Men’s Eagles Claim Seven Series Points in Dubai

For Immediate Release
December 3, 2011
Men's Eagles Claim Seven Series Points in Dubai, Fall to Scotland in Bowl Final
DUBAI, U.A.E - The Eagles walked away from the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens with seven series points after an impressive day two rally following an 0-3 start to the tournament.
The USA stormed into the bowl final by taking out Zimbabwe 41-7 in the quarters and Canada 33-17 in the semifinals.   A 0-26 shutout by Scotland in the final was a harsh end to an otherwise excellent day for the Eagles.
Against Zimbabwe, the USA simply hit a groove and did well to deprive the Zimbabweans of possession.  It turned into a track meet for the USA.  Mike Palefau, who was very consistent in Dubai, notched a hat trick.  The win put the Eagles on a collision course with bitter rivals Canada who defeated Samoa to cement their place in the semifinal.
It was truly a story of two halves against Canada, with the Eagles scoring 26 unanswered points after eight minutes of play.  Three consecutive Canadian tries made it an interesting second half for spectators, but the Eagles kept a comfortable lead.  Former Brown University track and football star, Miles Craigwell, put the proverbial nail in the coffin by scoring a 70 meter try as time expired. 
Peter Tiberio just losing control of the ball in the try zone against Scotland in the bowl final.  Photo credit: Ian Muir 
In the bowl final against Scotland, an early scoring opportunity went awry as Peter Tiberio lost the handle on the ball in the try zone.  Scotland was able to execute from deep in their own half, releasing Andrew Turnbull down field to score his first of three tries in the final.
With 12 total Series points, the USA hold 11th place in the standings, seven points clear of Canada who are in 12th
Next weekend, the USA will face Pool A opponents England, Samoa, and Argentina in the Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Further Information:
Jarrod Beckstrom | Communications Manager | USA Rugby | 


USA v. Zimbabwe - Bowl Quarterfinal (1:02 a.m. ET)


The Eagles put the hurt onto Zimbabwe in the Dubai Sevens bowl quarterfinals.   A final score of 41-7 marked an incredible start in the bowl competition by the USA.  The win guaranteed five HSBC Sevens World Series points.


Mike Palefau showed all his experience in the quarterfinal using his strength, speed, and know-how to score a hat trick. 


USA captain Shalom Suniula opened the scoring and looked to be hitting his stride on attack, setting up several tries in the Zimbabwe game.  Suniula's Eagles were up early after the captain's try, but Zimbabwe hit back quick and took a two-point lead in short order.


The Eagles got a boost from Palefau and had a slight lead in the game, but were still hungry for more.  A lineout steal by Mark Bokhoven set up Palefau's second try, vehemently fending off a Zimbabwean to score under the sticks.  Zack Test scored a beautiful sevens try after his teammates stretched the field with incredible passing.


The Eagles were up 17-7 at halftime, and exuded confidence in the second period. 


Shalom Suniula was devastating on attack, leading by example with ball in hand.  Great ball movement saw Palefau over for two more tries in the second and Miles Craigwell over for one.  Nick Edwards put the cherry on top scoring as the fulltime hooter indicated the end of an Eagles' route of Zimbabwe.


USA 41

Tries: Suniula, Palefau (3), Test, Craigwell, Edwards

Cons: Niua (4), Suniula


Zimbabwe 7

Tries: Nemadire

Cons: Menadire


USA v. Canada - Bowl Semifinal (4:24 ET)

The USA will make their first bowl final appearance of the 2011-2012 Season in Dubai after taking out Canada in the semifinal 33-17. 


The first half was all USA, with the usual suspects, Nick Edwards and Mike Palefau, crossing the line for the Eagles.  The powerful frame of Matt Hawkins barreled over for a try as well for the USA as the Americans shut out Canada in the first half to the tune of 19-0.


The massive frame of Mark Bokhoven got things going in the second half, and the USA stunned the Pan American Games gold medalists, Canada, by going up 26-0 after eight minutes of play.


Three consecutive Canadian tries made it an interesting second half for spectators, but the Eagles kept a comfortable lead and Miles Craigwel put the proverbial nail in the coffin and scored a loping 70 meter try as time expired.  Peter Tiberio got the conversion and with that, the USA claimed at least sevens Series points in Dubai and a spot in the bowl final.


USA 33

Tries: Edwards, Palefau, Hawkins, Bokhoven, Craigwell

Cons: Niua (3), Tiberio


Canada 17

Tries: Sean White (2), Sean Duke

Cons: Hirayama