Team USA couldn’t have asked for a better start to the 2022 HSBC Los Angeles Sevens.
The Eagles entered the tournament in Pool B alongside South Africa, New Zealand and Canada, arguably the “Pool of Death” amongst the four groups.
The former two have two of the best rugby sevens programs of all-time, and South Africa, specifically, came into the two-day competition ranked first in the series standings.
USA played South Africa in the opening game of the tournament and pulled off a 21-7 upset win to start on the right foot. The second game against New Zealand didn’t go the Eagles’ way, as the All Blacks marched to a comfortable 33-12 win.
South Africa, on the other hand, narrowly defeated Canada 22-17 to keep its hopes of advancing to the quarterfinals alive, so it all came down to the third and final pool match.
The Eagles came away with a 26-17 win against Canada, while New Zealand staved off a late South Africa surge to win 17-14. The results mean South Africa cannot compete in the knockout stage games, putting its spot as the potential 2021-22 Sevens Series winners in serious jeopardy. A first-place finish would’ve guaranteed the title for the Springboks, but it’s not looking likely at the moment.
Since USA finished second in Pool B, it will play the winner of Fiji vs. Ireland of Pool C in its quarterfinal matchup on Sunday at 10:35 a.m. PT.
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