GOLD COAST, Australia – The Men’s Eagles Sevens will return home from Gold Coast Sevens with hardware following their 22-0 Shield Final victory against Portugal Sunday.
USA Rugby AIG Men’s Collegiate All-American Stephen Tomasin opened the scoring in the third minute following an offside call against Portugal. Head coach Matt Hawkins took the quick tap and found the youngster for his second try of the tournament and his career for the 5-0 lead.
Zack Test followed suit with a quick tap of his own in the sixth minute and ran past two defenders into the try zone to extend the lead to 10-0. Test kept Portugal from scoring at the halftime whistle by knocking a loose ball in front of the posts away from the onrushing attacker.
Test looked to be hurt following a tackle in the eighth minute, but managed to keep playing and made some effective defensive plays.
Miles Craigwell entered the game in the ninth minute and found Brett Thompson in space in the middle of the field near the Eagles’ own 22. Once he broke through the gain line, he got some help from the referee, who unintentionally got in the way of the last Portuguese defender. Thompson was untouched the rest of the way and scored for a 15-0 Eagles lead.
Test was eventually replaced by Tai Enosa, who took restart duty from Folau Niua. Ryan Matyas had ball in hand down the right side of the field and was being thrown into touch, but he got rid of the ball and it eventually came to Niua, who scored between the sticks. He converted his own try and the Eagles finished the match perfect at 22-0.
Hawkins was pleased with his team’s performance but knows there is work to do for the next round of the IRB HSBC Sevens World Series.
“Now we just have to build off of it,” he said. “We have time to get back and get ourselves organized. It’ll be fun next time. The next one we’ll get better and better and keep moving forward.”
The Eagles finish with a 3-3 record at Gold Coast Sevens and the Shield. Next up is Dubai Sevens from Nov. 29-30.
Men's Eagles Sevens | v. Portugal
1. Carlin Isles (s)
2. Pat Blair
3. Matt Hawkins
4. Ryan Matyas (s)
5. Zack Test
6. Brett Thompson
7. Folau Niua
8. Jack Halalilo (s)
9. Miles Craigwell (s)
10. Tai Enosa (s)
11. Nick Edwards
12. Stephen Tomasin
Men's Eagles Sevens | 22
Tries: Tomasin, Test, Thompson, Niua