Eagles into HKG Quarterfinals (again)

For Immediate Release
March 27, 2010

U.S. Make Second-Straight Cup Quarterfinals, First Ever in Hong Kong

HONG KONG – Despite a late pool loss to Fiji, the U.S. Men’s Sevens Team moved on to its second-straight Cup Quarterfinals on Saturday, marking its first ever at the Cathay Pacific/Credit Suisse Hong Kong Sevens.

The U.S. lost 38-12 to the strong Fijian side, but overcame Thailand 62-0 in the second day of pool play to gain enough points to advance.

In their first match, the USA’s Kevin Swiryn scored a hat trick before the break, giving the U.S. a strong start against Thailand. The U.S. added seven more tries before the final whistle, including two more from Swiryn and two from both Paul Emerick and Marco Barnard to bring their total to 62.

Over six hours later, Fiji came out firing in the USA’s last match of the day, scoring 26 points in the first half. The USA wouldn’t go down easy, though, and were able to string two tries together in the middle of the second half when Swiryn and Mark Bokhoven both touched down in goal.

Between these two matches and their first day win over Portugal, the U.S. squeaked into the Cup bracket, earning at the very least eight points just for qualifying.

“The Fiji match is just another example of why we try not to focus on wins and losses,” U.S. Coach Al Caravelli said. “We lost to Fiji, which we didn’t like, but we did enough to make it through and the boys played really hard. Once we got a hold of the ball we played really well. We accomplished our goals and are headed in the right direction, so we can’t be disappointed.”

The U.S. will play Samoa in their quarterfinal match-up tomorrow at 12:11 p.m. (HKT) and will spend the morning looking at video and trying to correct the mistakes they made in their last face-off with Samoa, in the Cup Finals last weekend in Adelaide. Cup Quarterfinal match-ups:

Samoa v USA
England v Australia
Fiji v South Africa
Kenya v New Zealand

For more information on the U.S. Sevens Team, please visit www.usarugby.org/goto/mens_sevens. Fans can also follow the Men’s National Sevens Team players’ as they blog on Rookie Rugby Club.
For more information on the IRB Sevens World Series, please visit www.irbsevens.com.
IRB Sevens World Series in Hong Kong

Pool Play
Day 2
Fiji 38, USA 12 (26-0 Halftime)
USA Tries: Swiryn, Bokhoven
USA Conversions: Malifa

USA 62, Thailand 0 (17-0 Halftime)
USA Tries: Swiryn (5), Emerick (2), Barnard (2), Test
USA Conversions: Malifa (4), Pangelinan (2)
Pool Play

Day 1
USA 17, Portugal 10 (12-0 Halftime)
USA Tries: Hawkins, Malifa, Swiryn
USA Conversions: Malifa

U.S. Men’s Sevens Team
1. Matt Hawkins
2. Marco Barnard
3. Mark Bokhoven
4. Shalom Suniula
5. Zach Test
6. Tommy Saunders
7. Nese Malifa
8. Leonard Peters
9. Kevin Swiryn
10. Zachary Pangelinan
11. Nick Edwards
12. Paul Emerick

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