USA Eagles
29 19
France
12 7
Men's Sevens  @ Cape Town Stadium
December 10, 20174:12 pm EEST
Cape Town Sevens
Referee:  Paulo Duarte, Portugal
5th Place Semifinal

Men's Sevens Dominate Their Way to 5th Place Playoff

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA – Last time they met, the Men’s Eagles Sevens rolled France to a 19-31 victory in Vancouver. This time, a physical comeback from a Cup Quarter Final loss to Argentina sent the Eagles on a 12-29 rout, ending France’s campaign at the 2017 Cape Town Sevens Tournament and earning them a spot against Fiji in the 5th Place Playoff at 11:36 AM ET, LIVE on ESPN3

The Eagles wasted no time in the start of the match, forming an early attack that allowed Big Danny Barrett to deny an attempted stop by France and dot down in the first 30-seconds, 0-7. At it again moments later, Barrett made a toss to Ben Pinkelman who took a strong drive on the right flank before sending the ball to Folau Niua for the second score, 0-14. 


Knowing they needed to stay in the game, France replied quickly getting the ball to Tavite Veredamu who found a break along the side before sending Paulin Riva to drive it in, 7-14. The answer didn’t stop the Eagles, however, who used the score to turn fuel into fire and pass their way into French territory again. 

As the half saw its close, a French penalty allowed Niua a tap kick and toss to Captain Madison Hughes, who forced his way along the pitch and crossed the line for another Eagle try, 7-19. 

Early on, Head Coach Mike Friday saw the immediate difference in his squad, noting their ability to adjust and find a rhythm to succeed. 

“We played with the physicality and width that we expect of each other in this game,” said Friday. “We just need to be more accurate now.”

The second-half didn’t start exactly how the Eagles expected when an almost run by Barrett became a turnover that gave France a short gain. Moments later, a lineout earned USA the ball but forced them to fall back, passing in their own territory until Niua got the ball and enough space to break ground. With intensity rising, a high tackle by Josias Daoudou earned him a trip to the ‘bin with the Eagles taking full advantage. 

Moments later, Carlin Isles, hanging on the side, took the ball and ran it up the wing to cross the line and earn his sixth try of the weekend, 7-24. But, the Americans weren’t finished yet, earning another easy 5 with a long pass from Niua to Matai Leuta for the 7-29 lead. 

France attacked once more, however, and even found enough space for Veredamu to score but it wasn’t enough. By the sound of the whistle, the Eagles had reached fulltime with a 12-29 win. 

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 | 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 – 12-28 (L)

5th Place Semifinal
vs. France – 12-29 (W)

5th Place Playoff
vs. Fiji – 11:36 AM ET

The Eagles will now face Fiji in their final match at Cape Town Stadium, contending for a 5th Place Finish at 11:36 AM ET, LIVE on ESPN3. Fiji returns to the pitch after a 19-12 win over England, looking to close out the weekend with a victory of their own.