The USA bounced back from a 19-28 loss to Wales in the Bowl Quarterfinals to clear Russia by more than 20 points and fought to the last second against France in the Shield Final.
Since USA Head Coach Alexander Magleby took over in March, the team has improved, but the wins have still proven elusive.
“I wish for the boys that they could get a few more wins out of it, but the important part is building the foundation,” said Magleby.
The coach cited the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens qualifiers in August as the targeted competition now that the Series has concluded. The outlook for that tournament looks good as parts of the USA’s game have proven lethal.
The Eagles finish the IRB tournament on 41 points and in 11th place.
The USA attack has become more potent in the last four tournaments and snappy attack and individual brilliance typified the Eagles’ London offensive campaign. Colin Hawley is playing the best sevens of his career, Shalom Suniula is growing into his role as playmaker and captain, and Zack Test is great on both sides of the ball.
Mike Palefau was a leader by example and was often the cool head for the team and exemplified a killer instinct on attack. Andrew Durutalo and Peter Tiberio were impactful when they came on and Durutalo’s power earned him a starting spot from Hong Kong onwards.
As a unit though, the Eagles’ defense has something to be desired. Looking forward, the team will address the issues and continue to improve.
The USA will look to the Rugby World Cup Sevens qualifiers this August and then begin preparations for the 2012-2013 Series that will start in the Fall of 2012.
Tries: Hawley, Palefau, Test
Cons: Enosa (2)
Tries: Smith, Thomas, Price, Walker
Cons: Walker (3), Jones
Tries: Durutalo, Palefau, Test, Edwards (2), Hawley
Cons: Enosa(3), Suniula
Tries: Ostroushko, Galinovskiy
Tries: Hawley, Durutalo
Tries: Delmas, Saubade, Laousse
Cons: Albaladejo (2)
The USA Eagles fell behind Kenya to 12th in the IRB Sevens standings after a mixed-bag tournament in Glasgow last weekend.
Still, earning tournament points is always a good thing.
In the end, USA was beaten by Kenya – a team they’d beaten in earlier round play – in the Shield Final, by 22-17. It’s now on to London for the tournament finale this weekend. Coach Alexander Magleby believes that, on a good day, his team can compete with the best and are steadily improving. In pool play, the Eagles played the Aussies close, until giving away two tries in the final two minutes and losing 29-14. They also played the English hard, tied 12-12 until deep into the second half, before going down 19-12. In their final pool game, the Eagles beat Kenya 29-14, with emerging star Rocco Mauer scoring two tries.
That performance put the Eagles into the Bowl quarterfinal against Russia, where they lost by just one point to move to the Shield segment of the four-trophy format of a Sevens tournament. The points from Glasgow put the Eagles in 12th place, tied on points with Kenya and just two behind Scotland. With just the London tournament remaining, the Eagles will have to shine to meet their pre-season goal of a top ten finish.
For the record, the New Zealand team extended its lead at the top of the table to 11 points over Fiji.
By Jerrod Beckstrom
TOKYO — Seven was the magical number for the Eagles this weekend in the Tokyo Sevens. It was the seventh stop on the HSBC Sevens World Series and the USA Men’s Eagle Sevens team claimed seven crucial Series points. That means the USA leapfrogs Scotland, Canada, and Kenya (only just) to sit at no. 10 in the world.
The Eagles went 3-3 in Tokyo with losses coming from quality opponents: Cup semifinalists and Series leaders New Zealand; Tokyo Sevens champions Australia; and the team that snuck by the USA 17-12 in the Bowl Final, France.
Three wins against Hong Kong, Kenya, and Portugal gives new USA Head Coach Alexander Magleby a platform to build on in April as the USA prepares for the Glasgow (May 5-6, 2012) and London Sevens (May 12-13, 2012).
Overall the team looked confident and opportunistic in Japan, the result of which was exciting attacking rugby. Rocco Mauer, who was playing college rugby for Bowling Green State just last year, exploded onto the scene in Tokyo scoring four tries, putting him among the elite scorers in the tournament.
