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Inconsistency Strikes Eagle Men in LAX

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Inconsistency Strikes Eagle Men in LAX

Some high-stepping from Perry Baker. David Barpal photo.

The SVNS series can seem awfully unfair at times.

The USA men did almost everything asked of them in the first two days of the LA Sevens. They beat Samoa; they lost a close one to Australia; they beat New Zealand (!) to make the quarterfinals. But a frustrating 14-0 loss to France not only dropped them out at the quarterfinals, but because their losing margin was worse than that of the other losing teams, they ended up playing for 7th.

Ugh. It wasn't what they wanted to what they seemed on a trajectory to do.

This USA team can still blow open games and can still challenge the very best. They just can't seem to do it at that level every game. There always seems to be a crucial let-down moment.

Overall, then, after starting 2-1 the Eagles lost two in a row, including that 7th-place playoff to Australia, to finish 8th in the tournament. It meant only six points in the standings, and with Great Britain making the final, they were almost dropped out of the top eight.

Mike Friday's team has to make that top eight in order to a) challenge for the Series title in Madrid at the end of May and b) avoid the relegation tournament, which nobody wants.

Right now they are a single point ahead of Great Britain, in 8th place. The only thing that matters in the next two tournaments (Hong Kong and Singapore) is finishing higher than Team GB in both. They do that, they are in the top eight. 

And to do that, they need to be more consistent game-to-game, and they need to win those crucial quarterfinal games.