Saturday, May 13, 2017

Paris 7s: Eagles Beat Argentina

With Wales and New Zealand still to play in the pool round of the Paris 7s the Eagles came up with an important 26-19 win over Argentina in their pool opener. Had the Eagles falled to Argentina it would have put immense pressure on them to win their final pool matches. They will certainly be going for two more wins but now if they beat Wales and New Zealand beat Argentina then the U.S. will be through to the top eight.

Argentina were a tough opponent and made their intentions known early with a quick try. Martin Iosefo was controversially called for not releasing the ball and from the subsequent set play they easily scored an unconverted try. Still, the Eagles were right back at it. This time Iosefo slipped past the defense and gained some hard yards before offloading to Hughes. The Eagles captain then offloaded to Perry Baker who ran in for the opening score. Madison Hughes hit the conversion and the Eagles led 7-5.

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Restarts were another positive for the Eagles in the game and they continued to regain the ball. Keeping the ball after the Baker thanks to Steve Tomasin the ball was quickly cycled to Folau Niua who made a sweet dummy to go in for the team's second score. Like that the Eagles found themselves up 14-5.

Argentina were dangerous, however, and would never go away. They stayed calm and patient and soon found themselves working their way down the pitch where they scored their second try. This time their conversion was good and the game went into the half at 14-12.

The match really turned in the first few minutes of the second half. Keeping the ball once again the Eagles found their third try when Niua put in a kick over the defense that Iosefo did well to recover for the try. Soon after the Eagles had a nice sequence of their own where they stayed patient eventually leading to a second try for Baker and a 26-12 lead.

Still, Argentina kept plugging away and when they scored again with two minutes to go there was still time for them to take the match away from the Eagles. Unfortunately for Argentina they made a mistake trying to chip ahead allowing the ball to go into touch. They did win it back but the U.S. defense forced a knock on and the U.S. was able to hold on for the win.

The U.S. will now play Wales at 8:32 a.m. et/5:32 a.m. pt. 

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