USA Lose Heartbreaker to South Africa in LA Sevens Quarterfinals

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.

The USA then faced No. 12 Scotland, who opened with a 31-7 loss to Australia. With their 33-12 victory, the team will advance to the Cup Quarterfinals along with Australia, who defeated Samoa 31-5.

Group play ended with the USA losing to Australia 17-7 to finish second to Australia in the pool.

The USA faced South Africa in the Cup Quarterfinals with the Springbok Sevens coming back for a 12-10 win.

USA vs South Africa Cup Quarterfinals Recap

The USA claimed the opening restart and went side to side before an offload resulted in a Carlin Isles try in the right corner to take a 5-0 lead.

The ensuing restart went to South Africa and a forward pass to Cecil Afrika thwarted a potential try. Instead, the USA attacked from a scrum, but a knock-on gave the ball back to South Africa.

After multiple phases, the USA poached a ruck and Carlin Isles outpaced the defense for a brace to lead 10-0.

A turnover led to South Africa going through phases before Rya Oosthuizen grounded in the left corner to cut the lead to 10-5.

South Africa kicked short on the restart and the USA won a penalty and then kicked out to regroup at the break.

Second Half

The Second half restart went to the USA and the ball went wide to Perry Baker, who kicked and chased with South Africa gathering. South Africa was penalized soon after, giving the USA a lineout deep inside South Africa territory. The lineout throw was long and a chip by Selvyn Davids had Werner Kok held up in-goal for a 5-meter scrum to South Africa.

South Africa could not penetrate the Eagles 7s defense and a breakdown poach had the USA back on the attack. A strong run by Barrett and the ball went wide to Baker, who advanced to near the South Africa 22-meters before his foot went into touch.

South Africa had a break from a lineout with Baker saving a try. a USA penalty resulted in a try by JC Pretorius and a conversion by Selvyn Davids gave South Africa a 12-10 lead.

The USA had one last chance with a scrum at midfield, however, a knock-on allowed South Africa to kick to touch for a 12-10 win.

South Africa will face New Zealand in the Cup Semifinals with the USA facing France at 13:01 PT.

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 W 33-12
vs Australia L 17-7

vs South Africa L 12-10, Cup Quarterfinals

vs France 5th Place Semifinals, 13:01 PT

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant