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Monday, February 1, 2016

Wellington 7s: Eagles Player Grades

For us, this is one of the harder tournaments in which to give out grades. On the one hand the Eagles made uncharacteristic mistakes at times and lost matches they should have won. On the other hand they still made the top eight and we're competitive in every match. That's what comes with higher expectations but it makes grading more difficult.

Carlin Isles (7): We thought that this was one of the better tournaments for Isles this year. He was active both offensively and defensively. On a couple of occasions he made tries out of nothing when the U.S. needed them. That's the hallmark of a difference maker and someone you want on your team. At the same time, he was shaken off a couple of tackle attempts relatively easily.

Matai Leuta (6): Not the loudest tournament from Leuta but solid. He helped settle the team down on restarts at times and had some good carries, especially on day two when he looked eager to do forward.

Take the jump to read more.

Danny Barrett (7): Barrett was easily our Player of the Tournament. Beginning with the match against France, he looked like a man possessed, willing his team to a win. In 7s it's hard to take the mantle on yourself and carry your team effectively but Barrett did the best he could to drive them forward and for a time it worked.

Ben Pinkleman (7): For a player on debut Pinkleman did exactly what he needed to do and brought plenty of energy. At times, especially against England, he looked like the only player putting his whole heart into it. Plenty of positives for a player who will be relied on more in Sydney.

Zack Test (6): Not the greatest tournament for Test. At times he had too many penalties. Yet, he was still outstanding and his pass to Hughes was a thing of beauty. Expect a rebound tournament from him next week.

Kevin Swiryn (10): Our hearts go out to Swiryn who tore his ACL again. He's come all the way back from a previous knee injury and retirement to be on the cusp of the Olympics so it's hard to see him cut down. Just for that he gets a 10.

Folau Niua (5.5): Another player that didn't have his best tournament. Niua wasn't able to make as big of an impact as he would have liked. He did have some bright moments but also had some not so great moments. His kicking also left something to be desired with the Eagles losing possession due to kicking errors.

Thretton Palamo (6): Palamo drifted in and out of the tournament. Some times he looked extremely dangerous. In particular, his offloads were solid. However, he did find himself isolated at times.

Nate Augspurger (6): Not a lot of time on the pitch for Augspurger but he was good when he was one.

Madison Hughes (6): Like the other core players on the team it wasn't the best weekend for Hughes. His kicking was alright and he had some brilliant moments but he also missed a couple of tackles.

Perry Baker (6): He lost his starting spot to Isles because he wasn't able to make a breakthrough. That's probably more emblematic of the teams struggles.

Will Holder (6): Holder is becoming a solid player for the Eagles. His hard work has paid off and he's making good decisions. 

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