USA falls to France in Shield Final

USA falls to France in Shield Final
For Immediate Release
May 13, 2012
Eagles fall to France in Shield Final
• Eagles fall 12-19 to France in a tight Shield Final
• USA finish 2011-2012 Season with 41 Series Points (11th place in the Series)
• USA shifts focus to Rugby World Cup Sevens qualifiers in August
LONDON – The USA Men’s Eagle Sevens team fell to France 12-19 in the Shield Final at the London Sevens, the ninth and final stop of the 2011-2012 HSBC Sevens World Series.
Nu'u Punimata tangles with a French defender.  Photo credit: Martin Seras Lima
The USA bounced back from a 19-28 loss to Wales in the Bowl Quarterfinals to clear Russia by more than 20 points and fought to the last second against France in the Shield Final.

Since USA Head Coach Alexander Magleby took over in March, the team has improved, but the wins have still proven elusive.

“I wish for the boys that they could get a few more wins out of it, but the important part is building the foundation,” said Magleby.

The coach cited the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens qualifiers in August as the targeted competition now that the Series has concluded.  The outlook for that tournament looks good as parts of the USA’s game have proven lethal.

The USA attack has become more potent in the last four tournaments and snappy attack and individual brilliance typified the Eagles’ London offensive campaign. Colin Hawley is playing the best sevens of his career, Shalom Suniula is growing into his role as playmaker and captain, and Zack Test is great on both sides of the ball.
Mike Palefau was a leader by example and was often the cool head for the team and exemplified a killer instinct on attack. Andrew Durutalo and Peter Tiberio were impactful when they came on and Durutalo’s power earned him a starting spot from Hong Kong onwards.
As a unit though, the Eagles’ defense has something to be desired. Looking forward, the team will address the issues and continue to improve.
The USA will look to the Rugby World Cup Sevens qualifiers this August and then begin preparations for the 2012-2013 Series that will start in the Fall of 2012.
Box Scores:
Bowl Quarterfinal
USA 19
Tries: Hawley, Palefau, Test
Cons: Enosa (2)

Wales 28
Tries: Smith, Thomas, Price, Walker
Cons: Walker (3), Jones

Shield Semifinal

USA 38
Tries: Durutalo, Palefau, Test, Edwards (2), Hawley
Cons: Enosa(3), Suniula

Russia 12
Tries: Ostroushko, Galinovskiy
Cons: Yanyuskin


Shield Final

USA 12
Tries: Hawley, Durutalo
Cons: Enosa

France 19
Tries: Delmas, Saubade, Laousse
Cons: Albaladejo (2)

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