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The USA 7s team finished Saturday hugely disappointed after they lost 24-17 to France and finished 1-2.
They had the chance to win their pool, and instead finished 4th
out of four.
Head Coach Al Caravelli said silly mistakes undid his team, specifically that old bugaboo, 50-50 passes.
“They know it, they know we had the opportunity and what we need to do
tomorrow,” Caravelli told RUGBYMag.com. “It’s frustrating but we had some
positives and we have to stay positive.”
Caravelli pointed to his team’s five-minute comeback from 21-0 down to beat Argentina.
“Seeing that, I feel that if we stay patient, and we play the way we can
play, there is no one in the world that can stop us,” said Caravelli. “It
might take us five minutes to score a try, but we’ll score it.”
Sunday the USA opens against Spain, and Caravelli said he does not expect his players to take them lightly.
“Spain is really good; they finished third in the European circuit,” he said. “They have beaten England. They are a good team.”
Still, expect lineup changes. The four teams with IRB World Series points that are behind the USA are all in the Bowl bracket. This means one of them (or the USA, Spain, England or Kenya) will get some points and the rest won’t, making it much more likely that the Eagles will remain among the top 12.
That may explain why Caravelli said he is not especially concerned with
getting IRB points.
“I am concerned with getting a team for the Pan-Am Games,” he said. As a result, Caravelli will be giving some more playing time to players such as newcomer Cam Dolan, and Miles Craigwell, who had a very strong performance against Argentina.
Nese Malifa, who has been getting about two minutes a game, is expected to play more, too.