Sunday, November 5, 2017

Silicon Valley 7s: Eagles Down England, Cup Final Next

Photo: Connie Hatfield

As expected with any tournament the further you progress the more difficult the matches turn out to be. That was true for the Eagles as they took on England in the Silicon Valley 7s semi-final but in the end it was no trouble as they beat England 27-0. England certainly brought intensity that hadn't been seen from opponents so far but it was the work at the breakdown that really separated the Eagles from England in the match.

The tone was set early. England had the first major chance of the match but two ankle tap tackles, the first from Folau Niua and the second from Ben Pinkelman, did enough to slow up the England player allowing Steve Tomasin to make the tackle, and more importantly, cleanly win the turnover. Directly from that turnover the Eagles played quickly with Iosefo making the hard yards and Pinkelman finishing. The conversion missed but the Eagles were up 5-0.

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It wasn't perfect from the Eagles. They had several first half opportunities that slipped out of their hands due to either a poor pass or a poor decision. Still, they continued to dominate possession and generally limit anything England wanted to do.

Once again it was the work at the breakdown that brought the Eagles success. Pushing hard they used a couple of big cleanouts to once more feed Pinkelman on the outside. 10-0 to the Eagles. Martin Iosefo would finish out the half by collecting a beautifully weighted grubber from Folau Niua to lead 15-0.

In the second half the U.S. kept up the pressure. Matai Leuta, who has had some positive moments so far, spun out of a couple of tackles before passing to Chris Mattina who finished. That try put the Eagles up 22-0. Kevon Williams would score not long after to increase the final advantage to 27-0.

The U.S. will face Australia at 10:04 p.m. et/7:04 p.m. pt. It's been the match-up everyone has been waiting for all weekend. Without question Australia and the U.S. have been the best teams so far.

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