Men's Sevens
14 7
Fiji
33 19
Men's Sevens  @ Stade Jean-Bouin
Paris Sevens
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USA Men's Sevens to contest for Bronze medal after Fiji win Semifinal and World Series title

PARIS, FRA. - In the most intense and physically contested match of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2019, the USA Men's Eagles Sevens fell to Fiji 33-14, conceding the World Series title but confirming a No. 2 world ranking and Silver medal finish to their most successful season in history. 

The Eagles Sevens fell prey to errors in crucial moments of the game which allowed Fiji to execute on their well-known offloading abilities and stay ahead of the scoreline. With one more match to play, the United States will now contest for a Bronze medal at HSBC Paris Sevens to close out the Series with another trip to the podium. 

"Congratulations to Fiji on securing the Series title," said Head Coach Mike Friday. "It was certainly an exciting game of end to end and Fiji managed to put us under some pressures at critical times which lead to us not executing. I cannot fault the boys' character and commitment to one another; and as a group and rugby sevens nation, we have earned our place amongst the traditional super powers of the sevens game."

Fiji snuck away with two early tries in the opening minutes; the first coming after a TMO review where USA's Danny Barrett almost landed a tackle before Meli Derenalagi could dot down. The second came almost immediately after, where Sevuloni Mocenacagi broke the gain line with his back clinging to U.S. defenders -- and ran halfway down the pitch for the score. 

It was the very definition of a hotly contested matchup, noted especially when Carlin Isles ran into the try zone and was just barely pushed to touch behind the posts. Isles managed to win a try on the next possession, leaping over the tryline to dot down before he was removed from the field due to injury. 

Fiji made a few mistakes themselves but were much faster at capitalizing on the opportunities created by U.S. penalties. Perry Baker made a run up the right side before Fiji's Jerry Tuwai won a turnover and ran it back the other way. After another USA run, Fiji intercepted a pass and raised the scoreline to 7-26 in their favor. 

As hope was quickly slipping away, the United States converted a penalty against Fiji to a clean break by Kevon Williams who was open in the right area of the field after Stephen Tomasin did well to draw in defenses, 14-26. 

By this point, just over three minutes remained and it was still all possible for the Eagles Sevens to come back and win. But in the end, penalties and challenges in ball handling were the absolute detriments, leading to time ticking down and Fiji scoring once more when a U.S. ball popped loose at fulltime. 

Gutted in every way expected, the loss gave Fiji the World Series title and confirmed an overall finish of No. 2 for the Men's Eagles Sevens. Though the United States will finish on the podium no matter what -- with a Silver medal to commemorate the overall season -- one more medal is still up for grabs. 

The USA will face South Africa in the Bronze Final at 12:08 PM ET, searching to bring their total medal count to 8 in what has been the most remarkable and successful season in USA Sevens history. 

Thanks to a season of top four finishes, the U.S. men have already secured qualification to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. 

MEN’S EAGLES SEVENS STAFF

Head Coach | Mike Friday
Assistant Coach | Anthony Roques
Assistant Coach | Phil Greening
Strength & Conditioning Coach | Jon Hood
Athletic Trainer | Brian Green
Team Manager | Scott Novack

HSBC PARIS SEVENS 2019 SCHEDULE

Pool C | Broadcast LIVE on ESPN Networks
vs Spain | 31-7 (W)
vs Samoa | 33-14 (W)
vs Canada | 26-12 (W)

Cup Quarterfinals 
vs Kenya | 26-14 (W)

Cup Semifinals
vs Fiji | 33-14 (L)

Bronze Final
vs South Africa | 12:08 PM ET


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