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USA Men Still Work To Do in Quest for Gold

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USA Men Still Work To Do in Quest for Gold

Folau Niua scores for the USA. Travis Prior photo.

It was a relatively good day and certainly an educational day for the USA men's 7s team in the Quest for Gold.

They emerged winners against Korea 42-7 but even there the players will have identified areas where they could improve performance.

In their second game, against Great Britain, the USA team looked pretty unstoppable for the first part of the game, playing good defense and seeing Folau Niua set up Perry Baker for a long run.

Madison Hughes set up Niua for a try also and Danny Barrett finally for running.

But with an injury to Hughes and a change in lineup the USA started to falter, and Great Britain took a 21-19 lead with time winding down.

That's when Kevon Williams powered out of a tackle and burst down the sideline to seal it 24-21.

It was all about teamwork, Williams said afterward, adding that he knew he had support of he needed it but felt his first job was to get as far as he could.

Overall it was an encouraging showing for the USA. In the final game of the day, the Eagles traded tries with Argentina. The first USA score came when Carlin Isles was tackled, released the ball and got back up only to see no one marking him. Bad idea, as Isles was gone.

The USA took a 12-7 lead when Joe Schroeder worked a nice linkage with Ben Pinkelman and the big man was in at the corner. But Argentina came back, and then scored right at the death to win it 19-12. The USA was hurt by some silly ruck penalties, but it was also a case where Head Coach Mike Friday left the younger players out there to figure it out for themselves. If you're going to Tokyo, the message seemed to be, show me why.

So tomorrow it's a rematch against Argentina and then Great Britain and then Korea. Who shows improvement will get a chance at an airplane seat.