Men's Eagles Sevens finish Fiji Water Centennial International Sevens 1-3

Men's Eagles Sevens finish Fiji Water Centennial International Sevens 1-3

SUVA, Fiji – The Men’s Eagles Sevens’ warmup for Gold Coast Sevens did not go quite as planned Friday at the Fiji Water Centennial International Sevens, as Matt Hawkins’ side finished pool play 1-3.

The Eagles were in the first match-up of the day against Argentina and started bright. Brett Thompson scored his first try of the day in just the third minute to give the Eagles the lead. Los Pumas scored back-to-back tries minutes later to secure a 14-5 halftime lead, however.

Thompson again wasted no time at the beginning of the second half, scoring in the eighth minute to get the Eagles back on track. Jack Halalilo got in on the act two minutes later and a Folau Niua conversion helped to overtake Argentina 17-14 with minutes remaining.

A lineout deemed by the referee to have not been straight doomed the Eagles in the final minute, as Los Pumas capitalized and scored a try just before the whistle to win 19-17.

“When we had the ball we were dangerous,” Assistant Coach Dave Williams said after the match. “We definitely could’ve won.”

The Eagles’ second match was against a combined Fiji Barbarians side. This time, the Eagles fell behind by two tries early. Niua converted his own try in the fifth minute, Thompson scored his second try of the day not long after, and Nick Edwards scored after the first half whistle blew to give the Eagles a 17-14 lead at the break. Edwards scored his second of the match in the ninth minute and the Eagles earned their first win of the tournament 24-19.

France proved too much for the Eagles in the third match of the day, though Thompson scored yet another try. USA Rugby AIG Men’s Collegiate All-American Ryan Matyas also scored, but the Eagles were defeated 14-36 and fell to 1-2 in pool play.

With just one match remaining to improve their record for a chance to advance to the Semifinals, the Eagles took on the Fiji Warriors, another combined side. Tries from Zach Test and Niua were not enough, however, as the Eagles fell 10-27, ending their tournament.

The Eagles will get a full week to recover for the first stop of the IRB HSBC Sevens World Series in Gold Coast, Australia. With one tournament under their belts, the Eagles will be better equipped to start the Series on the right foot.


Men's Eagles Sevens 17 | 19 Argentina
Tries: Thompson (2), Halalilo
Conversions: Niua

Men's Eagles Sevens 24 | 19 Fiji Barbarians
Tries: Niua, Thompson, Edwards (2)
Conversions: Niua (2)

Men's Eagles Sevens 14 | 36 France
Tries: Thompson, Matyas
Conversions: Niua, (2)

Men's Eagles Sevens 10 | 27 Fiji Warriors
Tries: Test, Niua

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Comments (4)

  • Guest (USA Beagles)

    Matt "Tolkin 2.0" Hawkins comes out of the blocks with a thud making all the typical amatuer coach mistakes selecting coaches and players he is familiar with (SDSU student and Serevi) and predictably fails.

  • Guest (SoCal7s)

    Early days. Let's see how they look at the Gold Coast. At this stage it is about identifying the right combinations and getting the defense set. There are 7 good pieces there, I'm sure Hawk will put the puzzle together.

  • Guest (guest)

    In reply to: Guest (SoCal7s)

    Early days, put the pieces together and win in the Gold Coast

  • Guest (Mike)

    Wel I've just watched the Gold Coast 7,s tournament, and to be fair,I was very disappointed in the overall performance of the American Eagles squad.
    Yes they won the shield,but please, the shield.!!!
    That's the section,where all those teams who come last in there pool,play off against each other.
    This American team should be on the rise, to be brutally honest the team did have some good moments of individual skill, but if they are to challenge the major rugby powers, and they can, they need to learn the science of playing attacking sevens, clean up there contact,tackle,and
    clearing the ruck skills, fast and efficiently.
    To mention just a few aspects of there play.
    They just seemed to be void of attacking ideas,and to be blunt,not sevens fit.
    It looked like they spent more time in the gym and less time putting in the running mileage which you need in sevens.
    All the best to coach HAWKINS though and his crew, bed interesting to see how they go in DUBAI.