Friday, April 7, 2017

Hong Kong 7s: Eagles Hold On To Beat Scotland

For the second straight match the Eagles had to endure a touch and go second half to come away with the win. Now after beating Russia and a 19-14 win over Scotland the Eagles have booked a place in the quarterfinals. They will close out pool play against Argentina early in the morning.

Similar to their match against Russia the Eagles got out to a hot start. A big win at the breakdown from Ben Pinkelman gave the Eagles the ball in a good position. It was then quickly cycled through the hands of Folau Niua and Madison Hughes out to Perry Baker who beat the defense to race in for the score. Hughes then topped it off with an excellent conversion.

It would take a few minutes after each team committed an error but the next try belonged to the Eagles. Martin Iosefo intercepted the ball and it was once again quickly flung to Baker for his second try and a 14-0 lead.

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The Eagles ended the half on a high note as well. Perry Baker finished off his hat-trick after two solid runs from Pinekelman and Danny Barrett to push the halftime score to 19-0.

The second half was a completely different story. Scotland scored early as the U.S. fell for a dummy and then missed a tackle to put Scotland back in it. The Eagles had a chance to take some time off the clock after the try when they won a penalty at the restart but they knocked it on during their set move from the line out giving Scotland the ball. From there it was a lot of Scotland pressure. The Eagles were lucky not to have a man in the bin after several infractions close to the line but even with that fortunate they couldn't keep Scotland from scoring.

Now with not much time left Scotland had the momentum and a chance trailing only 19-14. They continued to have a lot of possession and when the Eagles did have the ball they committed a number of shaky turnovers. The last mistake came with just seconds left. Scotland got within meters of the line but a great tackle from Andrew Durutalo caused the penalty on Scotland and the Eagles were able to kick it out for the win.

It wasn't perfect but the Eagles will definitely be happy they are 2-0 on the day. Now they will go for the pool win against Argentina at 4:24 a.m. et/1:24 a.m. pt. 

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