Men's Sevens
28 7
14 14
Men's Sevens  @ FMG Stadium Waikato
Hamilton Sevens
  James Doleman
Pool Play - Pool D

Eagles start Hamilton Sevens with Comeback Win Over Canada

WAIKATO, NZ. - The Men's Eagles Sevens began their Hamilton Sevens run with a stunning 28-14 victory over rival Canada. Not only did the squad come back from a 14-point deficit to win, but World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year Perry Baker officially passed Zack Test as USA's All-Time Leading Try Scorer. And, though his milestone was a highlight of the match, it came from a well-rounded squad who adjusted efficiently to seal the record and the win for the United States. 

"It was great to see Perry break the all-time try scoring record and with a trademark hit and spin score," said Head Coach Mike Friday. "It's a record he deserves and it's amazing to think he has done it in a little over 3 years." 

"Achieving this is an honor," said Baker, expressing his enthusiasm with humility. "For the ones who pushed and believed in me, thank you. It's a true testament that dedication, determination and focus pays off. You can and you will." 

Grateful to his teammates and coaches for helping him achieve the milestone, Baker was thrilled to earn his 144th try and pass Zack Test.

"This wouldn't be possible without my teammates and management. Get rid of those guys and I'm standing alone," said Baker. "I have been pushed and challenged by all of them to be here today. Hats off to them." 

A slow start to the match allowed Canada the edge to score the first two tries. As an all-time points scorer himself, Nathan Hirayama, kicked the ball across the pitch and grabbed it with the first touch to dot down, 0-7. Then, John Moonlight snagged the ball and raced across the field, barely snaking past USA's Maka Unufe, to make it in, 0-14. 

Poor ball handling and unforced errors held the Eagles back all through the first half until a turnover and pass to Perry Baker put them on the board, 7-14. 

During halftime, Head Coach Mike Friday called for his squad to be more aggressive at breakdowns and accurate in attack. And, as they made their return to the pitch, the Americans did just that. 

Danny Barrett pushed passed defenders to open it up right away with an excellent handover to Maka Unufe, 14-14. A trip to the sin bin for Canada's Luke McClosckey only edged the Eagles further, as Perry Baker broke through the ensuing scrum for his record-breaking try and the lead, 21-14. 

A pass from Baker to Iosefo with plenty of space got the U.S. on the board again, sealing the final score and the win 28-14. 

"That was a slow start by us to put ourselves in a bit of a hole going 14-0 down. Whilst the boys need to stop doing that, they showed great application in sticking to their plan and strengths to get us back into the game to win it," said Head Coach Mike Friday. 

The Eagles will return tonight at 8:48 PM ET for the next match of Pool D against Samoa who fell to Kenya in their first contest. The match will be featured LIVE on ESPN3 with updates available by following @USARugby on Twitter.

Men's Eagles Sevens Roster | Hamilton 7s Tournament

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

Men's Eagles Sevens Staff | Hamilton 7s Tournament

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

Men's Eagles Sevens Schedule | Pool D | Hamilton 7s Tournament

vs. Canada | 28-14 (W)
vs. Samoa | Fri, Feb. 2 - 8:48 PM ET
vs. Kenya | Sat, Feb. 3 - 12:22 AM ET