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Friday, February 5, 2016

Sydney 7s: Eagles Dominate Wales


The Eagles got off to the best start possible at the Sydney 7s as they drilled Wales 42-0. While Wales have been struggling this year the U.S. still looked very strong, especially when it came to punishing Welsh mistakes. They now move on to play Japan at 12:48 p.m. et/9:48 p.m. pt with a great shot of sealing a spot in the Cup quarterfinals.

Straight from the start the Eagles were on their game. Danny Barrett put in great work at the breakdown to win the penalty. The Eagles went quick and the ball went to Folau Niua who through one of his patented dummies to freeze the defense and open up the gap for the try. Just like that the U.S. were up 7-0.

For the next couple of minutes both teams traded possession with a series of wild kicks and a couple of dangerous passes from the Eagles but neither team was able to put in a try.

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That changed just a second later. Barrett intercepted the desperate offload from the Welsh and from there the ball was sent out wide to the hands of Carlin Isles. The speedster hesitated just enough to freeze the defense and then he burst around the corner for the try. At the half the U.S. led 14-0.

The second half was even better. Wales hardly ever had the ball and only entered the U.S. 22 meter area once, in the final seconds. The second half began with Perry Baker picking up where Isles left off. Martin Iosefo made the first break and then found the streaking Barrett with the offload. Barrett then found Baker who slipped past a tackle for the try.

Wales had trouble defensively all match and that was never more apparent that in the second half. The next three tries from the Eagles came as Thretton Palamo was able to go through a weak tackle followed by Ben Pinkleman, who scored his first try on the Series. Baker scored the final try.

Wales nearly scored to end the match but a great cover tackle from Nate Augspurger, assisted by Zack Test, prevented the try.

"We're very happy," Isles said after the match. "We came out and we did what we wanted to do. We executed."

Starters: Test, Hughes, Barrett, Holder, Isles, Iosefo, Niua

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