Men's Sevens
29 17
Tonga
7 7
Men's Sevens  @ FMG Stadium Waikato
Hamilton Sevens
  Jordan Way
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Men's Eagles Sevens defeat Tonga in first match of HSBC New Zealand Sevens

HAMILTON, NZL. - The No. 1 Men's Eagles Sevens flew to their first win of HSBC New Zealand Sevens with a decisive 29-7 victory over invitational team Tonga.

Both eager to prove themselves in an important Game One of the tournament, the USA held their opponent to only one try, taking command of every possession in the second-half to finish the win. 

Eagles Sevens Folau Niua got the squad started by claiming the first try on the opening kickoff. Tonga was quick to answer back, however, when John Tapueluelu broke open and reached over the line in the midst of a convincing tackle attempt by Carlin Isles. 

The United States men controlled almost every possession thereafter, with the next try coming from a passing relay between Carlin Isles and Martin Iosefo.

Isles got the ball to the edge where -- surrounded by defenders -- he tossed it to Iosefo who strategically ran for more ground while Isles found new space. With Isles in the right position, Iosefo tossed it back and the Eagles Sevens claimed the lead, 12-7.  

A monster sideways kick by Folau Niua sailed from the corner of the right flank to the depth of the left flank, where Stephen Tomasin swooped in to reclaim the ball and dot down. Absolutely on fire, Tomasin scored his second try of the day right after to lift his side up 24-7. 

Back on attack, USA soared back toward the tryline where Tonga pulled the ball away and was called for a penalty. Taking full advantage, the Eagles Sevens took possession back inches from the line where Maceo Brown snuck through a divided defensive formation and cruised into the try zone, 29-7.


Watch Maceo Brown's Journey to the Jersey 


The last play of the match was somewhat controversial as the USA's  Perry Baker was knocked to the ground on a high tackle and Tonga ran away with a try. Following a review by the TMO, the Tongan try was reversed and the Eagles Sevens sealed their 29-7 victory with a kick to touch. 

Baker later passed his Head Injury Assessment but will undergo x-rays before his return to play status can be confirmed. Updates will be made available across twitter.com/usarugby

The Men's Eagles Sevens will return at 8:54 PM ET for their second match of Pool B with Samoa. Fans may watch LIVE on watch.espnplus.com

Men's Eagles Sevens Staff

Head Coach | Mike Friday
Assistant Coach | JD Stephenson
Strength & Conditioning Coach | Jon Hood
Athletic Trainer | Brian Green
Team Manager | Scott Novack

HSBC New Zealand Sevens Schedule & Results

Pool B | Broadcast LIVE on ESPN+

vs Tonga | 29-7 (W)
vs Samoa | Fri, Jan 25 - 8:54 PM ET
vs England | Sat, Jan 26 - 1:06 AM ET

Knockout rounds for Pool B begin Sat, Jan 26 at 4:22 PM ET. 

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