USA Eagles
24 12
Fiji
7 7
Men's Sevens  @ Allianz Stadium
January 28, 201811:28 am AEDT
Sydney 7s
Referee:  Sam Grove-White, Scotland
Sydney Sevens - Cup Quarter Finals

Men's Sevens Defeat Fiji to Advance to Cup Semi Finals

SYDNEY, AUS. - The Men's Eagles Sevens have punched their ticket to the Cup Semi Finals for the first time in the 2017-18 HSBC World Sevens Series. After dominating restarts and remaining physical on attack, the United States took every opportunity to ride to a 7-24 victory over Fiji in the Cup Quarter Finals at Sydney Sevens. 

"This was all about us imposing where we are best in the sevens world - restarts against the best offloading sevens team in the world," said Head Coach Mike Friday. "We knew this was where we had an opportunity to dominate them with accurate attack." 

Back-to-back penalties against Fiji kept possession in Eagle hands, allowing favorable U.S. relays to result in movement across the line. The first, a Folau Niua - Maka Unufe rally, was far too much for the Fijian defense to cover as Niua strode in for the first score, 0-5. More penalties would hold Fiji back until Eroni Sau, waiting on the outside, would finally see a quick pass to move his squad up, 7-5.  

USA's Matai Leuta saw his fair share of time with the ball, as well, effectively reading the opposition to allow accurate gains across the pitch. 

Just before the half, a wide-open gap would allow Martin Iosefo to take full advantage, darting all the way across the field until he was stopped right at the line. Though Referee Sam Grove-White called for a review, Iosefo reached just far enough to put the Eagles on top, 7-12. 

When the half resumed, Iosefo and Unufe were at it again, this time allowing Unufe to earn a try of his own and up the lead, 7-17. Then, Danny Barrett took the ball and saw space for World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year Perry Baker to drive it in to seal the win, 7-24. 

A final promising drive would fall just short on a loose ball forward by Eroni Sau, holding the Fijians to a single score in the match and sending the Eagles to the Semi Finals. 

"Defensively, I thought we stuck to the plan as a team, showing determination, grit and resilience to hang in there and make tackles," says Coach Friday. "It is now about recovering and refocusing on the next challenge at Semi Final time - another big one we need to rise to." 

Head Coach Mike Friday and the Men's Eagles Sevens will return to the pitch to face South Africa for the Sydney Sevens Cup Semi Final at 1:26 AM ET (Sun, Jan. 28), LIVE on ESPN3.  

Men's Eagles Sevens Roster | Sydney 7s Tournament

Perry Baker
Danny Barrett
Madison Hughes 
Martin Iosefo
Carlin Isles
Matai Leuta
Chris Mattina
Folau Niua
Ben Pinkelman (C)
Joe Schroeder
Stephen Tomasin
Maka Unufe
Kevon Williams

Men's Eagles Sevens Staff | Sydney 7s Tournament

Head Coach - Mike Friday
Assistant Coach - Chris Brown 
Assistant Coach - Phil Greening
Physiotherapist - Brian Green

Men's Eagles Sevens Schedule | Sydney 7s Tournament

LIVE on ESPN3
vs. Australia | 19-26 (L)
vs. Scotland | 26-12 (W)
vs. Canada | 19-40 (W)

Cup Quarter Finals
vs. Fiji | 7-24 (W)

Cup Semi Finals
vs. South Africa | Sun, Jan. 28 - 1:26 AM ET