Saturday, January 28, 2017
Wellington 7s: Eagles Lose to Kenya, Out Of Tournament
The Eagles are headed back to their hotel early in Wellington after losing to Kenya 19-12 in the Challenge Trophy semi-final. It was a disappointing finish to a disappointing tournament for the Eagles who looked tired. They will have to save up their energy as they head to Sydney next week in the hopes of doing better.
Kenya started the match with the bulk of the possession. That put them into the U.S. end and even though the U.S. won the ball back and series of sloppy passes allowed Kenya to capitalize for the opening score. Still, the Eagles would strike back with more possession of their own. With that possession it was left up to Perry Baker to race down the sideline for the try. The U.S. made their conversion giving them a 7-5 lead.
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The Eagles hat a lot of possession after the try but the Kenyan defense did well to hold firm. It looked like the U.S. were going to have one last chance to score near the end of the half as they took a quick tap from a penalty but Madison Hughes dropped the simple pass, killing the opportunity.
In the second half the Eagles tried to get behind the Kenyan defense with a kick through to Baker but they couldn't recover. Instead it was Kenya that would take advantage of their opportunity as they slipped down the sideline for the score. That put them up 12-7. Kenya then pinned the Eagles deep on the restart and when the U.S. messed up their line out Kenya were there to make them pay. With the conversion they led 19-7 with only seconds left.
The Eagles did get a late try from Hughes but it was far too late to make an impact. Overall, the Eagles looked slow and lacking the impetus to go forward. Lots to improve ahead of Sydney.