LAS VEGAS, Nev. - The USA Eagles lost 24-19 in extra time against rivals Canada in the Plate Semi-Finals today, ending their USA Sevens tournament in Las Vegas.
Canada started the match off extremely well with a brace of tries—the first by Nathan Hirayama, which he then converted. Next John Moonlight broke two tackles and dove over to give Canada a quick 14-0 lead.
The Eagles eventually got their hands on the ball, with Matt Hawkins running a great line to put the USA back in the game and give him his 47th try in the World Sevens Series. Folau Niua kicked the conversion.
The second half started with a restart error from Niua. Canada played patient offense eventually sending over Jeffery Hassler to extend their lead to 19-7.
Andrew Durutalo sparked the home fans with a perfectly executed switch with Zach Test, who then beat two defenders on his way to a great USA try. Luke Hume missed the conversion from in front.
The momentum continued for the Eagles as Canadian Taylor Paris received a yellow card, leaving his team with six players on the field. The Eagles capitalized with a Nuia try taken from a quick tap penalty. He kicked the conversion, much to the delight of the thousands of fans at Sam Boyd Stadium, to take the match into extra time.
However, it wasn’t to be for the home team as another mistake gave possession to Canada. Substitute Nanyak Dala broke free and his try sunk the hearts of the Eagles. Canada won 24-19 and advanced to the Plate Final, while the Eagles tournament came to an end.
“There is no excuse, that was a game that was always competitive, emotions fly and Canada played well enough to win,” said Coach Alex Magleby following the match.
Despite the loss to Canada, the Eagles earned 10 valuable IRB points, bringing their total to 28 for the 2012/2013 Sevens World Series. In Las Vegas the highlights included an excellent win over Spain 22-7, and two thrilling encounters against Samoa (7-12) and Fiji (19-21).
On the the teams improvement during the tournament, Magleby commented, “There are a lot of positives and you build on those—you have to collect them.”
For more post-game reaction from Coach Magleby and the players visit www.youtube.com/USARugbyTV.
NBC Sports and Universal Sports is broadcasting the tournament. Check here for times.
Follow USA Rugby Twitter account@USAEaglesRugby. Use hashtag #USA7s to join the conversation.
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 Results | Las Vegas Sevens
- USA 7 Australia 26
- USA 7 Samoa 12
- USA 22 Spain 7
- USA 19 Fiji 21 (Cup quarterfinal)
- USA 19 Canada 24 (Plate semi final)