Men's Sevens
22 10
New Zealand
0 0
Men's Sevens  @ Cape Town Stadium
Cape Town Sevens
  Sam Grove-White, Scotland
Pool Play - Pool B

USA Shuts Out New Zealand in Cape Town for First Win of 2017-18 HSBC Series

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - A 24-12 loss to South Africa in the Dubai Sevens Cup Final wasn't enough to shake New Zealand who forfeited an exciting 22-0 shutout to the Men's Eagles Sevens. Serving as their first win of the Cape Town Sevens Tournament, and of the 2017-18 HSBC Sevens Series, the Eagles took every opportunity to dominate the All Black Sevens in route to come back from a winless Dubai Sevens Tournament last week. 

New Zealand monopolized possession at the start of the match, completing 12 passes in the first minute to keep the ball out of U.S. hands. That changed quickly, however, when the Eagles took over in the second minute, fighting hard to break through All Blacks Sevens' territory at the hands of Stephen Tomasin. Tomasin found a small gap but saw defenders catching up and tossed the ball to Carlin Isles who darted along the left flank with rapid speed to drive it in for the first USA try, 5-0. 

Poor passing by New Zealand kept the ball in their own territory, offloading it back and forth through the forward pack until a knock on sent them to the final two minutes of the half. After the scrum, Eagle Folau Niua snagged the ball and tossed it to Isles who set up Tomasin for a promising run inside the 22-meter line. Another penalty by the All Black Sevens sent the ball to Captain Madison Hughes who gained a few meters before tossing it to Isles for his second consecutive try with a pick-and-go past the line, 10-0.

When the second half began, USA continued their dominance over the opposing defense, crossing the 22-meter line in no time. As Eagle Ben Pinkleman took the ball to continue the drive, he was tackled high by Regan Ware who earned a trip to the sin bin and gave the United States another advantage in their climb up the board. Still hungry for the try, Pinkelman took the ball from his Captain (Hughes) and drove it into the zone, preserving the shutout and extending his squad's lead. After the kick by Hughes, the Eagles lead the All Black Sevens 17-0. 

Determined to answer back, New Zealand gave the ball to Vilimoni Koroi who failed to finish a run down the line, conceding possession with another knock on against his team. With two minutes left, the United States was on attack again, determined to continue showcasing their offensive abilities. Despite pressure from the opposing defense, Eagle Danny Barrett made a strong run up the middle, staying on his feet to move the ball into favorable position. As the final minute approached, USA's Captain (Hughes) made another accurate pass, this time to Maka Unufe who, like Barrett, refused to be stopped by defenders as he jet around the left side to dot down for the 22-0 Eagle victory. 

USA RUGBY MEN'S SEVENS ROSTER | Cape Town 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. Kevon Williams
12. Martin Iosefo
13. Naima Fuala'au 

USA RUGBY MEN'S SEVENS STAFF | Cape Town 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 | Cape Town Sevens

Saturday, Dec. 9 | ESPN 3
vs. New Zealand 7s - 22-0 (W)
vs. Australia 7s - 8:04 AM ET
vs. Spain 7s - 11:50 AM ET

The United States now takes a 1-0 lead in pool play and 3 points towards their Pool B standings, to their second match against Australia at 8:04 AM ET, LIVE on ESPN3.