TOKYO -- It was a thriller from start to finish and the USA came out on top. The early pressure by the Eagles in the first half and some opportunism in the second gave the USA a 24-22 win over last week's Cup finalists Wales in the Tokyo Sevens opener.
Right from the kickoff, Zack Test tested Wales' defense and nearly scored within 20 second of the opening whistle. The ball was turned over and cleared by Wales and recovered by Matt Hawkins. Hawkins darted up the middle and threw a wide pass to Colin Hawley in support for the score.
A few mishandles and turnovers gave Wales a 15-7 lead with only a few second in the first half. But a fantastic team effort led to Nick Edwards scoring by turning a Welsh defender inside out. That score gave the USA momentum, but they were still down 12-15 at the half.
Hawkins got the team going in the second. Test offloaded in contact and Hawkins was charging in support to get behind the Welsh defense for a score. Luke Hume added a five-pointer thanks to a massive counterruck by Andrew Durutalo. Hume shot the blindside gap and used his pace to finish.
Following the match, USA Head Coach Alexander Magleby said, "We're a good team when we do the simple things well."
He went on to say the restarts and tackle rate were areas he was pleased with and will look for his team to sort out some tactical defense against Kenya.
Tries: Hawley, Edwards, Hawkins, Hume
Conversions: Suniula, Niua
Tries: Webber, Allen (2), Thomas