USA Eagles
12 5
Argentina
14 14
Men's Sevens  @ Hong Kong Stadium
April 8, 20186:00 pm HKST
Hong Kong Sevens
5th Place Play Off

Men's Sevens Fall to Argentina in 5th Place Play Off

HONG KONG – It was a frustrating finish for the Men’s Eagles Sevens in the 5th Place Play Off at Hong Kong Sevens. After finishing first in Pool D, falling to New Zealand and edging past Scotland, the United States again experienced competitive challenges resulting in a 14-12 loss to Argentina. Due to an injury sustained against New Zealand, the Eagles started the match without Perry Baker , with Maka Unufe also falling to injury in the second half. Taking 12 points toward their overall series standing, Head Coach Mike Friday and USA now head home and look ahead to Singapore Sevens

“No excuses on this because of injuries. It was a hugely physical tournament and we allowed our own inaccuracy to create the problems we endured on Day Three,” said Head Coach Mike Friday, owning the mistakes made by USA through the weekend. “This is about bringing individual consistency of approach and application both physically and mentally to every game we play. If we do that we know we can be extremely difficult to play against.” 

At kickoff, an immediate turnover gave the Argentinians first bite at the apple. While an initial attack didn’t make it far, a missed USA offload allowed Argentina’s Matias Osadczuk to take full advantage and dot down, 7-0. 

Incredibly physical with their defensive strategy, the opposition was quick to stop Eagle Carlin Isles in his ensuing attempt to run along the outside. Then, after another U.S. turnover, Argentina’s Santiago Alvarez Fourcade broke wide open for a second score, 14-0. 

A USA lineout with less than two minutes remaining gave Matai Leuta a quick chance before the opposition closed around him. But, eager to make a statement, Carlin Isles escaped a tackle moments later and finally ran away with the first United States try, 14-5. 

Two scores down at the start of the second half, the Men’s Sevens continued to have trouble moving past the goal line. Though they managed to maintain possession,  an injury to Maka Unufe created another hurdle for the squad to overcome.

As energy intensified on the pitch, Carlin Isles broke open once more to give the U.S. it’s second try and a fighting chance at clinching the win, 14-12. And, as Argentina’s German Schultz took a trip to the sin bin, it was clear the momentum was theirs for the taking. 

In an unfortunate sequence of events, a knock on by Kevon Williams and a messy offload by Martin Iosefo prevented two more scoring opportunities for the United States. With an Argentinian kick to touch, the final whistle blew and the Americans had sustained another frustrating loss.

Despite admitted mistakes, injuries to Perry Baker and Maka Unufe played a hand in creating an even bigger challenge for the Eagles to overcome.  As the squad takes 12 points toward their overall series standing, they look ahead to Singapore Sevens and the fighting chance to still finish the season higher than ever before. 

Singapore Sevens will take place April 27-28 — broadcast LIVE on ESPN Networks — with the United States facing England, Kenya and France in Pool B. Updates regarding player injuries will be provided in due course. 

“We will return home tomorrow to recover, with some light training towards the end of the week, so our bodies can get in the right time zone in preparation for a full training week before Singapore,” says Head Coach Friday.