USA Opens LA Sevens Pool Play with Win Over Samoa

The HSBC Sevens Series LA Sevens is being held at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, CA on February 29-March 1.

All matches are being broadcast LIVE and On-Demand on NBC Sports Gold. NBCSN will also provide comprehensive coverage from 8 PM ET to 12 AM ET on Saturday, with extended timings on Sunday at 11:30 AM ET to 8 PM ET.

The United States is in Pool C with Australia, Scotland, and Samoa with the original Series format restored for the next two rounds (LA and Vancouver).

The USA opened pool play with a 19-17 win over Samoa, who are ranked 13th overall after finishing 15th in Hamilton and Sydney. The Samoans made the Cup Final last year in Las Vegas against two-time USA Sevens winner, the USA.

No. 12 Scotland will be next and have faced the U.S. in group play for the last two rounds. They opened with a 31-7 loss to Australia.

Group play will end later today with the USA facing Australia who fell to the Eagles Sevens on their own home turf in Sydney.

USA vs Samoa Recap

After the opening restart by the USA did not go 10-meters, Samoa went on the attack with Tomasi Alosio scoring in the right corner to lead 5-0.

The USA claimed the restart and Danny Barrett went down the wide right channel before being tackled into touch about 7-meters from in-goal. Samoa attacked from a lineout and after a few phases, Joe Perez found a seam and motored in for a 50-meter try. Alosio then converted to push the lead to 12-0.

The USA claimed the restart and following a strong run by Danny Barrett, Steve Tomasin scored under the posts with Madison Hughes converting to cut the lead to 12-7.

The USA gathered the restart again and after going through phases, Danny Barrett sent a pass behind his back which led to a try by Ben Pinkelman to level the match to 17-12 at the break.

Samoa claimed the second-half opening restart and after several phases, a Perry Baker intercept attempt went into the hands of Elisapeta Alofipo, who scored despite Martin Iosefo being obstructed from making a tackle, 12-17.

The USA claimed the restart and a Pinkelman to Hughes to Carlin Isles, which ended with Carlin Isles scoring his 200th career HSBC Sevens Series try. Perry Baker in one behind. Hughes then slotted the conversion for a 19-17 lead.

The ensuing restart saw Pinkelman driving a Samoa player into touch, however, a penalty enabled Samoa to attack before a knock-on thwarted their final attacking opportunity. The USA moved the ball through phases before another Samoan penalty with 13 seconds left on the clock. The Eagles 7s won the scrum and then kicked into touch for the win.

The USA will face Scotland at 3:37 pm PT and a win would advance them to the Cup Quarterfinals.

USA Eagles 7s: 1 Carlin Isles (Wing, 55) 2 Ben Pinkelman (Prop/Hooker, 35) 3 Danny Barrett (Prop, 52) 4 Joe Schroeder (Prop, 11) 5 Cody Melphy (Halfback, 4) 6 Kevon Williams (Halfback, Wing, 25) 7 Naima Fuala’au (Halfback), 6) 8 Maka Unufe (Center, 41) 9 Stephen Tomasin (Hooker, 35) 10 Madison Hughes (Capt, Halfback, 50) 11 Perry Baker (Wing, 45) 12 Martin Iosefo (Center, 44) 13 Maceo Brown (Center, 12)


Head Coach Mike Friday
Assistant Coach Phil Greening
Assistant Coach Anthony Roques
Strength & Conditioning John Hood
Performance Analyst Dave Gardner
Athletic Trainer Brian Green
Team Manager Scott Novack


Pool C Saturday, Feb 29
vs Samoa W 19-17
vs Scotland 3:37 PM PT – NBC Sports Gold
vs Australia 8:03 PM PT – NBCSN & NBC Sports Gold

Knockouts begin Sunday, Mar 1 at 8:15 AM PT.


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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant