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Friday, February 5, 2016

Sydney 7s: Eagles Beat Japan, Reach Cup QFs

The U.S. are into the Cup quarterfinals at the Sydney 7s after their 33-17 win over Japan in their second pool play match. With England beating both Wales and Japan and the U.S. doing the same it sets up a top of the pool clash with the English to finish out the day. While it wasn't a perfect match the Eagles once again showed their scoring prowess, especially in finding Perry Baker and Carlin Isles.

Once again the Eagles got off to a hot start. Perry Baker was not held in the tackle and simply got up to run in for the try and a 5-0 lead. That lead ballooned to 12-0 just a moment later. Japan spilled the ball deep in their own end allowing Martin Iosefo to pick up the ball and go in for the try. In addition to the try Iosefo had a very strong match on the defensive end and replicated a lot of the work that Andrew Durutalo used to do for the team.

Take the jump to read more.

Credit to Japan. They continued to press all match and showed good phases at times. That was the case after the Eagles second try. They went through simple phases and eventually found a try in the corner to make the score 12-5.

That's when the Eagles went on the attack again. Zack Test and Ben Pinkleman did well to save the ball on a couple of occasions allowing the ball to be sent out to Baker. The speedster then froze the defense enough to allow him to slip around the corner for the try. At the half the U.S. led 19-5.

At the start of the second half Baker quickly finished off his hat-trick. An offside (it wasn't called) Danny Barrett poked the ball loose allowing Baker to pick it up and score. They then kept pushing after the try but came up short until Matai Leuta picked up another loose ball and passed to Carlin Isles for a try and a 33-5.

If there was a disappointment in the match it was that the U.S. allowed Japan to score two tries in the final minute to push the score to a 33-17 final.

The U.S. will play England at 4:19 a.m. et/1:19 a.m. pt.

Starters: Test, Hughes, Barrett, Niua, Pinkleman, Iosefo, Baker

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