South Africa drops Men's Eagles in Dubai Bowl Semis

DUBAI – A win and a painful loss is how the second day of the Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens ended for the USA Men's National team. There was marked improvement on day two, however, as the Eagles took care of Spain and nearly upset South Africa in the Bowl Semifinals of the Dubai tournament.

After going 0-3 on day one, the Eagles were keen to start day two strong but it was Spain who struck first in the Bowl Quarterfinal. A USA player was pinged for bridging in the ruck and Pedro Martin quick tapped and burned down the touchline for a five pointer. The Eagles didn't panic and steadily built their phases in the Spanish half. Nick Edwards found some space and got the Eagles on the board. With the first half winding down, Shalom Suniula hit Colin Hawley on a beautiful line right through the defense to put the USA up 14-5. Eagle errors in their own half made for an interesting final minute following a try by Spaniard Marcos Poggi, but a fortuitous knock on by Spain ended the game for the USA.

South Africa stumbled a bit in Dubai, but they certainly didn't look like it in the first half in the Bowl Semifinal against the Eagles. Aside from a long break by Zack Test in the final seconds of the first period, the USA didn't leave their half. South Africa piled on the pressure and two tries by Cornal Hendricks resulted. Two missed conversions left the door open for the Eagles in the second half. Hawley scored once again on another great line and well-timed ball from Suniula. A pressure kick from Suniula inched the USA within three points of Blitz Bokke. A try from South Africa and a response in the form of a scorching score from American Carlin Isles that was converted by Suniula saw the Eagles only one point down. A break by the Series veteran Paul Delport set up the clincher for South Africa and a disappointing loss for the Eagles.

With five HSBC Sevens World Series points in the bag, the Eagles will look to continue to improve next weekend at the Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens in South Africa.

Box Scores:
USA 14
Tries: Edwards, Hawley
Conversions: Suniula (2)

Spain 12
Tries: Martin, Poggi
Conversion: Carrion
USA 14
Tries: Hawley, Isles
Conversions: Suniula (2)

South Africa 22
Tries: Hendricks (2), Mbovane, Dippenaar
Conversions: Luiters


Further Information:
Laura Gill | Communications Manager | USA Rugby |