Sunday, March 11, 2018

Vancouver 7s: Eagles Finish In Fourth

Photo: David Barpal
Although the Eagles ultimately finished fourth at the Vancouver 7s with a 29-7 loss to South Africa in the third/fourth place match the team has to be satisfied with their play during the last two weeks. The fact that the team won the Cup and then finished in the semi-finals the next week is a huge boost to the team as they look for points on the Series. The team picked up 15 points over the weekend which now leaves them just a few points behind Argentina for fifth place. That could be crucial this summer as the season's standing impact the draw for the World Cup 7s.

Starting with energy the Eagles looked to have the ascendency in the first part of the match. Head coach Mike Friday choose to change up his starting line-up with the likes of Malon Al-Jiboori, Nick Boyer, Cody Melphy, Chris Mattina, and Brett Thompson all getting a chance. That energy paid off as a connection between Williams, Mattina, and Al-Jiboori led to Al-Jiboori scoring. Niua would hit the conversion to put the Eagles up 7-0. 

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Unfortunately that would be it for the Eagles. South Africa soon after was able to win possession and find gaps in the U.S. defense. They would have three tries before halftime and then add two more in the second half to secure the win. 

Fatigue from two weeks of hard rugby may have played a factor but even if it did it's understandable. That shouldn't take away anything from what the team has done and the progress they have made this year. There is no question that they have to be one of the favorites at every tournament from here on out. 

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