The USA are into the Shield Final of the Gold Coast 7s after producing their best effort of the tournament so far.
The Eagles were licking their wounds, figuratively and literally, after losing to Scotland in the Bowl Quarters (see Brett Thompson with the bash on his nose at right). But they toughed it out against Spain. Folau Niua scored in the third minute to give his side a 7-0 lead.
The USA camped out in the Spain 22, got a penalty, and set a ruck right near the line. Niua dummied from the back of the ruck, everyone bought it, and the halfback was in untouched.
Niua got a yellow card moments later, and Spain took full advantage, with Angelo Lopez going over for the try with all kinds of space. Francisco Hernandez made the conversion to tie the game at 7-7 at halftime.
But while the USA had not been able to secure the game against Scotland, they did against Spain. Youngster Stephen Tomasin, starting once again, was in for the go-ahead try. Some nifty ball movement from Miles Craigwell got them started in their 22. Then Zack Test made a break, and hit Thomasin on the gallop, and the youngster weaved his was 50 meters to scopre.
Then Niua added his second, just cutting back into a gap and running in from 50 meters, and Ryan Matyas put the game away, scoring the third USA try from well in their half.
A long pass from Zack Test out of contact hit Matyas racing onto the ball and back against the grain. That was all he needed as the former University of Arizona player raced 80 meters.
That made it 26-7, a much-needed Day Two victory, and a date with either Portugal or Tonga in the Shield Final.
The Shield Final will be on Universal Sports online at two minutes past midnight Pacific time, or 3:02AM Eastern.
Tries: Niua 2, Thomasin, Matyas
Convs: Niua 3