Men's Sevens
22 12
England
28 21
Men's Sevens  @ Hong Kong Stadium
Hong Kong Sevens
  Craig Evans
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USA Men's Sevens defeated by England, still qualify for Cup Quarterfinals in Hong Kong

HONG KONG - Day two of Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens did not go as planned for the Men's Eagles Sevens. After three consecutive turnovers gave England the first three tries, USA had a difficult time controlling penalties and dropped their final match of Pool D 22-28. 

Thanks to a solid points differential despite a 1-2 record in pool play, the Eagles Sevens have qualified for the Cup Quarterfinals where they'll face another strong side in South Africa at 10:58 PM ET. 

"At the end of the day, getting through to the Quarters is all that counts and then you can go from there," said Captain Madison Hughes, looking beyond the disappointment of the day and ahead to tomorrow's opportunity. "That Wales [match] was especially disappointing, I think we just came out flat and not really with it. And when you do that, you're going to get punished on the Series. Better in the England game but still, those first four minutes, we spotted them three tries and then you have to come all the way back."

 

With USA slow to react at the breakdown, England captured the ball and dotted down left side of the posts. Then, after winning a turnover on a counter-ruck, a penalty against the Americans gave the ball right back to the opposition where Dan Norton scored. A third straight turnover allowed England to build a 21 point lead within four minutes, putting the United States in a severely compromising position early in the match. 

A high tackle on Ben Pinkelman gave the USA a lineout midfield where things finally began to click. From there, a massive run by Stephen Tomasin and a penalty against England kept the ball alive on the U.S. side. Possession slipped into English hands for a moment, but Captain Madison Hughes recoverd and Ben Pinkelman dotted down quickly mid-posts. 

Desperately needing another try, Martin Iosefo stole the ball from the breakdown and an English penalty gave the U.S. another lineout. A huge run by Captain Madison Hughes captured ground but couldn't make it all the way, until another penalty against England kept the ball in motion and Ben Pinkelman scored his second try at halftime. 

The Eagles Sevens moved into English territory quickly where a combination of spectacular offloads by Martin Iosefo and Folau Niua set Ben Pinkelman up for his first hat trick of the season, 17-21. 

And though momentum was clearly on the U.S. side, errors again began to capitalize.

Not fully focused, Captain Madison Hughes knocked the ball on mid-pass and England was given a scrum. From their own set piece, the English broke open and ran straight for the tryzone where USA's Marcus Tupuola caught up, but was sent to the sin bin on an attempted tackle by the line. As a result, the opposing side had sealed their match-winning try. 

On the final play of the game, England intercepted a pass by the United States but a turned it right back over. Returned from the bin, Marcus Tupuola took a pass from Joe Schroeder with enough space for one final score, 22-28. 

The match wasn't pretty, filled with penalties and errors that have proven to be a challenge throughout the day. Despite the miscues, the Eagles Sevens have the night to reset and recover before facing South Africa in the knockout stages tomorrow. 

BROADCAST: usarug.by/ESPN7s 


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 | 22-28 (L)

Cup Quarterfinals
vs South Africa | Apr 6 - 10:58 PM ET


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