Monday, April 17, 2017

Singapore 7s: Eagles Player Grades

Our grades for the Eagles from the Singapore 7s are in. It's no surprise after a Cup final appearance that they do well once again. The final was disappointing but it shouldn't overshadow exactly how good they were over the weekend.

Steve Tomasin (8.5): Tomasin had the tournament of his life. He scored tries but it was much more than that. He showed a level of ability on a consistent basis that we have only seen in fits and starts. His Dream Team selection was well deserved and if he can keep up this level the Eagles will be a force to reckon with for years.

Madison Hughes (7): Hughes is the engine of the team and was a centerpiece of the team's possession. Looking back, the Eagles had a lot of time with the ball and a plan. They wanted to limit the other team from forcing the U.S. into mistakes by securing the ball at the breakdown and then making a simple pass. The plan worked to perfection thanks to the pace of Hughes.

Danny Barrett (8): Barrett was an absolute monster in Singapore. He was at his best taking on defenses and opening up holes for the likes of Perry Baker. Defenses didn't have an answer for him. Additionally, he was solid at the breakdown in securing the ball.

Take the jump to read more.

Perry Baker: (8): Baker was excellent once again. He scored try after a try and helped his team on defense. At this point we've run out of things to say about his performances.

Folau Niua (8): How Niua continues to miss out on Dream Team selection is beyond us. Outside of the final when most of what the Eagles tried to do didn't work the U.S. restart was absolutely dominant and it all starts with Niua's kicking. For his restarts alone Niua should make a Dream Team at some point but it's much more than that. He was timely in his defense and his passing is out of sight.

Andrew Durutalo (6.5): Durutalo went down with an injury after day one. On day one he was effective in the wins over Scotland and Wales albeit in limited time.

Mike Teo (6.5): Teo once again saw a decent amount of time but not a lot of time. He showed he belongs but needs more high-level 7s reps to truly make a big impact.

Maka Unufe (6.5): A much better tournament for Unufe than the one he had in Hong Kong. He filled in a couple of times as an early injury substitute and gave the Eagles a nice attacking presence.

Ben Pinkelman (7): Like a lot of the team Pinkelman showed fatigue in the final. Outside of that he was excellent once again. His defensive work rate is outstanding.

Martin Iosefo (7): He went down a couple of times with what looked like minor injuries and maybe those had an impact on Iosefo as he wasn't as dominant as in the past. But to put that in perspective he was still very good in Singapore. He made several runs that put the Eagles on the front foot, especially against Fiji.

Matai Leuta (6): Leuta continues to see time on the pitch but isn't one of the main core players called on each time. When you see him play you see how he can impact a game but maybe commits one or two errors that keep him out of the core rotation.

Malon Al-Jiboori (NA): Al-Jiboori made his 7s debut in Singapore filling in for the injured Andrew Durutalo. Thanks to big wins over Fiji and Australia he saw some time but not enough for a grade.

Anthony Welmers (NA): He saw more time this week but still not enough for a grade.

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