What’s up everyone? I know I take extended leaves of absences from blogging but I’m back for good (or until I forget again).
Tomorrow the third leg of the HSBC Sevens tour imparts in Wellington and our USA Eagles will be taking the pitch again in hopes to start the #MakeUSARugbyGreatAgain campaign. Before we talk about what the squad is going to see in Welly, here’s a quick recap of the first two legs. (Sidenote: I’m writing this on my phone so the beloved pictures that usually grace this blog are going to be noticably absent).
Stop 1: Dubai
In this stop the Eagles had Scotland, Uganda and South Africa. An early 14-5 loss to Scotland shouldn’t inspire much hope but a Danny Barrett try in the 11th minute brough the score within 2. A missed conversion and a try by Scotland at the end sealed match 1. Match 2 saw 24 unanswered Eagles points in the second half for a 29-7 win. Tries by Iosefo (2), Tomasin (2), and Durutalo set the table for this win but conversion kicking was not ideal (2/5). The most exciting match in the group was the final one, albeit a 19-17 loss to South Africa. Falling behind 14-0, Perry Baker brought the team within 9 with a try in Minute 7 but again the Eagles missed the conversion which would rear it’s ugly head in the second half. Another missed conversion brough the score within 4 and with a flair for the dramatic, Perry Baker scored in extra time. 1/3 in conversions 👎🏻
A shellacking of Russia 40-0 in the Challenge Trophy quarter finals saw 5 different Eagles score and the squad go 5/6 in conversion kicks. Next was a 21-19 win over Kenya in the Trophy semifinals. The Trophy finals saw a 28-14 win over Samoa, bringing some hardware home to the States.
Points Earned 8
#MakeUSARugbyGreatAgain meter: 7.8/10
Stop 2: Cape Town
Building off of the momentum of a hardware trip in Dubai the Eagles came out soaring and beat up on Australia 19-0 before falling to the hosts South Africa 28-10. A 26-17 win over Russia moved the team into the Cup quarters which is where the wheels fell off. An overtime loss to Scotland 24-19 was followed by a 28-12 loss to Rio gold medalists Fiji.
Points Earned: 10
#MakeUSARugbyGreatAgain meter 6/10. Need wins folks.
And now here we are. Round 3: Wellington.
The Eagles have 3 pool play matches against New Zealand, France and Samoa. As it stands right now New Zealand is 5th in the standings, France 9th and Samoa 12th. The US is sitting in 8th right now and I expect a big weekend in the other land down undah. Having played well against Samoa before leads me to believe that the boys will be able to be victorious again. The French do not have the same type of speed that we do with Isles and Baker. New Zealand has the home pitch advantage here but stranger things have happened.
PWagon Prediction: 2-1 in pool play.
Matches are at 7:18pm, 10:42pm and 3:02am EST. Buckle up!
Pool A: 1. England 2. Kenya
Pool B: 1.Fiji 2. South Africa
Pool C: 1. New Zealand 2. USA
Pool D: 1. Wales 2. Scotland
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