USA Men Move to 4th Place after Malaga Sevens

USA Rugby Release

The USA Men’s 7s National Team went 4-2, finishing sixth, at the first HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series event of 2022. Ranked fourth overall this season, the group experienced highs and lows as a young squad continues to learn from the ruthlessness of the World Series.

Head Coach Mike Friday said:

“As expected, it has been a rollercoaster of a weekend where we have played some good stuff as well as some pretty poor stuff over the three days.

“We were hugely disappointed with the last five minutes of the Australia game as well as the last three minutes of the France game but we must have some perspective that this is a developing group who will fall over and get it wrong. But, together, we need to persevere through these rough times to find the light on the other side.

“We will reflect and work hard this upcoming week to eradicate those small individual mistakes that are proving to be so costly at big moments. We know we need to maintain and build pressure on our opponents which, when we did this weekend, we proved to be a handful to all. Time to rest, recover and move on to Seville.”

Player Performances

The squad continues to evolve with the capping of new players in Chase Schor Haskin and Aaron Cummings who made their World Series debuts this weekend. As Schor Haskin, Cummings, and several newer players come into their own, the experienced seniors are showing leadership where it matters and hitting their strides in terms of performance.

Captain Kevon Williams has noticeably made an impact, not just in Malaga, but through Edmonton, Vancouver, and the previous two rounds in Dubai. Williams currently leads the team in tries scored with 13, a result of not only his speed and ability to break through gaps, but also off the back-end of well-timed passes and space created by other players.

Perry Baker and Carlin Isles continue to go toe-and-toe for the title of all-time leading try scorer with both tied at 213 career tries each.

Stephan Tomasin also continues to be a threat on both sides of the ball, showing precision off the boot while making powerful runs and well-timed offloads.

In total, the squad features five players who were all capped in the fall of last year, making this next era of the USA Sevens program an exciting endeavor to watch unfold.

Match Recap

Team USA’s men came out swinging in group play, defeating hosts Spain and Jamaica on Day One and following with a win over No. 2 Argentina to secure their top seeding on Day Two. The Argentinians won back-to-back silver medals in Dubai, making the Eagles’ victory a strong statement as to the intent and capabilities of an emerging squad.

The Quarterfinal against Australia started with a back-and-forth affair that ultimately turned sour. With its powerful speedsters, the United States searched for gaps that were largely covered by the Australian defense. The final minutes saw consecutive handling errors become consecutive tries in favor of the opposition who won it at 7-26.

Bouncing back in the Fifth Place Semis, the Eagles Sevens held Canada to one try in a close affair. But in the 5th Place Playoff with France, the USA again fell prey to its own errors in a similar fashion to what fans saw against the Aussies. The opening half had each team score after the other, making it a close 12-14 at halftime. When play resumed, the USA struggled to protect the ball, allowing France to regain possession, use their pace and precision to fully dominate, and win the fifth-place position.

The United States will now travel to Seville for another three days of competition from Jan 28-30. Fourth overall with just five points difference from third-place, there is still much to play for this season. All matches are broadcast LIVE on NBC’s Peacock.

USA Men’s Sevens Roster

1. Carlin Isles Wing 60
2. Logan Tago Forward 3
3. Gavan D’Amore Forward 5
4. Chase Schor Haskin Forward 1
5. Joe Schroeder Forward 17
6. Kevon Williams (C) Halfback/Wing 32
7. Faitala Talapusi Halfback 4
8. Maceo Brown Center/Forward 15
9. Stephen Tomasin Utility 40
10. Naima Fuala’au Halfback 13
11. Perry Baker Wing/Center 50
12. David Still Wing/Forward 3
13. Aaron Cummings Forward 1


USA Men’s Sevens Traveling Staff

Head Coach | Mike Friday

Performance Analyst | Dave Gardner

Strength & Conditioning | Alex Ross

Athletic Trainer | Bobby Gragston

Team Manager | Scott Novack

USA Men’s Sevens Results | Malaga

vs Spain | 19-14 (W)

vs Jamaica | 47-0 (W)

vs Argentina | 17-24 (W)

Cup Quarters – Australia | 7-26 (L)

5th Place Semis –  Canada | 7-19 (W)

5th Place Final – France | 12-28 (L)

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant