Men's Sevens
34 26
Samoa
14 7
Men's Sevens  @ FMG Stadium Waikato
Hamilton Sevens
  Richard Haughton
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Men's Eagles Sevens claim second win in Hamilton with victory over Samoa

HAMILTON, NZL. - Once for good measure, twice to make a statement. The Men's Eagles Sevens claimed their second win at HSBC New Zealand Sevens 2019 with another smashing 34-14 victory over Samoa.

Now 2-0 after an opening victory over Tonga, this was more than your traditional win-the-ball, own-the-space and run-it-down-the-stretch type games. The Eagles Sevens played a smart and tactically driven contest where they managed the breakdown, remained patient and owned the clock to stay on top. 

Samoa claimed the opening kickoff, broke open and then also took the opening score. But that neither stopped nor hindered the USA. 

Eagles Sevens' Danny Barrett was next to break the gain line, putting his team inside the halfway mark with prime position to score. Captain Madison Hughes and Martin Iosefo passed the ball back and forth, leveraging a penalty on Samoa to help Iosefo sneak space across the line, 7-7. 

The even score was all short-lived. A run by Stephen Tomasin setup playmaker Folau Niua to break a tackle and offload to Captain Hughes for another try. Then, back with possession, Niua tried to reach over the line on a Samoan tackle until a clear out by Danny Barrett allowed Carlin Isles to push through, 21-7. 

Three back-to-back tries and complete ownership of the ball had allowed the Americans to dominate the game. 

Samoa took the next attack -- and with some space on the edge -- tried to sneak away to even up. But the unrivaled speed of Carlin Isles mixed a deadly defensive cocktail and the Samoans were tackled out of touch. Still in the first half, still owning their roles, Isles plucked the ball from the breakdown and ran down the stretch with no defenders in sight.

And after halftime, the speed demon was at it again. 

Patient at the breakdown, the try-scoring legend caught Samoa off-guard, snatched the ball from the breakdown and ran away for a hat trick 31-7. 

Inside the 22, Samoa had just barely forced their way over the gain line until a tackle by Stephen Tomasin pushed them onto the touchline. No try. 

Samoa finally earned their second try on an ensuing turnover when a glimmer of hope that the remaining two and a half minutes would be enough. But USA was much too clever in the moment. Knowing they were far ahead and understanding the need to slow down the ball, the Eagles Sevens milked the clock for all its worth. 

Then, in one of those rare and ingenious moments in sevens, U.S. Captain Madison Hughes made a penalty kick to eat up more time and ultimately sealed a 34-14 win. 

The Men's Eagles Sevens will now look ahead to their toughest battle of Pool B. Facing England (1-1) at 1:06 AM ET (Sat, Jan 26), the team will need to maintain this same level of play to come away with a full sweep. The match will be broadcast LIVE on watch.espnplus.com


Men's Eagles Sevens Staff

Head Coach | Mike Friday
Assistant Coach | JD Stephenson
Strength & Conditioning Coach | Jon Hood
Athletic Trainer | Brian Green
Team Manager | Scott Novack


HSBC New Zealand Sevens Schedule & Results

Pool B | Broadcast LIVE on ESPN+

vs Tonga | 29-7 (W)
vs Samoa | 34-14 (W)
vs England | Sat, Jan 26 - 1:06 AM ET

Knockout rounds for Pool B begin Sat, Jan 26 at 4:22 PM ET. 

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