Men's Sevens
19 5
England
7 0
Men's Sevens  @ FMG Stadium Waikato
Hamilton Sevens
  Craig Evans
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Men's Eagles Sevens go undefeated on Day One of HSBC New Zealand Sevens

HAMILTON, NZL. - The Men's Eagles Sevens concluded Day One of HSBC New Zealand Sevens 2019 with a 3-0 unbeaten record; claiming a 19-7 victory over England in the penalty-driven finale of Pool B. Following two impressive wins over Tonga and Samoa to open the tournament, the United States defense held on to seal a full sweep and advance to the Cup Quarterfinals. The team will now face Scotland at 6:42 PM ET, LIVE on watch.espnplus.com

"It has been a far from perfect day on a number of fronts, having to deal with the injuries that we have," said Head Coach Mike Friday. "But the boys are showing a collective resilience and determination to each job. They continue to support and fight for each other on the pitch and if we can now layer on a little more ruthless execution we will be happy."

"We need to get home, recover, reflect and reset as there are a number of bits and pieces we feel as a group we can and need to tighten up if we want to go deep tomorrow." 

The Eagles Sevens final matchup with England was the very depiction of hard-fought on both sides of the pitch. Every offload, every possession and every set piece came with challenges which were often self-inflicted, but sometimes the nature of the beast. 

An error on England at the opening kickoff signaled the very story of the next 14 minutes of play. A tap-and-go by Folau Niua put the game in motion and before fans at FMG Stadium Waikato could take a breath, Captain Madison Hughes was cruising his way to the tryline, 5-0. 

The English and the Americans were arguably worn from their first two games. England started with an upset at the hands of Samoa while the USA had to battle through critical injuries. Loose balls, penalties on every attack and turnovers riddled both teams. 

Fighting for every moment of possession, the Eagles Sevens remained resilient through the breaks in play. Defensive strength shone brightly as the squad halted every English drive to keep the scoreboard favoring their side. 

At one point, Carlin Isles leaped over a defender to propel himself forward; tossing the ball back to Captain Madison Hughes who had an offload intercepted by England. The English broke open on the turnover and were seemingly headed right for the tryzone before a cascade of USA tackles allowed the Americans to reclaim possession. The play was ultimately ruled dead following another penalty where both teams moved into the halftime huddle to regroup. 

Upon return, USA and England struggled to protect the ball.

In the midst of the chaos, time still remaining, Stephen Tomasin won a turnover and -- without a moment of careless thought - ran steadfast to the tryline to make it 12-0. 

The try had put an end to the penalty-driven stoppages and England played their next hand well to create an unforgiving gap of space for Dan Norton to end the shutout on the wing, 12-7. 

But Norton's score was no match for Carlin Isles who took a sliver of space on the outside to easily win a one-on-one race to the finish line, 19-7. A kick to touch sealed the deal and the United States had come away with a full pool play sweep. 

Adding stock to their current ranking of No. 1 in the Series, the Eagles Sevens will return at 6:42 PM ET to face Scotland (2-1) in the Cup Quarterfinals. The match will be streamed LIVE on ESPN+ with ensuing matchups and timings posted on twitter.com/usarugby


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 | 19-7 (W)

Cup Quarterfinals
vs Scotland | Jan 26 - 6:42 PM ET 

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