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The USA 7s team has a bit of a beef with the refereeing in their past few tournaments.

Stung by a 9-0 penalty count in the second half, the Eagles found themselves getting a lecture from referee Rasta Rasivhenge on binding in the scrum – Rasivhenge did this in between the “crouch” and “touch” commands.

But the most frustrating series of problems dates back to the Pan-Am Games – taking the player out in the air. The USA game is partly centered around winning the restarts in the air. But in the Pan-Ams, Zack Test was repeatedly taken out in the air. And that has spilled over into the Sevens World Series. Most egregious might have been the beginning of the second half against Scotland. Mark Bohkoven took the kick in the air, and was clearly tackled while he was still aloft.

Not only was there no penalty called, Bokhoven was not released by his tackler on the ground, and it was the USA penalized, not Scotland. You get the feeling the USA should start asking referees if they are going to call tackling in the air or not before the game. Then, if there will be no calls, the Eagles can give as good as they get.

Certainly it seems as if some referees have their favorites. Argentine ref Federico Anselmi certainly seemed to have a specific world view in the Pan-Am Games.