Saturday, February 3, 2018

Hamilton 7s: Last Minute Try Sinks Eagles Against Samoa

With a win over Canada under their belts the U.S. came out against Samoa hoping for a second win that would almost certainly put them in the Cup quarterfinals. In the end it was disappointment as the U.S. lost 14-10. The U.S. had plenty of chances but lost a lot of the small battles that cost them dear. Next up is Kenya in a must-win match if the U.S. want to make the top eight.

It was a defensive battle early for both teams as each had wins at the breakdown. Still, it had to be frustrating for the Eagles. Three times they made it within the 22 only to have Samoa win the ball cleanly. The bright side was that the U.S. defense was equally up to the task giving them plenty of chances. Unfortunately they couldn't take advantage and it was Samoa to score first instead. They didn't have many trips into the other side of the pitch but when they did they made it count to lead 7-0 at the half.

In the second half the Eagles finally made some good things happen. It was a matter of staying simple and keeping the ball. Ben Pinkelman was the beneficiary to finish for the score. The conversion wasn't good so the Eagles still trailed 7-5.

Take the jump to read more.

That try was the momentum the Eagles needed. Capitalizing on a poor lineup from Samoa the Eagles found Perry Baker alone on the wing for the easy try. That put the U.S. in the front at 10-7 with three minutes to go.  It wasn't all good though for the Eagles as Marin Iosefo took a knock to the face on a massive tackle and had to come off.

Samoa had one last chance but stuck deep in their own end they had a difficult time getting past the Eagles defense. However, they were able to hold on to the ball and in 7s that is all you need. With time expiring Samoa was finally able to slip through the defense for the winning try.

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