With his New England Patriots teammates watching back home in Foxboro, Massachusetts, safety Nate Ebner helped lead the US Olympic rugby squad to a thunderous 26-0 victory over Brazil on Tuesday in its second match at the Rio Games.

Patriots’ Nate Ebner Scores First Olympic Try

Ebner, who was given a leave of absence from the Patriots to compete in Rio, scored his first Olympic try in the dying moments of the first half as the U.S. comfortably defeated the underdog hosts.


After coming off the bench earlier that day in his team’s first Olympic game against Argentina — which the Americans lost 17-14 — the New England defensive back was put on the team’s starting lineup for game No. 2 and played more than 13 minutes. He spent two of those minutes in the sin bin, however, after being given a yellow card for a big though illegal hit on Brazilian Gustavo Albuquerque.


 Carlin Isles, Folau Niua and Maka Unufe also scored tries for the U.S.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Americans trailed 12-0 against Argentina with under three minutes remaining and rallied to take a 14-12 lead, though they ultimately conceded the game-winning try with no time left.

The U.S.-Argentina match coincided with the Patriots’ joint training camp practice with the New Orleans Saints, but New England head coach Bill Belichick brought the team together to watch Ebner and the rest of the U.S. rugby team play Brazil.

“Bill is all about America, our country, a true Patriot,” safety Devin McCourty said. “I just know Bill and figured one way or the other it was going to be an option where the game was playing somewhere in the building.”

Patriots coaches also wore t-shirts and jerseys with Ebner’s name and rugby number, 12, on the back during the joint practice.

The U.S. will finish group play on Wednesday against gold-medal favorite Fiji. Kickoff is set for 12:30pm ET.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 09: Nate Ebner of the United States beats Felipe Claro of Brazil to score a try during the Men’s Rugby Sevens Pool A match between the United States and Brazil on Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Deodoro Stadium on August 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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