USA Eagles
17  
New Zealand
0  
Men's Sevens  @ BC Place Stadium
March 11, 201811:52 am PDT
Canada Sevens
Referee:  Craig Evans

USA Punches Ticket to Cup Semi Finals with Win Over New Zealand

VANCOUVER, B.C. - The Men's Eagles Sevens have punched their ticket to the Cup Semi Finals for the second consecutive week with a 17-0 shutout win over New Zealand. In a match that saw no score until the second half, USA brought an unmatched focus to the task at hand, overcoming a dominant Kiwi possession to break open in the second half and score the only points of the game. Now, with another emerging challenge on the horizon, the Men's Sevens will channel the same passion and energy they brought the All Black Sevens to clinch a berth in the Cup Final at BC Place. 

USA and New Zealand spent the first 7 minutes of play in Eagle territory; with the American defense making tackle after tackle to keep the ball out of the try zone. Though the Kiwis would break past the 22 only once in the first several minutes, they continued to keep the ball alive, forcing the United States defense to work tirelessly to regain possession. 

The Eagles had a few opportunities to break open on the outside with Perry Baker but the All Black Sevens were all over it. Knowing the dangers of a Baker possession for their own outcome, New Zealand channeled a precise defense of their own to halt any USA breakaways. 

On the final play of the half, the unique energy of the match met an all-time high as USA Captain Ben Pinkelman advocated for his squad's challenges in a passionate discussion with the match referee. Acknowledging the obstacles, Referee Criag Evans awarded the U.S. a penalty but the Eagles were unable to turn it into points before the break. 

As it has on many instances, the halftime huddle proved to be a benefit for the United States. In a perfect display of the power of the speedster duo, Perry Baker ran the ball to the edge of New Zealand territory, making an offload to Carlin Isles who jet past Kiwi defenders for the first score,  0-7.

It wasn't long until a turnover allowed the ball to make its way to Danny Barrett who pushed passed the opposition to earn another five, 0-12. With the clock winding down, and everything still to play for, Barrett took the ball again and maneuvered his way to the end of the line where Kevon Williams swooped in and made the winning score, 0-17. 

Though the TMO needed some time to review the final play, the try was confirmed and the Eagles had positioned themselves as a true threat for the Cup. Now facing Kenya in the Cup Semi Finals at 6:30 PM ET, the United States will fight to the final whistle for a chance to take the title, LIVE on ESPN 3.

Men's Eagles Sevens Staff | Canada Sevens
Head Coach - Mike Friday
Assistant Coach - Chris Brown
Physiotherapist - Brian Green
Team Manager - Scott Novack

Men's Eagles Sevens Schedule | Canada Sevens
LIVE on ESPN3 
vs. Uruguay | 45-0 (W)
vs. Canada | 28-21 (W)
vs. Australia | 21-31 (L)

Cup Quarter Finals 
vs. New Zealand | 17-0 (W)

Cup Semi Finals 
vs. Kenya | Sun, Mar. 11 - 6:30 PM ET