Men's Sevens
24 5
24 12
Men's Sevens  @ Hong Kong Stadium
Hong Kong Sevens
  James Doleman
Pool Play

USA Makes Late Comeback to Draw with France

HONG KONG - The Men's Eagles Sevens proved they should never be underestimated in their first match of pool play against France at Hong Kong Sevens. After a difficult first half that saw the French dominate the scoreboard, USA scored three second-half tries to end their first Pool D match in a draw, 24-24. Though challenges at the start were enough to ignite concern, Eagle fans can rest assured the squad is warmed up and ready to face Wales in match two at 11:38 PM ET, LIVE on ESPN2.

The start of the game was as cringe-worthy as anything we've seen before. France took the upper-hand, France scored early and France took advantage of every American misstep on offer through the first half of play. Missed tackles and difficulty hanging on to the ball allowed France's Pierre Gilles Lakafia and Manoel Dall'igna to put 12 points on the board before the United States could step foot on their scoring side of the pitch. 

But then, just as fans thought they could foresee how this one was going to end, Folau Niua -- the Eagles' should-be Dream Team machine -- tossed the ball into a USA lineout, snagged an offload from Perry Baker and ran it the length of the field for the first Eagles try, 5-12. And, while he may have missed the kick, Niua's late first half heroics simply proved the United States was back. 

At the start of the second half, a wrestle turned almost-tackle near the USA side saw France's Tavite Veredamu put one more over the line for the opposition, 5-19. Then, Verendamu took it again, passed to Paul Bonnefond and almost immediately increased the Eagle deficit, 5-24. 

With only two minutes left, it appeared that -- despite Niua's lone try -- all momentum had shifted to the French. Enter Perry Baker. Taking an offload to his sweet spot, on the outside, Baker shimmied along the edge to cut the shortfall, 12-24. 

Then, within mere moments, Carlin Isles took over and scored on the restart with a quick dash along the line to bring USA within one score, 19-24. One the final play, France's Bonnefond earned a yellow and the Eagles seized full advantage, feeding the ball back to Isles for the tying score, 24-24. 

It was a tough battle to say the least; but, with this match, the United States has proved that they should never be underestimated. Fans at Hong Kong Sevens should keep their eyes glued to the pitch when USA takes on Wales (0-1) for the second match of Pool D at 11:38 PM ET, LIVE on ESPN2.

Men's Eagles Sevens Staff | Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens

Head Coach - Mike Friday
Strength & Conditioning Coach - Jon Hood
Physiotherapist - Brian Green
Team Manager - Scott Novack

Men's Eagles Sevens Schedule | Pool D | Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens

LIVE on ESPN Networks
vs. France | 24-24 (D)
vs. Wales | Fri, Apr. 6 - 11:38 PM ET 
vs. Argentina | Sat, Apr. 7 - 3:38 AM ET