Thursday, November 30, 2017

Dubai 7s Men: Undisciplined Eagles Fall To Argentina

It was far from the start they wanted as the Eagles fell to Argentina 22-14 in their pool opener at the Dubai 7s. The U.S. has traditionally struggled in Dubai openers but it was thought that with most of the match being involved in the Silicon Valley 7s a few weeks ago they might be in better shape. Instead, they still looked out of sorts as passes didn't find their mark. Defensively they also allowed Argentina to slip through far too many tackles. Now they will have to beat Samoa in their next match to give themselves a chance at the quarterfinals.

The match started with Steve Tomasin being taken into touch. In a game of possession that was all that Argentina needed to get their first try. It wasn't anything special. They simply took Route 1 and forced the U.S. to miss tackles. The one bright spot was that the conversion was off but the down side was that World Sevens Player of the Year Perry Baker went down hurt on the play and was taken off for a head injury assessment. If he can't go the rest of the tournament after going down in minute one it would be a big blow for the Eagles.

Take the jump to read more.
Despite giving up a try the Eagles eventually caught a break. It looked like Argentina was going to get a second try after the U.S. passing let them down. However, tryline defense won the ball back and after some back and forth they found Carlin Isles in space. He was closed out but was able to make the pass to Folau Niua who then found Steve Tomasin for the try.

Unfortunately the U.S. had defensive problems all match and Argentina once again stayed patient to break down the defense for their second try. This time their conversion was good and they led 12-7.

The Eagles struck back not long after in the second half. Once again it was Isles at the center of the action as he made a big break. After being tackle he fed to Tomasin who popped the ball out to Isles for the try. With the conversion the U.S. led 14-12.

Still, passing was simply not good enough for the Eagles. They looked like a team that was playing their first match of the year. That was disappointing given that they had a warm-up tournament under their belts. Coughing up possession meant that Argentina was able to put in two more tries to seal the win.

The U.S. will face Samoa next at 3:00 a.m. et/12:00 a.m. pt.

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