USA Eagles
5  
New Zealand
26 14
Men's Sevens  @ Twickenham Stadium
June 3, 20185:07 pm BDST
London Sevens
Referee:  Richard Haughton

USA Finishes Sixth at London Sevens

LONDON, ENG. - This was not the way the Men's Eagles Sevens wanted to leave London. Held to one score in a match riddled with penalties, the stop and go nature of the Fifth Place Final lifted New Zealand to a 5-26 victory; leaving the United States with only 12 points (instead of 13) toward their overall standing. Now, only one stop remains at the 2018 Paris Sevens (June 8-10) with a World Cup on home soil this July 20-22. 

Starting the day with a devastating loss to Ireland (12-22), the Men's Sevens regained their confidence in a 19-26 victory over rival-Canada and went into their meeting with New Zealand with every hope of maintaining precision. 

"The Ireland performance was disappointing as we did not execute what we said we would do and as a consequence, gave 17 points away cheaply in the first half," said Head Coach Mike Friday, describing his thoughts on the first match of the day. "We were not able to recover from that and Ireland deserved their win on the day."

The first half of the match was messy, to say the least. A few penalties bounced the ball back and forth between both sides with New Zealand's Regan Ware drawing first blood at 0-7. An ensuing USA attack fell short when Eagle Carlin Isles was brought down and pulled out of the match, after which All Black Sevens' Salesi Rayasi took advantage and scored again, 0-14. 

A monster tackle by Martin Iosefo put the ball back in U.S. hands until Iosefo's knock on to Malon Al-Jiboori put New Zealand back in favor. A high tackle from the All Blacks Sevens paved the way for USA to recover until an almost sure breakaway by Stephen Tomasin was ended inches away from the tryzone on the final play of the half. 

Though the Eagles had hoped the halftime huddle would help them catch a breath and regain their composure, the second half proved to be just as challenging as ever. 

On a convincing run sure to take him all the way, USA's Brett Thompson was brought down by way of another New Zealand high tackle. The U.S. attack -- once in flirting distance from the tryline -- was pushed further and further away until the opposition captured a turnover and Akuila Rokolisoa ran away with it, 0-21. 

Stephen Tomasin would ultimately score the United States lone try, 5-21, but New Zealand pushed through strong Eagle tackles right after for Tim Mikkelson to close the match with the 5-26 result. 

With 12 points added to their collective, the Men's Eagles Sevens will remain at fifth place in the overall standings with one more stop before the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 in San Francisco this July. 

"We allowed more of the squad to get valuable game time which is a positive and we showed patches again today of what we are capable of. We need to work hard this week to establish how we can iron out some of these mistakes and the poor decisions we make at times," said Head Coach Friday, looking ahead to the next week of preparation. 

Following the match, Eagle Carlin Isles underwent a Head Injury Assessment and will follow proper protocols for further evaluation in the coming days. 

The 2017-18 HSBC World Sevens Series comes to a close next week in Paris (June 8-10) where the squad will have one final shot to see their ranking improve. 

MEN'S EAGLES SEVENS STAFF | 2018 LONDON SEVENS

Head Coach - Mike Friday
Assistant Coach - Phil Greening
Strength & Conditioning Coach - Jon Hood
Athletic Trainer - Brian Green
Team Manager - Scott Novack
 

MEN'S EAGLES SEVENS SCHEDULE | 2018 LONDON SEVENS

v. Kenya | 19-19 (D)
v. England | 31-14 (W)
v. France | 38-14 (W)

Cup Quarterfinals
v. Ireland | 12-22 (L)

5th Place Semifinal
v. Canada | 19-27 (W)

5th Place Final 
v. New Zealand | 5-26 (L)

Live on ESPN+