Saturday, March 4, 2017

Vegas 7s Men: U.S. Drops Pool Decider To England

Photo: Connie Hatfield

Two late English tries have kept the Eagles from the top spot in Pool C at the Vegas 7s. With less than a minute remaining the U.S. led 17-10 but a try with only seconds left in the match and then one on the final play gave England the 24-17 result. The U.S. will now play Argentina, the top team in Pool C, at 11:38 p.m. et/8:38 p.m. pt in the Cup quarterfinals. 

Things started brightly for the Eagles. When given a set piece from an England penalty 22 meters out the U.S. took a lesson from the training pitch and ran a perfectly executed series of switches that allowed Martin Iosefo to score. Iosefo would also make his stamp on the match a few moments latter when he laid out what is arguably the biggest hit of the tournament. 

Take the jump to read more.The lead was extended to 12-0 for the U.S. just a few minutes later when Iosefo sucked in the defense and fed Perry Baker for the try. 

The match then turned temporarily in favor of England. Dan Norton executed a lovely chip and chase to beat two U.S. defenders for the try. Like the Eagles first attempt of the day the conversion was off and the score stood at 12-5. 

In the second half the U.S. passing continued to let them down as they had difficulty connecting on much. In general they seemed to be trying to do too much and it cost them opportunities. They were able to connect for another try. Folau Niua took a quick tap and flung the ball out to Ben Pinkelman who powered over for the score. That extended the lead to 17-5. 

The U.S. looked destined for the win but whether they relaxed or England upped their effort but holes began to emerge in the U.S. defense allowing several English players to slip through. That would be the story for the rest of the match as England went on to win. 

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