February 3, 2017
Eagles 7s Beat Canada at Sydney 7s & Clinch Cup Semi-Final
The USA Men’s Eagles Sevens faced Argentina in the opening match of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series – Sydney Sevens. The USA lead from start to finish, but Argentina pierced their defense after the match was in hand to narrow the final score to 22-19 to the USA. The Eagles Sevens then dominated possession against Canada winning 31-19 and are 2-0 in the pool and have clinched a Cup Semi-final spot.
With the win the USA will take on Russia at 2:23am on Saturday. They will be looking to go undefeated in Pool play and take the number one seed from Pool D into the Cup Quarterfinals. That would set them to play the second place team from pool D, which is currently England. The match is being streamed by worldrugby.org.
USA v Canada
Mike Fuailefau kicked the opening restart and Martin Iosefo took possession. The ball was swung wide left and right before a turnover by Canada set up a Justin Douglas try under the posts. Fuailefu converted and Canada took a 7-0 lead.
Folau Niua then took a penalty tap from midfield spun the ball to Tomassin to Barrett. Carlin Isles after receiving the ball offloaded to Barrett who fended a defender in-goal and centered the ball under the posts. Madison Hughes converted and the score was knotted at 7 all.
The USA again claimed the restart, but a forward pass halted their attack. A penalty by Canada had Iosefo grubbing the ball ahead as Carlin Isles sped down the line. Caleb Jordan gathered the ball and Isles was penalized for a should high tackle. After a Canadian lineout was taken by Andrew Duutalo, Iosefo found a gap and offloaded to Isles. Carlin drew two defenders and offloaded back to Martin Iosefo for a try in the corner. Hughes converted from touch and the Eagles had a 14-7 lead.
Unfortunately just prior to halftime, the USA had possession and the ball was not controlled from contact and with a missed tackle Mike Fuailefau found a gap and was chased down by Isles, but offloaded to Caleb Jordan for his first try. Fuailefau converted and the score was 14 all at halftime.
During the first half, the USA dominated the possession, but two mistakes was punished by Canada.
During the second half Barrett changed into a playmaker that would make the Harlem Globetrotters proud. When the ball was spun wide to Barrett, he drew in defenders and made a backhand pass to Andrew Durutalo for a try in the corner and a 19-14 lead.
The restart was tapped to Tomassin. A Niua dummy and the ball was once again in Danny Barrett’s hands. He again drew in two defenders and offloaded to Madison Hughes as he entered a gap for a try in the corner and a 24-14 lead. These tries benefited from winning 40 percent of their restarts which leads the tournament at this point.
Once again the Eagles were on the attack from the restart and Don Pati with Carlin Isles available for a pass, instead found a gap and Pati increased the USA lead with a try under the posts. Hughes converted and the lead was 31-14.
Canada would get the final try of the match when Lucas Hammond offloaded to John Moonlight for a try.
The Eagles claimed the restart and Tomassin kicked the ball into touch for the 31-19 win and a chance to win the pool against Russia. Canada plays Argentina next and both teams each have 1-1 records and the winner will also advance to the Cup quarterfinals.
Men’s Eagles Sevens – HSBC Wellington Sevens
1. Carlin Isles 2. Matai Leuta 3. Danny Barrett 4 Chris Coyle 5 Don Pati 6. Andrew Durutalo 7. Folau Niua 8. Connor Wallace-Sims 9. Stephen Tomasin 10. Madison Hughes (C) 11. Perry Baker 12. Martin Iosefo 13. Pago Haini
Starters: Tomasin, Barrett, Durutalo, Hughes, Iosefo, Niua, Isles