USA Eagles
125
New Zealand
2212
Men's Sevens
The Sevens Stadium
Men's Sevens @ The Sevens Stadium
November 30, 20177:43 pm 
Dubai Sevens
Referee: Sam Grove-White, Scotland
Pool Play - Pool D

Men's Sevens Unable to Rally Against Undefeated New Zealand in Pool D Finale

The Men's Eagles played a hard-fought battle in their pool play finale against three-time tournament champion New Zealand, coming up short in a 22-12 loss that forced them to a fourth-place finish in Pool D. Though not very disciplined to start, the All Blacks brought an impactful bench who had no trouble scoring against the United States. While the Eagles kept it close until the 10th minute, two final New Zealand scores pushed the Americans to the Challenge Trophy Quarter Finals.

The All Blacks were on the board early, taking out Carlin Isles and Madison Hughes in the opening kickoff to create space for Sione Molia on the right flank in route to a 5-0 start. But Isles and Hughes wouldn't allow the Eagles to be silenced that easily. On the ensuing kickoff, the Captain (Hughes) took the ball and passed it through USA forwards until it fell into the hands of Isles who used his undeniable speed to dash in for the tying try, 5-5.

Not long after, Isles was showing his quickness again, this time defensively as he went toe and toe with New Zealand's Joe Ravouvou to make a tackle down the left side. Though impressive, the effort came up short as Molia rushed in to take the release, crossing the tryline for his second consecutive score, giving his teammates a 12-5 lead over the Americans.

Whilst we are not in the main cup, tomorrow is a new day and a new challenge. We need to reflect on today's lessons and reset, determined to secure the 8 points on offer to us at the start of a very long season.
Mike Friday, Head Coach

Head Coach Mike Friday recognized the improvements of his team, noting areas where the Eagles need to become more consistent in order to meet their desired style of play. 

"We did play with greater accuracy in our possession but forced offloads at crucial times and surrendered the ball unnecessarily," said Friday. "This is an area of decision making we need to tighten up." 

As soon as the second half began, USA took immediate possession showing their capability with a beautiful grubber kick by Folau Niua who allowed Martin Iosefo to pick up the ball across the left and drive it across the line. A conversion by Hughes tied it up again, 12 all.

Moments later, Isles was back to his swift ways getting his hands on the ball and sprinting around the outside into opposing territory. The play sparked a U.S. penalty which eventually saw New Zealand win the ball, turn it over and give the Eagles another opportunity to attack. An offside penalty on Danny Barrett soon stopped the United States momentum as Ravouvou wasted no time taking back the All Blacks' lead with three minutes to spare.

"We are all disappointed with today's results as it's just the small things that we need to tighten up. We controlled kickoffs in all three games which makes possession mistakes all the more disappointing," says Coach Friday.  

In the final moments, an Eagle turnover would see Regan Ware score his first try of the tournament, after which the Americans continued to attack but were unable to score the last points of the match.

USA RUGBY MEN'S SEVENS ROSTER | Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens

1. Carlin Isles

2. Ben Pinkelman

3. Danny Barrett

4. Matai Leuta

5. Joe Schroeder

6. Malon Al Jiboori

7. Folau Niua

8. Maka Unufe

9. Stephen Tomasin

10. Madison Hughes (Captain)

11. Martin Iosefo

12. Naima Fualaau

USA RUGBY MEN'S SEVENS STAFF | Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens

Head Coach - Mike Friday

Assistant Coach - Chris Brown

Physio - Brian Green

Team Analyst - Paul Goulding

Team Manager - Scott Novack

USA RUGBY MEN'S SEVENS SCHEDULE | Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens

Friday, Dec. 1

vs. Argentina - 14-22 (L)

vs. Samoa - 14-26 (L)

vs New Zealand - 22-12 (L)

Saturday, Dec. 2 - Challenge Trophy Quarter Finals 

vs. Canada - 12:30 AM ET

USA now moves to the Challenge Trophy Quarter Finals where they'll face the 3rd place finisher in Pool A tomorrow (Dec. 2) at 12:30 AM ET, live on ESPN3 and Worldrugby.org.

"Whilst we are not in the main cup, tomorrow is a new day and a new challenge. We need to reflect on today's lessons and reset, determined to secure the 8 points on offer to us at the start of a very long season," said Friday.