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The USA 7s team has a big job ahead of them as they get set for the Tokyo 7s this weekend.
The Eagles will want to jump up into the top 12 core teams, but to do that, they will need to win at least two games on Saturday, and, preferably, at least one on Sunday, while Scotland, Portugal, Australia, England and Canada lose.
That’s a tall order, but they are in position to do it. Their pool includes Scotland, Kenya, and Wales, all teams ahead of the USA in the standings, and all teams the Eagles are capable of beating.
That they are capable is not in dispute. The Eagles have the speed in Carlin Isles, Nick Edwards and Luke Hume. They have the playmaking ability in Shalom Suniula and Folau Niua. They have the power in contact in Matt Hawkins, Jack Halalilo and Andrew Durutalo, and they have the versatility to do all those things in Mike Palefau, Brett Thompson, Zack Test and Colin Hawley.
A string of really close losses has shown that the Americans are right there, but those losses also seem to take a little out of them. They certainly hit a bit of a wall against Hong Kong on Sunday in Hong Kong. Head Coach Alex Magleby said his team was its own worst enemy at times. They did get into a lot of penalty trouble, and when they didn’t do that, they made occasional, but costly, mistakes.
Whether it’s really that simple is hard to know, considering the USA has
been losing close games for months now, but what is known is this -
Most recent game between USA and Tokyo pool opponents:
Scotland – win 21-12 (Hong Kong)
Kenya – loss 17-14 (Hong Kong)
Wales – loss 15-17 (Wellington)
Schedule for Tokyo 7
|1||Fri Mar 29 21:00||Fri Mar 29 18:00||Australia||v||England||Pool D|
|2||Fri Mar 29 21:22||Fri Mar 29 18:22||Samoa||v||Argentina||Pool D|
|3||Fri Mar 29 21:44||Fri Mar 29 18:44||Fiji||v||South Africa||Pool A|
|4||Fri Mar 29 22:06||Fri Mar 29 19:06||Portugal||v||Spain||Pool A|
|5||Fri Mar 29 22:28||Fri Mar 29 19:28||Wales||v||United States||Pool B|
|6||Fri Mar 29 22:50||Fri Mar 29 19:50||Kenya||v||Scotland||Pool B|
|7||Fri Mar 29 23:12||Fri Mar 29 20:12||New Zealand||v||France||Pool C|
|8||Fri Mar 29 23:34||Fri Mar 29 20:34||Canada||v||Japan||Pool C|
|9||Sat Mar 30 1:07||Fri Mar 29 22:07||Australia||v||Argentina||Pool D|
|10||Sat Mar 30 1:29||Fri Mar 29 22:29||Samoa||v||England||Pool D|
|11||Sat Mar 30 1:51||Fri Mar 29 22:51||Fiji||v||Spain||Pool A|
|12||Sat Mar 30 2:13||Fri Mar 29 23:13||Portugal||v||South Africa||Pool A|
|13||Sat Mar 30 2:35||Fri Mar 29 23:35||Wales||v||Scotland||Pool B|
|14||Sat Mar 30 2:57||Fri Mar 29 23:57||Kenya||v||United States||Pool B|
|15||Sat Mar 30 3:19||Sat Mar 30 00:19||New Zealand||v||Japan||Pool C|
|16||Sat Mar 30 3:41||Sat Mar 30 00:41||Canada||v||France||Pool C|
|17||Sat Mar 30 4:13||Sat Mar 30 1:13||England||v||Argentina||Pool D|
|18||Sat Mar 30 4:35||Sat Mar 30 1:35||Australia||v||Samoa||Pool D|
|19||Sat Mar 30 4:57||Sat Mar 30 1:57||South Africa||v||Spain||Pool A|
|20||Sat Mar 30 5:19||Sat Mar 30 2:19||Fiji||v||Portugal||Pool A|
|21||Sat Mar 30 5:41||Sat Mar 30 2:41||United States||v||Scotland||Pool B|
|22||Sat Mar 30 6:03||Sat Mar 30 3:03||Wales||v||Kenya||Pool B|
|23||Sat Mar 30 6:25||Sat Mar 30 3:25||France||v||Japan||Pool C|
|24||Sat Mar 30 6:46||Sat Mar 30 4:46||New Zealand||v||Canada||Pool C|