool C vs. Samoa – W 26-12
- Pool C vs. Australia – W 28-7
- Pool C vs. Spain – W 28-17
- Cup QFs vs. England – W 17-12
- Cup SFs vs. Fiji – W 19-7
- Cup Final vs. Argentina W 28-0