The third tournament of the HSBC Sevens Series took place in Hamilton, New Zealand on January 24-26 ET. The USA Men’s Sevens defeated Scotland, lost to New Zealand and beat Wales in pool play.
Tournament adjustments to the competition structure for Hamilton led to the team facing Canada in the fifth-place final and then leaving for Sydney after a loss.
Tournament Changes for Hamilton & Sydney
- No Cup Quarterfinals will be held and teams who finish first in their respective pools will advance directly to the Cup Semifinals.
- The two highest-ranked teams remaining will face one another in the 5th Place playoff while the two highest-ranked teams after them will face one another in the 7th Place playoff. This sequence continues for the 9th place, 11th place, 13th place, and 15th place rounds, respectively.
The Eagles 7s will play Scotland, currently in 13th place, first on Friday, Jan 24 at 8:09 PM ET. No. 1 New Zealand will be next and the team will conclude pool play against No. 15 Wales.
USA Men’s Eagles Sevens Squad Preview
USA 24-7 Scotland
The USA Men’s Sevens Team opened the Hamilton Sevens with a 24-7 victory over Scotland.
Stephen Tomasin saved a try and created a turnover which led to a Carlin Isles try, which was converted by Madison Hughes. Scotland’s McFarland then leveled the match at 7 all after a try.
A Tomasin offload to Naima Fuala’au led to a try for a 12-7 lead at the break.
In the second half, a Scotland apparent try was voided by a forward pass. The USA then stripped the ball from a Scottish player and resulted in a Maka Unufe breakaway try. Perry Baker added another for a final of 24-7.
Captain Madison Hughes played in his 50th World Series tournament.
USA 5-26 New Zealand
The USA Men’s Sevens struggled against New Zealand in their second match in Hamilton. They conceded soft tries, made handling errors and were penalized, allowing New Zealand to capitalize.
Scott Curry squeezed through a gap for a 7-0 lead. The USA answered back after Danny Barrett intercepted an offload and after phases, Perry Baker went down the wide channel to cut the lead to 7-5.
The All-Blacks Sevens answered back to extend the lead to 14-5 before the break.
In the second half, New Zealand added insurance with a try to push the lead to 21-5. They closed the match with another for a 26-5 win.
USA 42-0 Wales
In the final match of pool play in Hamilton, the United States defeated Wales 42-0.
Carlin Isles opened the scoring and then had two try-saving tackles in the half.
Naima Fuala’au scored his first two career tries in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. Kevon Williams made his own try-saving tackle on the final play to seal the shutout.
Stephen Tomasin, Ben Pinkelman and Perry Baker all added tries while Captain Madison Hughes slotted 12 points on conversions.
This set up a North American fifth-place final against Canada.
The Fifth-Place Final: the USA 7-28 Canada
The USA men will leave Hamilton after losing to Canada 28-7 in the Fifth Place Final of Hamilton. Finishing in sixth place in the tournament gives the United States 12 points in the standings.
“That was a disappointing performance for us and we are deeply unhappy as these are not the standards or behaviors we want to be associated with,” said Head Coach Mike Friday. “We will be working hard this next week to correct matter sand bring consistency to our gameplay. There is lot’s to do.”
Canada controlled possession for most of the match and raced to a 21 point lead in the first half.
In the second half, the USA went through phases with a strong run by Danny Barrett with Kevon Williams finishing with a try. A yellow card to Maka Unufe on the restart then led to a Canadian try, 7-28.
The team now travels to Sydney for the fourth stop of the HSBC Sevens Series on February 1-3.
Squad & Staff
USA Men’s Eagles 7s: 1 Carlin Isles (wing, 53) 2 Ben Pinnkelman (prop/hooker, 33) 3 Danny Barrett (prop, 50) 4 Matei Leuta (prop, 38) 5 Naima Fua’laau (halfback, 4) 6 Kevon Williams (halfback/wing, 23) 7 Ben Broselle (wing/prop, 5) 8 Maka Unufe (center, 39) 9 Stephen Tomasin (hooker, 33) 10 Madison Hughes (C) (halfback, 49) 11 Perry Baker (wing, 43) 12 Martin Iosefo (center, 42) 13 Marcus Tupuola (wing, 4) #=tournaments to date
Head Coach Mike Friday, Assistant Coach Anthony Roques, Strength & Conditioning John Hood, Athletic Trainer Brian Green, Team Manager Scott Novack
HSBC HAMILTON SEVENS SCHEDULE & RESULTS
vs Scotland 24-7 (W)
vs New Zealand 5-26 (L)
vs Wales 42-0 (W)
vs Canada 7-28 (L) – 5th Place Final
Following the tournament stops in Hamilton and in Sydney, the USA Men’s Sevens will return to home soil for the fifth round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Los Angeles, California from February 29 to March 1, 2020.
The USA Sevens was previously held in Las Vegas but has moved to Dignity Health Sports Park in Los Angeles. The Eagles Sevens aim to win their third straight gold in front of a home crowd. Tickets and event information for HSBC LA Sevens 2020 are available now at lasevensrugby.com.