USA Rugby Men’s Eagles Sevens opened the Cathay Pacific HSBC Sevens Series Hong Kong Sevens with a 36-7 win over Spain in Pool D. They then lose to Wales 21-19 and to England 28-22. Despite a 1-2 record, the U.S. advanced to the Cup Quarterfinals after Spain beat Wales 26-10.
In the Cup Quarterfinals, the Eagles Sevens beat South Africa 21-12 but then lost to eventual champions Fiji 28-19 in the Cup Semifinals. That set up a Bronze Final against Samoa and a 22-10 victory.
The U.S. travels to the Singapore Sevens in the first place, 7 points ahead of Fiji, with New Zealand, and South Africa following. The top four teams at the end of the 10th stop in Paris will qualify for the Olympics in Japan in 2020.
The Pools were drawn for the Singapore Sevens with the USA topping Pool C, and including England, Kenya, and Wales. The HSBC Singapore Sevens takes place from April 12-14 and will be broadcast LIVE on ESPN’s family of networks in the U.S.
Carlin Isles, who set a Series single tournament try record with nine, was selected to the Dream Team.
In the Hong Kong Qualifiers, Ireland and Brazil won the Men’s and Women’s tournaments, respectively, and will be core teams on the HSBC Sevens Series for the 2019-2020 season.
Cup Quarterfinals – USA vs South Africa
The No. 1 Men’s Eagles Sevens seized the opportunity and beat South Africa 21-12 in the Cup Quarterfinals of Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens Cup, to advance to the Cup SEmifinals against Fiji.
South Africa struck first with a try by Visser, which was converted by Davids to lead 7-0. The USA answered back with a try down the left flank by Carlin Isles, with Madison Hughes bouncing the ball over to level the match at 7 all. Carlin Isles added a second try before the break with Hughes slotting the kick to lead 14-7.
South Africa answered back with a try by Visser to cut the lead to 14-12 at the beginning of the half.
The USA answered back from a lineout with Ben Pinkelman finishing for the 21-12 win.
Cup Semifinals – USA vs Fiji
The USA lost to Fiji 28-19 in the Cup Semifinals. Fiji would win the Hong Kong Sevens for the fifth consecutive time.
Fiji struck first poaching a ball at the breakdown with Mocenncagi scoring a try and Livai Ikanikoda converting for a 7-0 lead. A Matai Leuta offload to Carlin Isles leveled the match at 7 all.
Fiji’s Botitu added a try from a turnover prior to the break and Ikanikoda converted to lead 14-7 at the break.
An impressive run by Madison Hughes and an offload steal by Folau Niua was wasted when the USA knocked on. After misques by both sides, Naduva added a try and Ikanikoda converted again to push the lead to 21-7.
The USA then struck from a penalty by Fiji with Kevon Williams running nearly the length of the pitch for a try to cut the lead to 21-14 after Hughes’ conversion.
The USA attacked again with a break by Maceo Brown, but the ball came loose just prior to scoring. Fiji then countered with Naduva adding a second try for a 28-14 lead.
Carlin Isles added another try to narrow the final to 28-19 to Fiji.
Bronze Final – USA vs Samoa
The Men’s Eagles Sevens won their sixth medal of the season, a Bronze, at Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens with a 22-10 win over Samoa.
“We didn’t take some moments in that semifinal against Fiji, in the red zone right at the 22, and we were the victim of some very unfortunate decisions that didn’t go our way. But that’s life, that’s rugby. You got to take the rough and the smooth,” said Head Coach Mike Friday.
“Credit to the boys, we didn’t deserve to be in those knockout stages. Rugby Gods shined on us and we stepped up and showed the real USA Rugby team.”
The USA struck first as an offload by Kevon Williams to Maceo Brown led to a try and a 5-0 lead. Carlin Isles then added a try after a Samoa knock on to push the lead to 10-0. That was his 9th try of the Series, an All-Time record.
Samoa answered back, scoring a try by Vaili from the breakdown to make it 10-5 at the break.
The USA capitalized off a Samoa drew a yellow card, with Joe Schroeder adding a try from a lineout. Tomasin converted for a 17-5 lead. They added another try by Marcus Tupuola from another lineout for a 22-5 lead.
Samoa added a try by Matavao in the corner in the final minute, but the U.S. exited Hong Kong with a 22-10 win to claim the Bronze.
The Men’s Eagles will travel to Singapore in first place with a 7 point lead over second place Fiji. The HSBC Singapore Sevens takes place from April 12-14 and will be broadcast LIVE on ESPN’s family of networks.
Men’s Eagles Sevens Squad – Extended Squad Preview
Men’s Eagles Sevens Staff
- Head Coach | Mike Friday
- Assistant Coach | Phil Greening
- Strength & Conditioning Coach | Jon Hood
- Athletic Trainer | Brian Green
- Team Manager | Scott Novack
Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens Schedule
- vs Spain W 36-7 + Preview
- vs Wales L 21-19
- vs England L 28-22- Recap of USA v Wales & England
- Cup Quarterfinals v South Africa W 21-12
- Cup Semifinals v Fiji L 28-19
- Bronze Final v Samoa W 22-10