USA Eagles
17 12
England
12 5
Men's Sevens  @ Sam Boyd Stadium
March 3, 20185:48 pm PDT
USA Sevens
Referee:  James Doleman
Cup Quarter-Finals

Men's Sevens edge England for a ticket to the Semis in Vegas

LAS VEGAS, NV - Game by game, the USA chants have gotten louder here at Sam Boyd Stadium. The trend continued through to Saturday night as the Men's Sevens clashed with England in the Cup Quarterfinals, edging out a 17-12 win to close out the day. 

"I am pleased with how the entire group have moved forward today," said Head Coach Mike Friday, "the squad as whole, although not perfect in game one, are learning together  and it's important for the less experienced players to get out there and play.

Sometimes you "have to get it wrong to get it right" and as a team, they did that from the game against Spain into the quarterfinals against a very well organized and tactical savvy England team.

As a pack of Dawgs they had to stay in the moment, even though at times the rub of the green did not go their way and that was very pleasing to see."

The majority of the first half was a stalemate of traded penalties as each side couldn't piece together a drive with out turning the ball over at the breakdown. Though he has found the try zone a few times already in Las Vegas, Perry Baker still seemed to be playing under the radar considering his ability to be a consistent weapon. 

That would change quickly as Baker provided all three of the United States tries, two of which in fast break fashion across the length of the pitch. His first came with the support of Folau Niua off an England penalty, when Niua noticed an uncovered Baker on the left flank. Easy points USA.

Shortly after, following another England penalty, Baker kicked it into high gear and was able to outpace an ambitious Ruaridh McConnochie who gave the rundown a chance. 

Ollie Lindsay-Hague kept the game close with a just before halftime score between the posts.

At the half, Head Coach Mike Friday addressed his team, "Maintain that discipline, keep believing, don't dwell on any moments. Keep the pace and physicality in the game."

Hoping to gain momentum, England legend Dan Norton picked up his 276th try on the right flank giving the United States a scare with their lead starting to dwindle. Another well organized England attack developed around the 10' mark but a crafty kick through would bounce back the US way as Ben Pinkelman was able to collect the turnover. 

A glance at the clock would show under a minute left and possession became key for the Men's Sevens. Kevon Williams and Maka Unufe were able to piece together two crucial stretches down field to create space and eat up clock. After a penalty near the England 5-meter line, a small scuffle ensued in the try zone, but cooler heads would prevail and Niua kicked to touch to end the game. 

Friday concluded, "We will need to be incredibly disciplined in defense to contain the Fijians and both physical and accurate in attack to control the ball."

The United States moves on to the Cup Semifinal against Fiji, tomorrow at 1:12PM PT. Having beat New Zealand in maybe the most heart-pumping match of the weekend, the Fijians are riding high so we're looking at a solid match up on the final day in Las Vegas.

Men's Eagles Sevens Staff | USA 7s Tournament

Head Coach - Mike Friday
Assistant Coach - Chris Brown 
Physiotherapist - Brian Green
Team Manager - Scott Novak

Men's Eagles Sevens Schedule | USA 7s Tournament

LIVE on ESPN3 
vs. Samoa | 26-12 (W)
vs. Australia | 28-7 (W)
vs. Spain | 28-17 (W)

vs. England | 17-12 (W)