The 5th place Final at the Tokyo Olympics was a rematch of Pool C where the Blitzbok earned the win. South Africa prevailed again 28-7 and the USA finished in 6th place.
The USA lone try came from Stephen Tomasin who gathered the ball from the restart and scored under the posts. Madison Hughes then converted. South Africa scored four converted tries in the win.
The USA Men have represented their country well, and despite not finishing with a medal they set the stage for the development of a strong USA team in years to come. Many supporters recognize what these men have accomplished and the high standards and sacrifices each has made.
USA Rugby Comments
On the result
Overall, we’re going to leave disappointed. We came to play for a medal. It was really a medal or bust for us and we ultimately didn’t do that. I think let ourselves down in parts of the game all week long. Obviously, we’re proud of ourselves and proud of each other for the journey we’ve been on but this isn’t the final product we wanted to show., Unfortunately, that’s the way life goes sometimes. And I think as time goes on, we’ll realize what we did and how proud we really should be of ourselves. But at the moment that’s really sour.
On support from home
Really all we can say is thank you; for waking up in the middle of the night to watch this play, for reaching out on social media and through texts to not only congratulate us but to push us and tell us that you’re rooting for us. We felt every bit of it. We’re extremely thankful for everybody that has supported us over the last couple of weeks. There’s no better feeling than to have your home country behind you, really pushing you, and we felt that.
Head Coach Mike Friday closed with a note on the overall Olympic journey, “In America, the sporting landscape is about medals and winning. We understand that challenge, but it’s also about inspiring. There’s a bigger picture here. It’s about encouraging the sport to be positioned in the high schools and to compliment the super sports. This way there’s an alternative to being that NFL player, or NBA player. It’s being an Olympian, taking up a game with great values and excelling.”
Previous Recaps: 5th Pace SF, QF & USA Pool Recap
South Africa: Ronald Brown, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Angelo Davids, Selvyn Davids, Zain Davids, Chris Dry, Branco du Preez, Stedman Gans, Justin Geduld, Sako Makata, JC Pretorius, Siviwe Soyizwapi (capt.), Impi Visser
USA: Perry Baker, Danny Barrett, Maceo Brown, Madison Hughes (capt.), Martin Iosefo, Carlin Isles, Matai Leuta, Cody Melphy, Folau Niua, Joe Schroeder, Brett Thompson, Stephen Tomasin, Kevon Williams
Congratulations to all the men’s teams that represented their countries at the Tokyo Olympics.