USA Eagles
26 19
Spain
5  
Men's Sevens  @ Cape Town Stadium
December 9, 20176:50 pm EEST
Cape Town Sevens
Referee:  Rasta Rasivhenge, South Africa
Pool Play - Pool B

USA Conquers Spain to Stay Undefeated In Cape Town

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA – The Men’s Eagles Sevens have gone undefeated in Pool Play with a 5-26 victory over Spain that sends them to the Cup Quarter Finals against Argentina tomorrow (Sun, Dec. 10) at 6:10 AM ET, LIVE on ESPN 3. The Eagles dominated the Spanish from the very beginning, holding them to one try and capitalizing on their challenges handling the ball to finish first in Pool B. 

Head Coach Mike Friday is proud of the way his team performed, taking special notice to the resilience they displayed following a difficult start to the Series in Dubai. 

“I am pleased for the boys and the character and grit they showed today — especially in the first two games– where they took both matches by the ‘scruff of the neck’,” said Friday. “They trusted in each other, committed to the work ethic required and executed our attacking game well.”

USA began the match attacking hard, moving the ball back and forth through their forward pack until it made it’s way to Kevon Williams for the opening score, 0-7. Though the Eagles tried to advance again, Spain brought a tough counter, forcing the ball out of touch and starting the ensuing minute with an attack of their own. The Spanish made it nowhere, though, with Fransisco Hernandez earning a trip to the sin bin that gave advantage to an Eagles force prepared to use it. 

Immediately following the yellow card, the Americans headed further into Spanish territory, sending Williams on another run up the wing before he was stopped just short of the goal line. Spain recovered the ball quickly but was halted by a knock on that sent both teams to a lineout, sure to end in U.S. favor. As the referee blew his whistle, Captain Madison Hughes captured the ball and dashed it into the tryzone for another USA 5, increasing the shutout to 0-12. 

Spain would have one more opportunity with 30-seconds to go in the half but conceded possession with another knock on that allowed the United States to convert for more points. Winning the ball from the scrum, Williams tossed it over to Maka Unufe who pushed past defenders to score his second try of the day on the last play of the half, 0-17. 

Rushing to earn points of their own, Spain came into the second half hunting for territory but found no room to push away from the Eagles’ defense. Forced to kick the ball out of touch, the Spanish hoped an ensuing lineout would end in their favor but the U.S. dominated once again. Ben Pinkelman went high to snatch the ball from the toss but was immediately brought down by a tackle. Tomasin — who saw the opportunity and the clear path — picked up the ball and ran across the pitch for his own second try of the day, 0-26. 

Spain’s wild passes worked to their benefit only once, as an offload to Hernandez sent the ball to Jaik Carter who ended the shutout with Spain’s first try, 5-26. In the final minute, Carter almost scored again but was stopped right in his path with a knock forward. 

The scrum followed and Carlin Isles swooped in to take the ball, darting all the way from the touchline with no offenders in sight for what Cape Town Stadium knew was a sure score. But, just as quickly as he ran, the ball slipped away and the match ended with the Eagles’ lead set at 5-26. 


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 Fualaau 

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 | Pool B
vs. New Zealand – 0-22 (W)
vs. Australia – 14-31 (W) 
vs. Spain  – 5-26 (W)

Sunday, Dec. 10 | ESPN3 | Cup Quarter Finals
vs. Argentina – 6:10 AM ET 

Head Coach Mike Friday and his team take today’s victories in stride, determined to continue their success with attention to the lessons they learned last week. 

“There is still much to do as we enter Cup Competitions,” said Friday. “We have a wrong to right after last week, and we are hugely hungry to maintain and build on our standards today.”

After a pool series sweep, the United States moves on to the Cup Quarter Finals where they face Argentina who boasted a 43-7 win against Uruguay to end as a second-seed in Pool C. The match kicks off at 6:10 AM ET, LIVE on ESPN3 with updates available by following @USARugby on Twitter. 

“We will get back to the hotel to recover, regroup and refocus for the next challenge of Argentina in the quarters,” said Coach Friday.