The USA was bested by Kenya 22-17 in the Shield Final on day two of the Emirates Airline Glasgow Sevens on Sunday (May 6 2012). A good win against Portugal in the Shield Semifinals and a loss to Russia in the Bowl Quarterfinals placed the Eagles in the Shield Final.
The Shield Final appearance gives the USA two points in the HSBC Sevens World Series and the Eagles will have one more chance to grab points this season when they play in the London Sevens next weekend, marking the final stop of the nine-tournament Series.
In the Shield Final, USA struck first through a nice balanced run from Mike Palefau to put the Eagles in front, but two Kenyan tries to end the first half had the Americans chasing the game for the second period.
Rocco Mauer scored with one minute remaining to bring the USA within striking distance at 14-17, but the Kenyans were able to hang on and flier Biko Adema ended up breaking off run to the try line to end the affair.
Although the USA didn’t come away with hardware in Glasgow, there were improvements made.
“We’re bitterly disappointed with the result, but I’m happy that even when we were down we kept battling. I’m happy with the work rate,” said USA Head Coach, Alexander Magleby. “Two huge boxes we check off as improvements are restarts and our attack.”
In terms of areas to improve on, Magleby knows a good defense will help the Eagles win tight encounters.
“Sevens is a defensive game and we’re falling off way too many tackles,” said the coach.
Going into the last tournament of the Series, Magleby is realistic about where his team stands.
“We know that our best seven can play with the best in the world, but we are struggling with depth at certain positions. For instance, we pick up a few injuries and all of a sudden we’ve got to ask players to go in and replace Zack Test who has been on the Series for three years and that’s just not realistic at this stage,” Magleby said. “It’s not a lack of effort. We just haven’t developed the depth yet.”
Magleby will continue to give players experience and develop the athletes to succeed not only in the short term, but to prepare the players for the 2016 Olympics and the preceding qualification process.
Tries: Hawley, Durutalo (2)
Cons: Niua (3)
Tries: Gostyuzhev, Ostroushko(2), Galinovskiy
Tries: Niua, Palefau, Durutalo
Tries: Moreira, Esteves
Tries: Palefau, Mauer
Cons: Niua, Suniula
Tries: Ndyara, Adema (2), Ayange
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