The U.S. men’s rugby team was eliminated from medal contention after losing to top-seeded Fiji 24-19 on Wednesday.
To advance to the quarterfinals, the U.S. men’s rugby team needed to win, draw or lose by less than four points. Madison Hughes had an opportunity to kick a conversion to bring the match within three after Nate Ebner scored the final try for the U.S., but he missed wide from a difficult angle.
Danny Barrett, who is nicknamed “The Beast,” evaded several defenders to score the first try of the match for the United States. Moments later, Osea Kolinisau responded with a try for Fiji to even the score at 7. Despite being down a man, Fiji scored a try on the final play of the first half to go into halftime leading 12-7.
Perry Baker scored a try for the U.S. about 30 seconds into the second half to give the U.S. a 14-12 lead. But once again, Fiji quickly responded to regain the lead at 19-14. Semi Kunatani extended the lead by scoring a try for Fiji, but on the very next play, Ebner scored a try for the U.S. to bring the score to 24-19.
It was the second try of the tournament for Ebner, a safety for the New England Patriots who is taking a leave from offseason football workouts to compete at the Olympics.
The U.S. men’s rugby team will return to the pitch at 3:00 p.m. ET against Brazil, hoping to finish as high as ninth in the final Olympic standings. The U.S. already defeated Brazil 26-0 last night.
Last night, Ryan Seacrest invited U.S. women’s rugby sevens player Jillion Potter to teach actor Matthew McConaughey the basics of rugby sevens. Potter did not hold back against the Academy Award-winning actor.