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As usual, the team is closed-mouthed about why that was, but it does seem clear the changes were not made because of poor play. Both are expected to be reevaluated Saturday. When asked if he expects the two to play on Saturday, USA Head Coach said “I hope so.”
Starting in their stead were Miles Craigwell on the wing, who didn’t look to have the offensive moments Unufe has had, but was very physical and committed on defense.
Meanwhile, Folau Niua, whose minutes have dropped markedly in recent games, started and played very well.
“Folau is showing more confidence,” said Caravelli. “And he said to me he felt more ready.”
Niua scored a well-taken team try against Fiji, and could well have turned a corner.
Caravelli has not started a flyhalf in the IRB Series that didn’t have any IRB experience – he usually eases them in as subs for a while. Niua is different. He played in the Pan-Am Games, but had not played in the Sevens World Series before being tabbed as a starter. It has been hard for him at times, but he may well get more chances to show what he can do in Las Vegas.