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Team USA completed its 2017/2018 campaign Saturday, finishing in sixth place, both in the season standings and the Paris 7s hierarchy. The Eagles went 3-2-1 in France, losing the cup quarterfinals to New Zealand.
Carlin Isles ran in several tries on the weekend, bringing his season total to 49. That puts him five tries clear of Wales’ Luke Morgan in the race for the World Series’ leading scorer. Perry Baker, who missed multiple tournaments to injury, including the last two, finishes fifth in the try race. Isles is the second American to lead the World Series in tries, as Baker did so last season.
The injury bug has been all over the USA this season, and the plague continued in Paris, with Danny Barrett, Madison Hughes, Malon Al-Jiboori and Faitala Talapusi all sustaining injuries and failing to reach the end of the tournament. USA Rugby announced both Barrett and Hughes were being held out for precaution, while Al-Jiboori pulled his hamstring and Talapusi injured his shoulder.
The Eagles opened the tournament with a 26-7 defeat of Argentina. Martin Iosefo, Isles and Stephen Tomasin dotted down in the win, with Tomasin scoring twice. He converted one, and Hughes two others.
Then they downed host France 26-12 to move to 2-0 in pool play. Isles scored twice, accompanied by one a piece from Tomasin and Niua. Hughes slotted three conversions. The Eagles couldn’t make it 3-0 in pool play, tying England to finish second in the group.
In the quarterfinals, they ran up against New Zealand. The depleting Eagles kept pace until 7-7, but the ll Blacks dominated from there. They bounced back to thrash Spain, 28-7, but with just nine players crossing the finish line against vaunted Fiji, the fifth-place match was a blowout loss for the USA.
With Hughes, Barrett and Perry Baker expected to return for the Rugby World Cup Sevens next month in San Francisco, the Eagles should be back in a position to compete.