The USA Rugby Men’s Eagles Sevens team is in Cape Town, South Africa for the 2019 HSBC Cape Town Sevens. Last weekend the team gained the silver medal at the HSBC World Sevens Series, Dubai Sevens and are ranked second in the current Series standings.
The USA went 3-0 on day one beating Japan 54-0, Spain 38-17 and Argentina 31-14 and advanced to the Cup Quarterfinals against England, who lost 21-19 to Fiji, the Pool C winner.
The Cup Quarterfinals will have South Africa vs. Scotland, Fiji vs. Spain, Australia vs New Zealand, and the USA vs. England. The Challenge Trophy Quarterfinals will match Samoa vs. Wales, France vs. Japan, Canada vs. Zimbabwe, and Argentina vs. Kenya.
New Zealand entered the final match of Pool play needing a win against South Africa to create a three-way tie with South Africa and Samoa. Both New Zealand and South Africa would then advance to the Cup Quarterfinals based on point differential.
New Zealand beat South Africa at death. As a result, South Africa won the Pool with New Zealand second. New Zealand avoided
Congratulations to James Rodwell’s 89th World Series appearance which equals DJ Forbes record. Gordon Tietjens also gained his first win against his former team, as Samoa beat New Zealand in the closing moments.
Cape Town Sevens Pool B
The U.S. Men’s Eagles Sevens team were in Pool B along with Argentina, Spain, and Japan. The USA faced Japan to begin the HSBC World Sevens Series stop, winning 54-0. Spain beat Argentina 35-12 in the other Pool B match.
In the second round, the USA beat Spain 38-17, while Argentina won against Japan 35-7. In the final Pool B matches, Spain beat Japan 52-0 to finish second in the pool and the USA won 31-14 against Argentina. The USA went undefeated Pool B and will face England in the Cup Quarterfinals, while Spain will face Fiji. In the Challenge Trophy Quarterfinals, Argentina will face Kenya and Japan will meet France.
USA vs. Japan
The Men’s Eagles punished Japan with eight tries, with seven players scoring for a 54-0 win. Captain Madison Hughes had one conversion, while Stephen Tomasin had six.
An offload by Madison Hughes to Martin Iosefo resulted in a try under the posts and then Iosefo reciprocated with an offload to Hughes for a try and a 14-0 lead. Perry Baker added another and Stephen Tomasin added two tries along with four conversions during the first half.
A Matai Leuta offload to Brett Thompson pushed the lead in the second half to 42-0. Then Leuta added another for a 49-0 lead. A tap and go by Folau Niua and quick hands to Tomasin to Carlin Isles gave all the space needed for the final try and a 54-0 win.
USA vs. Spain
Both the USA and Spain entered the match with 1-0 records. In the preceding match, Argentina defeated Japan 35-7 to move to 1-1, with Japan at 0-2 in pool play.
Following a penalty by Spain, the USA attacked from a lineout with Barrett gathering the ball and Niua spinning the ball to Williams who finished with a try and after Tomasin’s conversion, it was 7-0.
Spain answered back with an intercept try by Ignacio Rodriguez to level the match at 7 all. Spain then added another try after claiming the restart and an offload from Hernandez to Joan Losada to a try, pushing the lead to 12-7.
The USA answered right back with a try by Perry Baker and reclaimed the lead after a Tomasin conversion. The USA had one more opportunity, but a knock on ended the half with a USA 14-12 lead.
Spain claimed the restart and Roggi finished with a try in the right corner to reclaim the lead 17-14. The USA answered back after a penalty by Spain and several wide to wide phases before Danny Barrett scored under the posts and Hughes converted for a 21-17 lead.
Stephen Tomasin went down the wide channel for a quick try, pushing the lead to 26-17. They then sealed the match with a Carlin Isles try beating defenders wide. Hughes added the conversion for a 33-17 lead. Maceo Brown added a final try, his first career Series one, for a 38-17 win.
The Men’s Eagles Sevens team moves to 2-0 and will face Argentina next, while Spain faces Japan in the final pool match. The USA is poised to win their pool either with a win, a draw or potentially by point differential, should Argentina and Spain win their final pool matches. Spain has the inside track of also advancing to the Cup quarterfinals.
USA vs. Argentina
The USA enters the match with a 2-0 record, need either a win or a draw to advance to the Cup Quarterfinals as the Pool winner. A USA loss coupled with a Spain win would result in a three-way tie with point differential the deciding factor.
Argentina’s only chance of advancing to the Cup Quarterfinals would be to win against the USA and hope either Spain loses to Japan or to have a better point differential over either Spain or the USA. That did not happen as Spain defeated Japan 52-0 and the USA beat Argentina 31-14.
The USA struck first after a turnover ball with Kevon Williams crossing the line. Madison Hughes then slotted the kick for a 7-0 lead.
Argentina attacked from the restart going through several phases before Tomasin Drove a defender into touch.
The USA claimed the restart, but at the breakdown, Danny Barrett was sent to the bin. Argentina was able to capitalize on the USA being down a man with Lucio Cinti scoring in the corner after a penalty for a 14-7 lead at the break.
Madison Hughes answered back scoring in the corner to begin the second half, still down a man to close the gap to 14-12. The Eagles 7s scored another try as Folau Niua chipped ahead and Martin Iosefo scored a try and Hughes converted. What a set play?
Perry Baker intercepted a pass and this led to a Matai Leuta try to push the lead to 24-14. The USA claimed the restart and after an intentional knock-on by Argentina, they would play the rest of the match down a man. The USA made Argentina pay as Perry Baker sealed the match with a try. Madison Hughes added the conversion to win 31-14.
The Men’s Eagles Sevens team went undefeated in winning Pool B and will face second-place Pool C England in the Cup Quarterfinals. Spain finished second in the Pool and will face Fiji.
Men’s Eagles Sevens Starting Roster
Men’s Eagles Sevens Roster: 1 Carlin Isles 2 Ben Pinkelman 3 Danny Barrett 4 Matai Leuta 5 Brett Thompson 6 Kevon Williams 7 Folau Niua 8 Maceo Brown* 9 Steve Tomasin 10 Madison Hughes (Captain) 11 Perry Baker 12 Martin Iosefo 13 Marcus Tupuola* (Injury Reserve)
All players are part of the Men’s Sevens residency program. Maceo Brown made first HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series appearance, scoring a try again Spain.
Men’s Eagles Sevens Staff
Head Coach | Mike Friday
Assistant Coach | Anthony “Rocky” Roques
Strength & Conditioning Coach | Matt Long
Athletic Trainer | Brian Green
Team Manager | Scott Novack
HSBC Cape Town Sevens Schedule
Pool B | Broadcast LIVE on ESPN+
Cape Town Sevens
vs. Japan W 54-0
vs. Spain W 38-17
vs. Argentina W 31-14
Cup QFs vs. England Sun, Dec. 9 at 6:10 am ET