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Eagles Up And Down Day One In Sydney

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Eagles Up And Down Day One In Sydney

Carlin Isles off for one of his three tries against Japan. Mike Lee klc fotos for World Rugby.

Looking better than they have in a while, the USA Men's 7s team is 2-0 going into Day Two at the Sydney 7s.

With a tournament played in blistering heat, the Eagles managed to handle it better than most, despite captain Ben Pinkelman's protestations after having to make two big runs in the worst of it.

Regular USA captain Madison Hughes is being rested as the 13th man, and this is just another step in Head Coach Mike Friday's plan to force younger players to take on key roles and not look around for help. As a result, Cody Melphy has seen significant minutes and has responded with some superb support work. 

But the key has been the combination of Pinkelman and Danny Barrett. With those two challenging defenders, more space has opened up for the likes of Stephen Tomasin, Perry Baker, and Carlin Isles.

At the same time, Pinkelman has found himself in plenty of space, too. The result was a 32-14 drubbing of Scotland in which Tomasin and Pinky were the stars. In the second game, the Eagles crushed Japan, with Baker scoring two very nicely-constructed tries from long range. In one it was Barrett charging ahead and flipping a backhanded pass to his wing. The other came from a perfect leading pass from Martin Iosefo.

Then Isles took the field for the second half and burst through for three tries as the shade cooled things off.

The result? The USA plays Australia in the first match of Day Two at 7:29PM ET. Both teams are 2-0. The winner goes to the semis. The loser plays for 5th. 

The USA women have been a little light-headed in Sydney. They let constant indiscipline bring Fiji back into the game and the Fijians eventually won 19-14 on the final play of the game. Then next up was Brazil. In this game the USA women looked untouchable for 12 minutes, with Steph Rovetti scoring three tries to help her team to a 34-7 lead. But in a tournament where oints different could be crucial, they let Brazil back into it with two tries to make it 34-19.

The loss to Fiji hurts a lot, and with Canada on the horizon they may not make it higher than 7th.