Eagles claw into top 10 in World Series

Eagles claw into top 10 in World Series
For Immediate Release
April 1, 2012

 

USA Men's Sevens back in World's top ten after Tokyo run
 
TOKYO -- Seven was the magical number for the Eagles this weekend in the Tokyo Sevens. It was the seventh stop on the HSBC Sevens World Series and the USA Men's Eagle Sevens team claimed seven crucial Series points. That means the USA leapfrogs Scotland, Canada, and Kenya (only just) to sit at no. 10 in the world.
 
The Eagles went 3-3 in Tokyo with losses coming from quality opponents: Cup semifinalists and Series leaders New Zealand; Tokyo Sevens champions Australia; and the team that snuck by the USA 17-12 in the Bowl Final, France.
 
Three wins against Hong Kong, Kenya, and Portugal gives new USA Head Coach Alexander Magleby a platform to build on in April as the USA prepares for the Glasgow (May 5-6, 2012) and London Sevens (May 12-13, 2012).
 
Rocco Mauer was a beneficiary of a more expansive style of rugby, scoring four tries in Tokyo.  Photo credit: Martin Seras Lima
 
Overall the team looked confident and opportunistic in Japan, the result of which was exciting attacking rugby. Rocco Mauer, who was playing college rugby for Bowling Green State just last year, exploded onto the scene in Tokyo scoring four tries, putting him among the elite scorers in the tournament.
 
Scoring tries is great but wins are better. A basic but comprehensive team approach has allowed the USA to effectively stretch the field and release their danger men, a strategy that will notch victories and build a team's confidence.
 
"When the game gets simplified a bit, you can get more confident," said Magleby.
 
Two tournaments (Hong Kong and Tokyo) saw the Eagles improve constantly and the team is still striving to take the next steps forward.
 
"It's like Aristotle said, 'We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.' These two tournaments gave us an opportunity to assess the current systems and see how we can get more out of what we're doing," said Magleby.
 
The coach also praised his team's ability to respond to pressure saying, "Hats off to the guys. We pushed them and they responded well. For us, the important part was getting the culture right on the field and we're getting there. The guys are committed."
 
The USA will play Pool A opponents Australia, England, and Kenya on May 5 in Glasgow, Scotland. The following week is the final tournament of the 2011-2012 Series in London on May 12-13.
 
 
Box Scores:

Bowl Final
USA 12
Tries: Mauer (2)
Cons: Suniula

France 17
Tries: Igna, Albaladejo, Delmas
Cons: Acebes
--
Bowl Semifinal
USA 20
Tries: Test(2), Hawley
Cons: Niua 
Pens: Niua

Portugal 10
Tries: Leal (2)
--
Bowl Quarterfinal
USA 12
Tries: Hawley, Mauer
Cons: Niua

Kenya 7
Tries: Ocholla
Cons: Ocholla
--
Pool B
USA 21
Tries: Test, Durutalo, Mauer
Cons: Enosa (3)

Hong Kong 19
Tries: Varty(2), Hood
Cons: Hood (2)
--
Pool B
USA 0

Australia 15
Tries: Yakopo (2), Fa'alava'au
--
Pool B
USA 5
Tries: Palefau

New Zealand 26
Tries: Cama, Savea, Heem, Piutau
Cons: Cama (3)
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