For Immediate Release
March 21, 2010
U.S. Reach First-Ever Cup Finals, Finish 2nd at Adelaide Sevens
ADELAIDE, Australia – The USA Men’s National Sevens Team made huge strides by reaching their first ever Cup final, but came up short against the powerful Samoans, losing 38-10.
“This is a first for our Men’s Sevens Team, but hopefully not the last,” U.S. Coach Al Caravelli said. “The team was really up for the final, but Samoa has a really quality side, and we made a couple mistakes that we didn’t do in the earlier matches. Samoa made us pay dearly for our mistakes as a good team will.”
Following an early Samoa try, the U.S. held tough in the first half returning the favor with a try by Nick Edwards. By the break, the score was 12-5 to Samoa.
In the second half, the U.S. made some costly errors, allowing Samoa four tries before the Eagles were able to touch one down as time ran out. With this victory Samoa wins back-to-back tournaments for the first time in the IRB Sevens World Series. They also cut New Zealand’s Series lead to just two points heading into next weekend’s Hong Kong tournament. Fiji are currently in third and Cup semifinalists Australia have risen to fourth, ahead of England, Kenya and South Africa. Following the 20 points the U.S. made in Adelaide, the Eagles find themselves sitting in ninth and tied with Wales at 24 points overall.
“We had a pretty nice run,” U.S. Captain Kevin Swiryn said. “We didn’t play our best, and Samoa played really well. We did make a lot of mistakes, and you can’t win in Sevens making mistakes.
“I told the boys that we can’t be down right now,” he added. “There is this feeling of disappointment because we lost, but the boys will be up and ready (for Hong Kong). We just have to get better and build more.”
The U.S. won earlier matches against Wales, 12-10, in the Cup Quarterfinals and Argentina, 28-12, in the Semifinals on Sunday. The Team now moves on to Hong Kong where it will start competition on March 26.
“We played six very physical and mentally tiring games,” Caravelli explained. “It’s tough to rebound from that. We have all hands on deck to get the guys ready for our matches next week. “We need to keep going forward in our development and continue to grow as a team. We’d like to consistently make the top eight, and that means we have to play a tough game, every game. We need to get in the mentality of making every game a final. I have a lot of faith that these guys will be up for that.”
The U.S. will take off for Hong Kong tomorrow, training in the city until the matches start on Friday.
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 – Australia
Final Rounds – Day 3
Samoa 38, USA 10 (Halftime 12-5)
U.S. Tries: Edwards, Pangelinan
USA 28, Argentina 12 (Halftime 14-0)
U.S. Tries: Suniula, Edwards, Malifa, Swiryn
U.S. Conversions: Malifa (3), Pangelinan
USA 12, Wales 10 (Halftime USA 7, Wales 5)
U.S. Tries: Barnard, Pangelinan
U.S. Conversions: Malifa
Pool Play – Day 2
USA 29, Niue 7 (Halftime Niue 7, USA 5)
U.S. Tries: Pangelinan, Edwards, Hawkins, Barnard, Swiryn
U.S. Conversions: Malifa, Pangelinan
Australia 36, USA 0 (Halftime 22-0)
Pool Play – Day 1
USA 24, England 21 (Halftime USA 17, England 7)
U.S. Tries: Swiryn (2), Hawkins, Edwards.
U.S. Conversions: Malifa (2).
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