Men's Sevens
19 7
England
12 12
Men's Sevens  @ Cape Town Stadium
December 9, 20181:10 pm SAST
Cape Town Sevens
James Doleman

Men's Eagles Sevens conquer England for trip to HSBC Cape Town Sevens semifinals

CAPE TOWN, RSA. - Patience, cohesion, connection: these were the three pillars that lifted the Men's Eagles Sevens to a 19-12 victory over England in the HSBC Cape Town Sevens Cup Quarterfinals. 

It wasn't an easy win, however, after England scored on the opening kickoff and USA showed early inconsistencies in ball carrying. But the United States men ultimately came back from a 7-12 deficit, displaying outstanding defensive capabilities and unmatched precision in the second half to score 12 points of their own. 

As they showed last week in Dubai and yesterday after sweeping pool play, the Eagles Sevens are not to be underestimated; especially in the last seven minutes of play. 

The match could have gone either way after Alex Davis' aforementioned score on the opening kickoff. And, it wasn't simply that the Eagles Sevens were impressive on defense or skilled on offense. It was in equal parts the intelligence in possession after many a lineout allowed USA to convert English mistakes into scoring plays.  

The latter led to the ultimate combination of focus and skill when Folau Niua perfected a grubber kick from a USA lineout and Martin Iosefo was there to recover. But the play didn't end with Iosefo. Instead, it was Captin Madison Hughes who flew in like a speeding bullet in the exact location and with the perfect sight to reap a pass from Iosefo and score between the posts. 

Naturally, with a perfected conversion to boot, Hughes' 7 points tied the game. 

England almost surely broke open immediately after -- trying to push momentum back on their side -- but the fast feet and impressive tackling by Perry Baker ended their stride. Then, collectively, when the opposition had finally made it over the line, the Eagles Sevens held up the try and directed back to set piece action. 

Red Roses Sevens' Daniel Bibby did eventually score -- right at halftime -- proving that no matter how sharp defenses can be, in order to win, the U.S. needed to keep the ball out of their own side. 

Called for being offsides to start the second half, England was their own detriment, giving USA a lineout inside the 22. And, as a result, the American men bounced back for two back-to-back tries.

First, patient play, keen passing and well management of space allowed Danny Barrett to dot down in the corner and tie it up, 12-12. Then, another lineout and an open run by Martin Iosefo put the ball back in contention for Barrett to dive over the middle for the 19-12 lead -- a string of USA possessions within the England half at their finest. 

The final play was the ultimate deciding factor in the battle between the English and the Americans. England only needed one converted try to tie the game, push into overtime, and give themselves a chance of repeating the heartbreak from Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 where they defeated the USA in extra time. 

But the Red Roses Sevens stumbled on their desired fate. A penalty on the final drive gave Folau Niua a kick to touch and the Men's Eagles Sevens had fixed their place in the Semifinals. 

Now facing New Zealand in a rematch of last week's Cup Final, the United States has a massive opportunity to right the wrong of losing the Dubai Sevens gold medal

The match kicks off at 9:56 AM ET, LIVE on ESPN+.

Men's Eagles Sevens Staff

Head Coach | Mike Friday
Assistant Coach | Anthony "Rocky" Roques
Strength & Conditioning Coach | Matt Long
Athletic Trainer | Brian Green
Team Manager | Scott Novack

HSBC Cape Town Sevens Schedule

Pool B | Broadcast LIVE on ESPN+

vs. Japan | 54-0 (W)
vs. Spain | 38-17 (W)
vs. Argentina | 31-14 (W)

Cup Quarterfinals
vs England | 19-12 (W)

Cup Semifinals
vs New Zealand | 9:56 AM ET