FROM USA RUGBY
TOKYO – The Eagles beat Scotland 17-0 to win the Tokyo Sevens plate final and secure 13 critical series points going into the final stages of the season in May.
Day one of the Tokyo tournament was a mixed bag for the Eagles, but on day two they clicked on beating Fiji in the plate semifinal, marking only the third time in history the USA has beaten the south Pacific sevens giants.
Against Scotland in the plate final, the USA put on a defensive display that fans have been itching to see all year. The Eagles stuck their tackles and kept the pressure on Scotland who ended up chasing the game, particularly in the second half. The USA was ruthless and tenacious and was rewarded in the end.
Folau Niua worked some magic in the final, setting up tries for Andrew Durutalo and Nick Edwards, further cementing his reputation as a playmaker. Colin Hawley was outstanding and was able to release Shalom Suniula down the touchline for a try as well.
Scotland couldn’t get much going due to the American pressure and the USA were able to manage the game and play on their terms.
USA Head Coach Alexander Magleby praised his team’s effort on the defensive side.
“Our commitment to protecting each other and to make our one-on-one tackles has increased and will continue to over time,” Magleby said.
Zack Test stepped up in the leadership role when Matt Hawkins went down against New Zealand in the cup quarterfinal, and Test's grit inspired his team to the highest finish they’ve had in two seasons.
After the win, Test acknowledged that the effort the team put in was something they’ve been targeting.
“We’ve been working hard on our composure…We wanted to hustle for each other out there. We had to get out of the relegation zone…and we still have a lot of work to do before Glasgow,” Test said.
The Eagles will have a short break but won't waste any time in getting back to training for the last two legs of the Series in Glasgow, Scotland (May 4-5) and London (May 11-12).
Tries: Durutalo, Suniula, Edwards