CAPE TOWN, SA – New Zealand took the top spot this past weekend to claim the top spot in the series.
It was a tale of two different days for the @AllBlack7s. On day one, the Kiwis were victorious over Australia and Spain were shut out 0-22 by the USA to claim the second spot. However, on day two, New Zealand was perfect. It started with two close wins, 17-12 over England and 19-12 over South Africa. In the championship, the All Blacks ran the table against Argentina. Joe Ravouvou had himself a day as he scored two impressive tries against the Pumas. This was New Zealand’s first tournament championship since 2016.
The Eagles started day one off hot with commanding victories over New Zealand, Australia (31-14), and Spain (26-5). Carlin Isles stood out and his speed was lethal for the Eagles. On day two, the Eagles ended their hopes of a cup championship after a 12-29 loss to Argentina. The Pumas got out to a 21 point before the Eagles could score their first try which put the Americans in a difficult position to come back from. The USA faced a tough Fiji side in the 5th place match. However, the Eagles made too many mistakes, specifically forcing offloads, and the flying Fijians capitalized on them.
It has been a rough start for the Eagles. Last year at this point the USA was ranked 7th in the series and currently, they are ranked 11th. The Eagles have obviously improved since the last tournament, but anything is an improvement from last place in Dubai. The USA has traditionally had a “winning curve” early in the season before they hit top gear. This will not derail their hopes of finishing top five in the standings by the end of the season, but the last place finish will haunt them this season. Taking down New Zealand and Australia is no small feat and shows that the USA can compete at the top level. However, the Eagles need consistency quickly.
Next up will be Sydney 7s in late January.
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