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Nothing Will Stop USA In Sydney: Friday

USA sevens coach Mike Friday is confident the loss of superstar Perry Baker won’t stop his side being contenders at the Sydney Sevens, taking another step towards Olympic qualification and
31 Jan 2019 09:50
Nothing Will Stop USA In Sydney: Friday
Mike Friday

USA sevens coach Mike Friday is confident the loss of superstar Perry Baker won’t stop his side being contenders at the Sydney Sevens, taking another step towards Olympic qualification and then – just maybe – unlocking the vast potential of American rugby.

The Americans are still licking their wounds after they were thrashed 38-0 by the Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team in the Cup final of the New Zealand 7s but the USA’s presence was all-the-more noteworthy given they’d made it without Baker.

The speedster, who won back-to-back World Player of the Year awards in the last two seasons, broke his jaw in a nasty tackle and flew home for surgery on day one.

Asked if he felt his surging USA team could win in Sydney without Baker’s strikepower, Friday said: “Without a doubt. No player is indispensable. No coach is indispensable. Nobody is indispensable in the environment and that’s how the culture has got to be.

“We were desperately disappointed for Perry and losing Perry and in the manner we lost him and for the length of time we have lost him,” Friday said.

“But unfortunately that’s part of professional sport and I thought the way the boys galvanised and came together was great, and you saw his best mate, Carlin (Isles), step up and deliver and everyone got together and put in a decent performance. That’s good to know and important.

“But if you want to be consistent and sustainable in this series, you need to be able to absorb setbacks and adversity and we did that, so we’re in good spirits.”

Unpredictable Canada take on USA in their final pool match on Saturday.

This is after the Americans have taken on Kenya and France.

Meanwhile Tonga have forced their way into Pool D where they take on New Zealand, Spain and Scotland.

Tonga returned to the Series last week after five years and recorded two wins.

– Edited by Grace Narayan

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