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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Hong Kong 7s: Eagles Player Grades


It took us several days but our grades are in for the Eagles from Hong Kong. By and large everyone did well.

Andrew Durutalo (6.5): Durutalo is coming back into the form that saw him as a beast on the Series a couple of years ago. The Eagles are back as one of the best breakdown teams on the Series and a lot of that has to do with Durutalo.

Madison Hughes (6.5): Another good tournament for Hughes. His conversions were pretty good and his defense was stellar once again. His work rate rubs off on his teammates.

Folau Niua (7.5): It's just a matter of time before Niua gets more attention. If the Eagles can keep up the pace they've set the last three tournaments then it will be hard to argue against him being a candidate for the Series Dream Team at the end of the year. In Hong Kong he was good once again. The restart was working and his passing was outstanding.

Take the jump to read more.

Mike Te'o (6.5): It wasn't a lot of time for Te'o although he did play a big part in a couple of matches. Overall, it was a nice tournament back for him. Expect to see him more in Singapore.

Danny Barrett (7): After having to sit out the first match due to a suspension at the Vancouver 7s he stepped right in and played a key role for the Eagles. It's really hard to overstate how important he is to the Eagles offense. He draws in defenders and opens up space for his teammates.

Steve Tomasin (7): Every team needs a player to do a lot of the dirty work. That is Tomasin for the Eagles. He may not get the headlines but there is a reason he is a consistent starter. In Hong Kong he was excellent once again.

Maka Unufe (5): This wasn't Unufe's best tournament. He had a couple of matches that he would rather forget. It was an unusual performance for Unufe and we'll think he'll be back in Singapore.

Perry Baker (7.7): Another Dream Team selection for Baker who led the tournament with nine tries. After a couple of tournaments to re-find his form Baker has come around and has put in several very nice tournaments. He's gotten back to his usual self in the air and he's calmed down in his passing.

Ben Pinkelman (8): It was an outstanding tournament for Pinkelman who picked up a deserved Dream Team selection. His work at the breakdown was excellent and his defense was even better. We suggest going back and looking at the final minutes against South Africa to see exactly the type of performance he put in.

Martin Iosefo (7): Iosefo had a strong tournament like the rest of the team. He may not have been as visually active as before but much of that comes with the likes of Pinkelman making a big impact.

Matai Leuta (6.5): Leuta, like Te'o, really only saw time in their end of pool play match against Argentina and the 3d/4rh place match. When he did well he did alright and showed some good energy. However, it wasn't a big sample.

Anthony Welmers (NA): Welmers only saw a couple of minutes of action over the weekend and not enough for a grade.

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