USA Sevens enjoying the moment

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    30 Jan 2019     Getty Images

That's the story for the United States Sevens side who share the top of the World Series ladder with Fiji heading into the weekend's tournament in Sydney.

Coach Mike Friday told that the USA were desperate to get a gold medal and to win cups.

"We're not comfortable losing finals, that's not enough for us any more. I am immensely proud of what we are doing and where we are going and it's a great thing for the USA rugby community and the boys are disappointed that we're only getting to finals," he said.

They will be without Perry Baker, the two-time World Rugby Sevens player of the year winner, after he broke his jaw on the first day in Hamilton and flew home for surgery.

It had been disappointing to lose him but the players had come together in response while Carlin Isles had stepped up and produced the key play to win the semifinal over the All Blacks Sevens to reach the final.

"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," Friday said.

The USA are enjoying their best run in the event which they joined in 1999. Friday became coach in 2014 and turned the team around. It had never enjoyed a top 10 finish before then but in that season they won their first Cup final when beaten Australia in London.

They won their second event in the 2017-18 season by taking out their home tournament in Las Vegas.

USA captain Madison Hughes said the latest season had been the most consistent for the side and they were putting in performances they knew they were capable of and it was now a case of attempting to continue that.

Central to their campaign, as with all other sides this season, is achieving automatic Olympic qualifying by finishing in the top four.

Friday said, "To finish in the top four would mean we've shown not only consistency, but it would show a tier two rugby nation can break the stranglehold of the super powers in rugby.

"That's what we are trying to do. We are trying to pioneer the game on a world stage, so we can capture the sporting eyeballs of the American public.

"There's a lot to go for but right now we have to focus on the next tournament, and the one after and the one after that. We are not getting ahead of ourselves.

"But we are very pleased with where we are going right now, and very pleased with what we're doing and how we're representing the country," he said.