Men's Sevens
19 14
21 14
Men's Sevens  @ Hong Kong Stadium
Hong Kong Sevens
  Jordan Way

USA Men's Sevens upset by Wales on last minute try at Hong Kong Sevens

HONG KONG - Mistakes can be deadly in sevens. In their second match of Pool D at Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, the Men's Eagles Sevens allowed Wales to escape with a last minute try and steal victory out from under them 19-21. 

Needless to say, it wasn't the USA's best game; having not begun the match with the same striking display as they did in their previous victory over Spain. A handful of errors in the opening minutes created attacking opportunities for Wales, who took an early lead with the first try of the match. 

A Welsh error, followed by a forward pass from the Eagles Sevens continued to create barriers for momentum on the wrong side of the ball. But finally, Ben Pinkelman -- an absolute workhorse through the game -- scooped up a loose pass from Wales and tossed it to Carlin Isles for the first U.S. try, 7-7.

Wales answered back immediately on the next possession, outrunning Martin Iosefo on the right flank and proving how critical it is for an offense to capture the restart.

The Eagles Sevens desperately needed another try before the half to both keep momentum in check and not fall far behind. 

Working as a cohesive unit, Ben Pinkelman used a dummy to create space, allowing phases between Martin Iosefo and Kevon Williams to open a strong run by Matai Leuta. With defenders around him, Leuta tossed to Carlin Isles who burned the pitch around him and tied it up, 14-14. 

In the first possession of the second-half, Isles was at it again. A perfectly timed pass by Brett Thompson gave the speed demon all the gas he needed to secure a hat trick and put his side on top, 19-14. 

Following two back and forth errors and a final penalty against the Welsh, USA took a lineout inside their own half. With a minute remaining, Martin Iosefo escaped on the right flank, headed straight for the tryline, when a tackle by Wales knocked the ball loose before he could formally dot down. No try. 

Using strong inside passing to manage space on the move, and after escaping two USA tackles, Wales scored the match-winning try and conversion with almost no time remaining, 19-21. 

The United States will have a difficult battle ahead as pool play closes with fifth-ranked England (2-0) at 4:08 AM ET on ESPN Networks. England most recently defeated Spain with a monstrous points differential of 49, making the next contest a complete must-win for the Eagles Sevens. 


Men's Eagles Sevens Staff

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

Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens Schedule

Pool D | Broadcast LIVE on various ESPN Networks

vs Spain | 37-7 (W)
vs Wales | 19-21 (L)
vs England | Saturday, Apr 6 - 4:08 AM ET

Knockout rounds for Pool D begin as early as Saturday, Apr 6 at 9:30 PM ET.


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