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Nate Ebner

Americans miss out on Olympic rugby sevens quarterfinals

Nate Ebner couldn't really have set up more of a dramatic finish for the U.S. team at the Olympics.

The New England Patriots safety and special teams player, given special permission to play rugby sevens for the United States in Rio de Janeiro, ran almost half the length of the field with world champion Fijian players in pursuit and scored with a minute to go in the most crucial game of the pool stage.

The U.S. team needed to stay within four points of Fiji in the last group-stage game on Wednesday to advance to the quarterfinals at the expense of 12-time world series champion New Zealand.

At the moment Ebner scored, the difference was five points with a conversion to...