Back to Back Champions, USA #1 in the World
In a rematch of the 2010 Adelaide Sevens final, which was the first final appearance for team USA, the Eagles were first to score when Ben Pinkelman grounded the ball in the right corner just two and a half minutes in. Madison Hughes could not connect on the conversion, leaving the score 5–0 in favor of the home side.
Ending up in touch from Samoan hands, the ball soon went back to the men in the white shirts and soon back to the try zone, this time from Matai Leuta at the midway point of the half. Hughes failed to connect on the more approachable conversion, making it 10–0.
Iosefo forced the restart kick to hang up and got the Americans the temporary possession. A knock-on call was soon made and the Eagles had to defend a scrum just inside the Samoan ten-meter line. After forcing a turnover, the Eagles won a penalty with forty seconds to go in the half. Folau Niua booted to touch and set up an American lineout throw ten meters from the try line. The Americans won the lienout with ease and tried to get in on the left corner but Ben Pinkelman was unable to fight through the tackle before being pushed into touch to end the half.
Despite the lead, the Americans were not complacent, having just seen Argentina surrender a two-score lead late. The Eagles pressed on and Hughes took an offload from Tomasin forty meters for a try under the post to make it 17–0 heading into the ninth minute of play.
Niua’s restart kick went uncontested into Samoan hands. In good position, having not contested the kick, the American defense made life difficult for Samoa who could not break out of its own half before losing the ball forward at midfield to bring on an American scrum. A penalty against Samoa just shy of the Samoan twenty-two allowed the United States to slow the game down even further. Niua kicked to touch at the Samoa twenty-two. Ben Pinkelman came down with the lineout throw and the ball worked out to Iosefo and Isles on the left flank. Neither could find space, but the Americans maintained possession and continued to chew the clock.
Samoa finally got the ball back when a kick ahead by the Eagles was grounded in goal by Samoa. The twenty-two meter drop out proved difficult to bring in for the Eagles but still found its way into American hands. Team USA continued to press and easily worked back inside the Samoa twenty-two as the clock ticked to inside ninety seconds. With 1:18 to go, Ben Pinkelman’s try all but assured an American repeat in Las Vegas. The icing on the cup triumph came with Martin Iosefo downing the ball between the sticks.