The Eagles are still in search of their first win in 2012 after an 0-5 skid in the 2012 Hertz Sevens in New Zealand, the fourth stop on the HSBC Sevens World Series. A 12-14 shield semifinal loss to Scotland ended the Eagles' Wellington campaign.
Turnovers and unforced errors did the Eagles in, two areas USA head coach Al Caravelli is pinpointing next week in the build up to the USA Sevens.
The Eagles scored their first points of the tournament against Cook Islands in their third game of day one, a game that came down to the final seconds and ended with the USA on the wrong end of a 22-26 scoreline.
Three shutouts in Wellington to South Africa, England, and Wales hint at suspect offense but the USA attack showed signs of life against Scotland in the shield semifinal. Attacking combinations, particularly the Suniula brothers and the tandem of Colin Hawley and Zack Test, looked especially dangerous.
Roland Suniula scored a brace against Scotland and combined well with his brother and captain, Shalom. Photo credit: Martin Seras Lima
More attacking potency will come with protecting the ball and eliminating turnovers. Prescribing support on line breaks and thoughtful passing helps attacking ailments generally, and will go a long way to getting the Eagles back on track offensively.
"We know what we need to do. We need to play to our offensive pattern and continue fine-tuning our defensive organization," said Caravelli.
Despite a disappointing result in Wellington, there were bright spots for the Eagles. The USA capped two new players, Utah flyer Maka Unufe and Garrett Bender, a physical former linebacker. Both won accolades from their coach on their debut performances. Unufe and Bender signed full-time training contracts with USA Rugby in January.
Next weekend the USA will look to claim Series points at their home tournament in Las Vegas.
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