Men's Sevens
7 7
South Africa
29 19
Men's Sevens  @ BC Place Stadium
Canada Sevens
Bronze Final

Men's Sevens Drop Bronze Final Against South Africa

VANCOUVER, B.C. - This was not the way the Men's Eagles Sevens had hoped their Canada Sevens run would end. After putting the first points on the board, the United States fell to a relentless South African offense that scored 5 consecutive tries and dominated the field of play to run away with a 29-7 Bronze victory. Though the final match is not entirely indicative of the squad's capabilities, the last two weeks have proven that the United States can be as competitive a force as all the best. 

"I'm immensely proud of our efforts over the last two weeks," said Head Coach Mike Friday, reflecting on the highs and lows of the past two Series stops. "We've got injuries and players who have had to show the versatility of being flexible in the positions they play. Things they've been working on the past two or three years are starting to come to the forefront."

The Bronze Final match started as many victorious USA games do. Following a South African penalty, USA won the ensuing lineout and put the ball in Malon Al-Jiboori's hands to run away with the first score, 0-7. Though another penalty would allow the United States to win the ball from the scrum, the opposition would not let them pass and momentum began to shift in an unfortunate direction. 

"If you look at where their tries originate from, it's from us being a little to cavalier and maverick with our offloading game, rather than recognizing that the best offloader knows when not to offload," says Head Coach Mike Friday, precisely identifying the areas of fault in the match. "Before you throw an offload, you first have to see it. That's the rule I teach them and that's what they have to live by."

South Africa would continue to score a total of 4 more breakaway tries to close out the first and fill out the second halves of play. And, though the United States was right on the chase for most of them, the Blitzboks were incredibly swift on the run. 

Dancing with possession at many moments during the match, the Eagles had trouble getting close enough to the try zone to reach the ball over the line. One final opportunity saw Matai Leuta snag the ball out of the lineout and toss it to Kevon Williams to keep it alive. Williams saw the South Africans close behind and made a quick pass to Malon Al-Jiboori who leaped over defenders but ultimately couldn't make it across. 

"We're still very much a work in progress," said Friday. But, I saw improvement and I saw us work as a group both as rugby players and more importantly, as young men." 

Though the Bronze final was disappointing, especially given the heartbreaking loss to Kenya in the Cup Semi Finals, the United States still takes 15 points towards their overall Series standing. In 6th place and just four points away from cracking Top 5, Head Coach Mike Friday and the Men's Eagles Sevens will get back to work and look ahead to rest of the season and the stretch to the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco.

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
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 | 19-24 (L)

Bronze Final
vs. South Africa | 29-7 (L)