Wellington Sevens Results - Day 1
The USA Men’s Sevens team finished the first day of the NZI Sevens with a 1-2 record, losing to England and Wales but finishing the day with a win over Cook Islands and a shot at the Bowl. In the opening match of day two, the Eagles will take on Scotland in the Bowl quarterfinal.
USA v. ENGLAND
The Eagles had a tough first match against the champions of the first stage of the HSBC Sevens World Series, England. England's prolific scorer, Ben Gollings, got things started for his team by dotting down for the opening try of the match. The Eagles couldn't come up with an answer in the first half, allowing England to put up 17. Only forty seconds elapsed in the second before England struck again, with Dan Norton scoring his second try of the game. USA captain, Matt Hawkins, led by example and broke the line to score a five-pointer for the Eagles. Head Coach Al Caravelli brought on some fresh legs in the form of Justin Boyd, Tai Enosa, and Nu'u Punimata midway through the second half but to no avail. Shalom Suniula put in a last gasp effort for the Eagles, scoring in the eighth minute of the second half and converting his own score. The Eagles finished with 12 to England’s 31.
USA v. WALES
Wales hit the USA early, but Eagle Miles Craigwell struck back with a try, which would be the only American score of the match. The Welsh continued an onslaught throughout the game that the Eagles were unable to contain. The final score was 36-5 and the Eagles had plenty to think about before their final match of day one against the Cook Islands.
USA v. COOK ISLANDS
The scores were tied at the end of the first half against Cook Islands, with former Oregon Duck, Zach Test, scoring a try for the USA which was converted by Roland Suniula. The second half was back and forth also, but the cool-headed veterans Mark Bokhoven and Paul Emerick came through for the USA. Emerick scored the first try of the second half and Suniula converted once again. Two minutes later Sailosi Nagi of Cook Islands answered back, and the conversion hit the mark bringing the scores level once again. It was Bokhoven that broke through for the winning score of the game. USA sub, Tai Enosa, missed the conversion, but it wouldn't matter in the end. The Eagles won 19-14 and a have shot at the Bowl.
"Tomorrow let's get the heart, the patience and the ball control together, that is what we will aim to do tomorrow. Pressure is put on by yourself, I think the players who have been to our home tournament before realize that what the fans really want is to see them play to their potential and leave it all on the field," Caravelli told his team.
Caravelli and his team are set on getting Series points from Wellington and building momentum for the USA Sevens in Las Vegas.
The Eagles have the opening match of day two in the Bowl quarterfinal against Scotland. The Scots were winless on day one, losing to Papua New Guinea, Argentina, and hosts New Zealand. If the USA prevails over Scotland, they will face the winner of Canada v. Kenya and have a shot to advance to the Bowl final.
Kickoff is at 5:00 p.m. MST (7:00 p.m. EST).
For more information:
Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby 7s | Dubai, UAE | December 3-4, 2010
Emirates Airline South Africa 7s | George, South Africa | December 10-11, 2010
NZI Sevens | Wellington, New Zealand | February 4-5, 2011
USA Sevens | Las Vegas, USA | February 12-13, 2011
Cathay Pacific Credit Suisse Hong Kong Sevens | Hong King, China | March 25-27, 2011
Adelaide Sevens | Adelaide, Australia | April 2-3, 2011
Emirates Airline London Sevens | London, England | May 21-22, 2011
Emirates Airline Edinburgh Sevens Festival | Edinburgh, Scotland | May 28-29, 2011