|Photo: David Barpal|
The Eagles got out to a dream start at the Vancouver 7s with a 52-0 demolition of Japan. To say the U.S. would dominate possession would be an understatement as Japan had the ball for maybe a minute of the match. Restarts were another area of absolute skill from the Eagles as time and time again a combination of Niua to Barrett or Niua to Iosefo or Niua to Leuta would keep the ball in the Eagles hands. With the ball in hand Japan had no answer as the Eagles pumped in try after try.
It took less than a minute for the Eagles to get on the board. Off the opening kick the Folau Niua made a run. He was brought down but then Martin Iosefo made a great offload to Steve Tomasin for the opening score. Next it was Baker's turn after another won restart and a good Barrett offload. Then Barrett got in on the action as he dragged several Japanese defenders across the line. With only a few minutes played the Eagles were up 21-0.
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It took Japan until the last minute of the half to have any possession but the U.S. defense was up to the task as they halted any opportunity. That tenacity led directly to a try. Stripping Japan of the ball after the hooter the Eagles quickly cycled it out to Baker for his second try of the half. At the break the Eagles were up 26-0.
In the second half it continued. Maka Unufe, who had come on for Iosefo at halftime, used his deceptive speed to suck in the defense and allow Baker to get his third try. Ben Pinkelman (twice) and Tomasin would have tries to finish off the match.
As much as they will enjoy that win the Eagles will now have to turn their attention to France at 4:28 p.m. et/1:28 p.m. pt.