Men's Sevens
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Men's Sevens  @ The National Stadium
Singapore Sevens

Men's Sevens Win Challenge Trophy in Singapore

KALLANG, SGP. - The Men's Eagles Sevens went all the way to seal the Challenge Trophy on Day Two of Singapore Sevens. Going toe-and-toe with rival-Canada through the first half, the Eagles combined for three tries to overcome their northern neighbor and seal the 12-26 victory. Picking up 8 points toward their overall Series standing, the squad remains in the hunt for a strong finish to the season. Updated standings will be posted following the Cup Final. 

"The most pleasing thing today is the squad has applied themselves in these difficult circumstances and went out and got the results we needed," said Head Coach Mike Friday. "A lot of our less experienced players got valuable minutes on the pitch in this ruthless playing environment which will hopefully stand them all in good stead as they continue to develop." 

The moment USA took the pitch for their first match against Argentina, fans in Singapore could sense the difference. Having battled a changing dynamic with playmaker Folau Niua not making the trip and Perry Baker falling to injury, the squad adjusted, regrouped and delivered the accuracy in execution they had been searching for. 

Though Canada's Mike Fuailefau made use of a U.S. mistake on the kickoff, scoring their first try to take an early 5-0 lead, the United States answered back quickly. A handoff from Martin Iosefo to Kevon Williams captured the lead (5-7) until the Canadians made one more move to go toe-and-toe. 

With Nathan Hirayama crossing the line to give his side a 5 point advantage (12-7), the Men's Sevens realized their rivals would not be quieted easily. Searching for opportunities on the next Canadian possession, the United States won a turnover and gave the ball to Carlin Isles at just the right time to make it 12-14. 

Following the half, the Eagles were back to their relentless ways. Stephen Tomasin eyed a missed offload by Canada, kicked it forward and recovered it for a breakaway try, 12-19. Then, Captain Ben Pinkelman took a turnover right after and passed to Kevon Williams for his second score of the match and the winning result, 12-26. 

In three matches today, the Eagles have held each of their opponents to 12 points -- only 2 tries overall -- whilst putting three players in position to score more than once in each game. Carlin Isles earned a hat trick against both Argentina and Scotland, while Martin Iosefo scored two against Argentina and Kevon Williams went for a double against rival-Canada. 

With the entire squad making an impact in the trophy result, Carlin Isles rose to a new caliber in each of the Eagles' victories. As a collaborative effort, Head Coach Mike Friday made note of the speedster's accomplishments also acknowledging contributions which helped each of Isles' tries cross the line. 

"We saw Carlin grow in confidence over these two days and he showed us all that blistering pace he is renowned for with some breathtaking finishes," said Friday. "He was smarter at getting himself to the edge and we were better as a team at serving him what he needed so he could finish." 

With 8 points toward their overall Series standing, the United States is still in contention for a strong finish to close out the season. With only two stops remaining at London Sevens (June 2-3) and Paris Sevens (June 9-10),  the Men's Sevens will continue to focus on mastering their game plan as Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 approaches.  

"Our applications and Dawg determination to stay on task for each other was excellent in these tough conditions and circumstances," said Coach Friday, pinpointing the themes which have helped his group succeed. 

The squad will return to Chula Vista to regroup and continue their training for the final two stops of the Series. Updates on Perry Baker and Folau Niua will be provided in due course. 

MEN'S EAGLES SEVENS STAFF | 2018 HSBC Singapore Sevens

Head Coach - Mike Friday
Assistant Coach - Jon Hood
Team Manager/Assistant Coach - Phil Greening 
Physiotherapist - Brian Green


LIVE on ESPN+ with paid subscription
vs. France | 33-12 (W)
vs. England | 14-19 (L)
vs. Kenya | 33-14 (L)

Challenge Trophy Quarterfinal
vs. Argentina | 36-12 (W)

Challenge Trophy Semifinal
vs. Scotland | 12-33 (W)

Challenge Trophy Final
vs. Canada | 12-26 (W)