USA Sevens coach Mike Friday said his charges were handed a physicality lesson by Kenya after seeing his team go down 38-7 to Shujaa in their third match of the Madrid 7s on Sunday.
It was a double blow for the Americans who also lost Perry Baker to injury with the speedster being withdrawn early in the second half before Kenya took full control of the match.
“It’s been an up and down day for us. Firstly our thoughts and hopes are all with Perry and we will wait for the synopsis and what the plan is for him from here on out,” Friday told the USA Rugby website.
“We can’t hide from the fact that we were given a physicality lesson by Kenya this morning amidst a clear message on our areas of focus over the coming weeks.”
Friday’s team finished third after beating hosts Spain 24-17 in the playoff fixture.
The former Shujaa coach will be hoping that his men improve ahead of the second leg of the Madrid event this weekend.
“While we all hate losing, maybe that was a blessing in disguise for us to realize where our combat conditioning, repeated effort and physical intensity needs to operate,” he said.
“These are valuable learnings for the vast majority of the group and we will have a hard training week in the lead into next weekend’s competition as we put the required behaviors under stress again,” added Friday.
“We are unhappy with the weekend’s results but pleased with the learnings and what is important is our response as we build forward.”