Results: Pool B
Australia 15 USA O; USA 5 New Zealand 26; USA 21 Hong Kong 19.
Bowl Quarterfinal: USA 12 Kenya 7; Bowl Semifinal USA 20 Portugal 10; Bowl Final: France 17 USA 12.
BOULDER, Colo. – Alexander Magleby has been named head coach of the USA Men’s Sevens team following the resignation of Al Caravelli. The incoming coach will lead the team through the last four stops of the 2011-2012 HSBC Sevens World Series.
An open application process for the head coach position will follow the conclusion of the Series in May.
Magleby will take the reins immediately to prepare the USA for the Hong Kong Sevens tournament that kicks off on Friday March 23.“Alex is well-prepared to lead the Eagles and I think he’ll bring a fresh perspective on where the team stands now and where it needs to be,” said Nigel Melville, USA Rugby CEO and President of Rugby Operations.
Melville coached the Men’s Collegiate All-Americans on a New Zealand Tour in 2008 and had Magleby as his forwards coach. “Alex is very positive and clear about what he expects from his players on and off the field,” Melville said.
A seasoned leader, Magleby has been head coach of the Men’s Collegiate All-Americans – the elite university-level developmental program in the USA – since 2009. He led the All-Americans to a 2-1 record over the New Zealand Universities in a three-match series last year. Magleby also coached the first-ever Men’s Collegiate All-Americans Sevens team in 2011, a program designed to help prepare athletes for the senior men’s team and the Olympics.
A Dartmouth College alumnus, he has coached his alma mater and the Ivy League powerhouse since 2001. Dartmouth’s sevens team won the College Rugby Championship Invitational last summer, defeating Army in a thrilling final.
The incoming coach also has an impressive playing career. He was on the USA Men’s Sevens team from 2000-2005 and captained the Eagles in the 2005 Rugby World Cup Sevens. He also has four caps in fifteens.
With the perspective of a former international, the new coach’s priorities are clear and they begin with an approach to the game that transcends the ‘Xs and Os’ of a game plan.
“It starts with a responsibility to our rugby community – we will play rugby that will make our countrymen proud. Full stop. We’ll focus on our country’s doctrines of hard work, creativity, entrepreneurialism, grit, energy, and a will to succeed no matter the odds,” Magleby said.
Magleby will take over a USA team that has struggled so far this season, going 7-19, tallying a 26% winning percentage and sliding to 13th on the World Series circuit. The new coach will look to making the rest of the season count.
“We’ll train to adapt with conditions, good and bad, and continue to grow with each experience. We will be fervently committed to improving and growing as a group,” Magleby said.
As coach of the All-Americans, Magleby has worked with and played a role in selecting and developing several current Eagles including Blaine Scully, Colin Hawley, Peter Tiberio, Rocco Mauer, and Zack Test.
On the talent he has on the USA team, Magleby was clear about where the team stands.
“In some areas we’ll hit the reset button, but for the most part it’s a team with a lot of promise. The platform is there to build something quite special,” Magleby said. “I’m looking forward to being a part of it. It’s an awesome responsibility we carry forward.”
- USA Rugby
By Jarrod Beckstrom, USA Rugby
STANFORD, Calif. – The USA Men’s Collegiate All-Americans fell three points shy (20-23) of a three-game sweep of the New Zealand Universities on Saturday at Steuber Rugby Stadium on the campus of Stanford University.
The All-Americans defeated the touring team 60-17 in the opening match of the tour last Saturday and 21-11 in the second on Wednesday. However in the final encounter, New Zealand played a very physical and opportunistic brand of rugby to win.
Big Dartmouth lock, Nate Brakeley, opened the scoring with a try in the opening five minutes and the Americans were off with a bang. They extended their lead through a JP Eloff penalty.
New Zealand answered back with a score and so it would go for the rest of the game, an American score and a response from the New Zealanders by try or by penalty.
Kyle Grossheider (Life University) scored next for the All-Americans, but the New Zealand Universities outside center scooted over for a try to answer back and the scores were 15-14, the hosts with a slight lead.