LAS VEGAS, Nev. - The eagerly anticipated 2013 Las Vegas Sevens kicked off earlier today at Sam Boyd Stadium on a cold evening in Nevada.
The Eagles first pool clash against Australia was a difficult encounter.
Right from the opening, Jesse Parahi scored for Australia, with Lewis Holland adding the conversion. The Eagles showed several promising attacks involving Zach Test, Blaine Scully and Jack Halalilo, but were unable to keep possession. Australia’s Con Foley had space to operate and managed to stretch over the line to extend their lead by 14-0, with Holland’s conversion.
Following the try, the Eagles took possession but Luke Hume’s pass near their own tryline was intercepted, with Tom Cusack dotting down for a 19-0 half-time lead for Australia.
The 2nd half started off superbly with a beautiful break from captain Matt Hawkins. The off-load to Halalilo saw him bust up the middle and knock over the sweeper. However, the Eagles could not maintain possession and Australia were back inside the Eagles half.
Head Coach Alex Magleby made some substitutions, introducing Carlin Isles, Nick Edwards, Shalom Suniula and Rocco Mauer. The fresh legs saw the Eagles attack with several phases, but the Australian swarm defense led to Holland streaking through for another try, making it 26-0.
In the final minute, with the Eagles inside their own 22-meter, Scully put in a perfectly timed deep kick for Isles to chase. The sprinting sensation overtook the cover defense and collected the ball as he glided over to score – receiving a massive roar from the home fans!
Suniula kicked the sideline conversion, for a final score of Australia 26 USA 7.
“It felt good. It felt exciting! It’s good to get your first try in front of your home fans,” Isles said after the match. Watch the full interview here.
The Eagles will face Samoa next at 9:30 P.M. Pacific Time on Friday, February 8. NBC Sports and Universal Sports will be broadcasting the tournament. Check here for times.
USA Men’s Eagles Sevens | Las Vegas Sevens
- Andrew Durutalo
- Nick Edwards
- Jack Halalilo
- Matt Hawkins (Captain)
- Colin Hawley
- Luke Hume
- Carlin Isles
- Rocco Mauer
- Folau Niua
- >Blaine Scully
- Shalom Suniula
- Zach Test
Eagles Schedule | Las Vegas Sevens
- vs. Samoa – 9:30 P.M. PT Friday, February 8
- vs. Spain – 2:34 P.M. PT Saturday, February 9