USA Eagles
19 14
Canada
22 5
Men's Sevens  @ Twickenham Stadium
May 21, 20175:32 pm BDST
London Sevens

London Bronze goes to Canada in final leg of Series

LONDON – The Men’s Eagles Sevens completed their best-ever HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series campaign in fifth place after a 22-19 defeat to Canada in the HSBC London Sevens Bronze Final Sunday.

Perry Baker finished as the tournament’s top try-scorer with eight dot-downs, giving him a Series-best 57 tries and 285 points. It is the first time an American has led the Series in tries scored – captain Madison Hughes led the circuit in scoring in 2015-16 – while the U.S. finishes the 10-round campaign in its best-ever position of fifth. Baker and Danny Barrett, the latter unavailable for the final two rounds, were also named in the 2016-17 Dream Team.

In addition to its Bronze medal win in London, Canada secured qualification to Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 in San Francisco, as did Argentina, Samoa, and Scotland by virtue of their 2016-17 Series standings.

Canada benefitted from a Hughes knock on the opening restart for a foray into the Eagles’ half to start the game. Initially keeping the ball in the middle of the field, the Canadians spread the ball wide with an overlap in the second minute to send Mike Fuailefau over in the corner, 5-0.

With ball in hand at midfield following an offside call against Canada on the ensuing restart, the Eagles used go-forward runs by Andrew Durutalo and Matai Leuta to set up Maka Unufe in front of the posts for the go-ahead, 7-5, try.

Leuta nearly doubled the U.S.’s tally in the sixth minute, running to the try line only to be stopped short by Justin Douglas. Canada won the ball in the breakdown before forcing a forward pass trying to break quickly. The Eagles won their scrum ahead of the try line and put the ball in Baker’s hands to take a 14-5 advantage at halftime.

The second-half restart bounced favorably for Lucas Hammond, who broke downfield before his support could arrive. The ball was cleaned out of the ruck for Harry Jones to find the try line, 14-10. A penalty against the Eagles in the next possession gave the ball back to the trailing team for a lineout, from which Fuailefau offloaded to Matt Mullins for a cut inside Baker and the 15-14 try.

The Eagles were indecisive in the final minutes, letting Canada’s lead grow from a blocked kick by Nathan Hirayama, 22-14, before Baker gave Alex Schwarz a second try on debut to bring the final score to 22-19.

Men’s Eagles Sevens | v. Canada
1. Alex Schwarz
2. Ben Pinkelman
3. Don Pati
4. Matai Leuta
5. Mike Te’o
6. Andrew Durutalo
7. Folau Niua
8. Maka Unufe
9. Stephen Tomasin
10. Madison Hughes (C)
11. Perry Baker
12. Martin Iosefo
13. Naima Fualaau

Canada | v. USA
1. Matt Mullins
2. Jared Douglas
3. Mike Fuailefau
4. John Moonlight
5. Luke McCloskey
6. Isaac Kaay
7. Lucas Hammond
8. Justin Douglas
9. Nathan Hirayama
10. Pat Kay
11. Harry Jones
12. Adam Zaruba
13. Luke Bradley

Men’s Eagles Sevens | 19
Tries: Unufe, Baker, Schwarz
Conversions: Hughes (2)

Canada | 22
Tries: Fuailefau, Jones, Hirayama, Mullins
Conversions: Hirayama

Men’s Eagles Sevens | HSBC London Sevens
v. Wales – L 28-12
v. Kenya – W 47-0
v. South Africa – W 24-12
Cup QF v. Australia – W 31-14
Cup SF v. Scotland – L 21-14
Bronze Final v. Canada – L 22-19