USA into ninth-place Final at Rio 2016, defeats host again

RIO DE JANEIRO - Carlin Isles scored a hat trick of tries Wednesday as Team USA defeated Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games host Brazil, 24-12, in the Rugby Sevens placing Semifinal at Deodoro Stadium.

"Any opportunities you get you have to take advantage of them," Isles said post-match. "I did that, but the important thing was to have fun with my teammates."

Danny Barrett also crossed the try line in the match, which kicked off a mere two-and-a-half hours after the team's final match of pool play. The U.S. will place ninth or 10th depending on the outcome against Spain Thursday at noon ET. The team's final match of the inaugural Olympic Rugby Sevens competition will be broadcast on NBCOlympics.com.

"We've come from being given less than a 10-percent chance of even making the Olympics to being here and being contenders," Friday said. "I'm disappointed for the lads and I'm disappointed for the USA people because we've got a great game here, and the USA's embracing it. We have a good team here, three years ahead of schedule, but we were hoping - and we set our standards - to be in the main competition come the end of today."

Brazil opened the scoring in the third minute of the Semifinal despite squandering two kicks to touch from U.S. penalties. Daniel Sancery was taken to the ground by Madison Hughes ahead of the try line, and his momentum carried him over for a 5-0 host lead.

The U.S. took a tap from midfield when the ensuing restart from Brazil soared into touch, and Nate Ebner's line through two defenders preceded the New England Patriots man's offload to Isles for try No. 1.

Barrett's sixth-minute try was reminiscent of the five-pointer he scored against Fiji and set up by his own restart win. Folau Niua broke the 22 and Barrett supported the play to fend two defenders and dive behind the posts for a 12-5 U.S. lead.

Isles' defensive capabilities resulted in Brazil losing the ball in contact, and Ben Pinkelman was first to the 'pill' before setting Isles away along the touch line for try No. 2. The third try of the half brought the first frame to an end with Friday's side holding a 17-5 advantage.

Two successive second-half penalties against Barrett in the defensive end went unpunished by the Brazilians thanks to stout defensive work by the Americans, forcing Juliano Fiori to drop the ball unencumbered. Isles got the ball ninety meters from the try line after Team USA won the scrum, and a fend at the gain line and cut inside the full back led to try No. 3 and a 24-5 lead.

Brazil's Laurent Couhet added the final try of the match despite the U.S.'s efforts following the full-time horn sounded inside Deodoro Stadium, bringing the final score to 24-12.

"I'm really proud of the character of the boys," Friday said. "They've come out after the disappointment of having to deal with the injustice in the Fiji game. They've come out showing the real character and personality you'd expect from the USA Rugby team, and kind of illustrated the character of the USA people.

"We had to put [our situation] in perspective. What I wanted them to do was represent the country and themselves - they equipped themselves really well in what were very difficult circumstances."

Team USA will finish the inaugural Rugby Sevens competition on the Olympic stage with a ninth-place Final matchup with Spain. Thursday's match will kick off from Deodoro Stadium at noon ET, with the live broadcast available on NBCOlympics.com.

Team USA Rugby Sevens | v. Brazil
1. Carlin Isles
2. Ben Pinkelman
3. Danny Barrett
4. Garrett Bender
5. Zack Test
6. Andrew Durutalo
7. Folau Niua
8. Maka Unufe
9. Chris Wyles
10. Madison Hughes
11. Perry Baker
12. Nate Ebner

Team USA Rugby Sevens Squad | Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games
v. Argentina - L 17-14
v. Brazil - W 26-0
v. Fiji - L 24-19
Placing Semifinal v. Brazil - W 24-12
Ninth-place Final v. Spain - Thursday, Aug. 11 @ noon ET