Saturday, April 8, 2017

Hong Kong 7s: Eagles Perfect In Pool Play

By Doug Coil

The last two times that the USA Men’s Eagles Sevens faced Argentina was in the Cup Quarterfinals at the USA Sevens and then at the Canada Sevens. Both were exciting matches with the USA using a second half surge for a comeback win in Las Vegas. The match in Vancouver also was a high intensity match with the USA prevailing.

Both teams entered the final Pool D match knowing that they would play in the Cup Quarterfinals. The Eagles Sevens heeded Mike Friday’s advice to keep the pedal down and emerged with a 33-5 win to top their Pool. In the other pool match, Russia earned their first victory over Scotland 14-5.

The U.S. finished on top of their pool for the second consecutive round of the 2016-17 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, and will face England, who are second in the standings, in Sunday’s Cup Quarterfinals at Hong Kong Stadium. The knockout match will kick off at 11:42 p.m. ET Saturday night, with the live stream available to viewers in the United States on World Rugby’s website.

Take the jump to read more.

Argentina took the early lead after penalties by Andrew Durutalo and Perry Baker had Argentina within the USA 22 meters. Jose Barros Sosa then picked the ball from the breakdown and went in for an early try.

In the 4th minute, Mikey Te’o claimed the restart and Andrew Durtutalo and Martin Iosefo each had long runs moving the ball to the Argentina 10. A knock on relinquished the ball and Stephen Tomasin saved a try taking a defender into touch.

The Eagles Sevens were able to attack from the ensuing lineout and Te’o found a gap for a try. Te’o then helped to win the restart and after a high tackle on Danny Barrett, a Folau Niua dummy added a try under the posts for a 12-5 lead at the break.

A knock on by Maka Unufe deep into USA territory off the restart provided an opportunity for Argentina. The ball went wide to Franco Sabato, who dropped the pass. Perry Baker then retrieved the ball and went almost he length of the pitch to increase the lead to 19-5.

In the 11th minute, Matai Leuta added a try after Te’o turned over the ball from a breakdown. Madison Hughes added a difficult conversion for a 26-5 lead. The USA attacked from the restart and Ben Pinkelman was held up in-goal. From the ensuing scrum, Mikey Te’o evaded a tackle and grounded the ball for his second try of the match.

With the 33-5 victory, the Eagles won their pool. This set up a Cup Quarterfinal match against England, who lost to Australia 12-10 in a Pool A battle of undefeated teams. This knockout round streamed live Saturday at 11:42 p.m. et/8:42 p.m. pt. 

1 comment:

  1. Unufe had his second consecutive wretched game; so bad that I felt bad for the guy. Great results on pool play though. I like how Friday is blending in the new kids