Saturday, May 13, 2017

Paris 7s: Eagles Pull Away From Wales

It wasn't the cleanest match they've ever played but a strong second half from the Eagles was enough to give them a 38-14 victory and a spot in the Cup quarterfinals. In the first half they had some defensive issues that allowed Wales to get a couple of tries and send warning signals into the Eagles camp. However, they were able to gather themselves and play a clinical second half for the victory.  They will now play New Zealand for the top of the pool.

Wales got off to a great start. The U.S. were unable to claim the opening kick and Wales simply worked phase after phase finding repeated gaps in the U.S. defense. They finally found one that opened up enough to grab the game's first try and a 7-0 lead less than a minute in. Still, the Eagles didn't get rattled. They too went through several phases aided by a couple of Welsh penalties before Martin Iosefo crashed through for yet another try on the weekend. The conversion tied the match at 7-7.

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Unfortunately for the Eagles they weren't able to gain the start and the Welsh cut them to pieces again. It was a far too easy try that no one on the U.S. was happy about. That said, it was the high water mark of the match for Wales as the U.S. was able to regroup and control the match from there. Even though Wales pinned the U.S. back deep in their own end on the restart the U.S. simply found Perry Baker who went the length of the field for the equaling try. At the half it was 14-14

The second half was a completely different story. The U.S. got on the board quickly through Iosefo thanks to a big break from Ben Pinkelman. The restart went the way of the Eagles and after working on one side of the pitch the U.S. quickly sent it the other way where Baker scored his second of the match. Just like that the Eagles were up 28-14 with four minutes to go. Maka Unufe and Alex Schwarz would add tries to finish off the match.

With New Zealand beating Argentina the Eagles are into the Cup quarterfinals yet again. They will play New Zealand for first place in the pool at 11:58 a.m. et/8:58 a.m. pt. 

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