USA Men’s Sevens secure spot in HSBC SVNS 2025

Sun, Jun 2, 2024, 4:20 PM
by Taylor Dean
Mike Lee - KLC Photos
Mike Lee - KLC Photos

The USA Men’s Sevens won all four games they played this weekend, securing their spot in the 2025 SVNS season following a dominant win over Samoa on Sunday. 

Having found themselves in the bottom four at the end of the regular season, the Eagles went to Madrid to fight for qualification into next year’s series. The squad won their three pool games to finish top of Pool A, finding themselves against Samoa in the final qualifier game, a winner takes all match. Their 40-19 win over Samoa let the USA breathe a sigh of relief. Madison Hughes and Stephen Tomasin also appeared in their 60th HSBC tournament this weekend.

The Eagles get a short break to see family before they reconvene for their Olympic high performance camp ahead of the 2024 Olympic Team selection. 

Comments from Head Coach Mike Friday: 

“Credit to the boys, they stuck to the task and they got the job done. I’m very proud of every one of them, not just for this game but the season - for the adversity they had to deal with since the RAN qualification saga, where some of our boys have been going for three years solid. There are a lot of things that need to happen and change, but right now I’m very proud of those men. They represented their country with passion and everything that they have. 

We have a week to recover mentally and physically, and then we’ll get ready for the Olympics. We’re capable of beating anybody and we know that. We just need to show those little bits of consistency at the moment … and that’s going to be the aim moving forward to the Olympics.” 

Tournament Recap: 

The Dawgs began their Madrid journey against Germany, meeting the European team for the first time since 2021. The match began in Germany’s favor, as the USA conceded two tries to the European team. But the USA proved their lethality on attack and made their way down field for an overhead pass from Kevon Williams to Naima Fuala’au, who scored the Eagles’ first try on the edge. Orrin Bizer won the restart, and the Dawgs’ momentum picked up as Perry Baker put another try down under the posts, and turned around for another score seconds later. 

The Eagles continued their dominance in the second half, giving Perry Baker a hat trick opportunity. But Germany finally found themselves on attack and showed how quick they can be with ball in hand. The USA responded quickly though, winning the kickoff for Orrin Bizer to finish the play over the try line. It was a fight for possession as the clock ticked down, but the USA took on the attack at the end, and they went for one final score completed by Pita Vi, winning the game 40-19.

The USA and Uruguay met for their second game of Pool A in the qualifier rounds. Also coming off a first match win, Uruguay scored early with momentum. Unshaken, the USA responded quickly, getting the ball to Lucas Lacamp on the outside edge for the first USA points and turned around to double his score under the posts. But Uruguay pressured a scrambled USA defense, earning a line out to score at the end of the first half, tying up the game. 

Uruguay tried to pass quickly as the second half took off, putting on pressure on both sides of the ball to keep possession. But the USA worked just as hard, taking back the attack and slowing down the game with set pieces. Captain Kevon Williams scored the first try of the second half off a scrum with a fake run. Small mistakes by Uruguay kept the USA dominance, and a fight for the ball led to Malacchi Esdale piling on another score. With a few seconds left, Stephen Tomasin kicked a penalty goal to add three more points to end the game 29-14. 

The Dawgs had a North American border battle facing them for their final pool match. Heading into the qualifier matches at the top of the pool, the USA went in with less pressure than Canada, who were at the bottom of the pool and needed a win. Both sides began playing with urgency, and handling errors kept the first few minutes of play in the middle of the field. But the Dawgs dominated first, and Maka Unufe put the USA on the board. 

The second half began after the USA shut out Canada in the first half. Canada’s defense was strong, and the Eagles’ couldn’t make many attack opportunities. Canada kept up their momentum, and worked hard to add their own score with four minutes left in the game. Unshaken, the USA found their footing, with Malacchi Esdale finding the pace to score, winning 14-7. 

The weekend came down to one winner takes all match against Samoa on Sunday, the winner booking their ticket to 2025 SVNS. The USA were off to a great start, winning their own kickoff and staying connected for Orrin Bizer to score. The Eagles continued their dominance as Lucas Lacamp danced on the sideline to score. Samoa were just as dominant in their first attacking chance, striking back off a scrum restart. Perry Baker responded quickly, whipping away to another USA try. The squad turned around, winning the ball back and Naima Fuala’au chipping through for a second Perry Baker score to settle the first half. 

With everything on the line, Samoa weren’t going to yield easily, winning the second half restart and scoring to close the gap. But an overzealous Samoa took a yellow card, giving USA a two minute advantage. Orrin Bizer earned his second try during the one man advantage as Samoa became more disorganized as they grew more urgent. Lucas Lacamp took another score off a line out and slicing through defenders. Samoa had the last say, scoring one more try to end the game 40-19, booking the USA’s ticket to the 2025 SVNS. 

USA Men's Sevens Roster | 2024 Madrid SVNS
Name Position Tournaments
1. Aaron Cummings Forward 22
6. Kevon Williams (C) Halfback/Wing 53
7. Naima Fuala’au Halfback 28
8. Malacchi Esdale Wing/Center 26
9. Stephen Tomasin Utility 60
10. Faitala Talapusi Halfback 20
11. Perry Baker Wing 71
12. Lucas Lacamp Center 20
13. Orrin Bizer Forward 7
14. Marcus Tupuola Halfback/Center 32
17. Lance Williams Forward 6
25. Pita Vi Center/Wing 9
30. Madison Hughes Halfback 60
77. Maka Unufe Utility 53
USA Men’s Sevens Traveling Staff | 2024 Madrid SVNS

Head Coach | Mike Friday 

Strength & Conditioning | Josh Schnell

Athletic Trainer | Brian Gardner 

Team Manager | Scott Novack 

Performance Analyst | Dave Gardner

USA Men’s Sevens Madrid Results

Pool A

v Germany | 40-19 (W)

v Uruguay | 29-14 (W)

v Canada | 14-7 (W)

Qualifier Final v Samoa | 40-19 (W)