Saturday, April 7, 2018

Hong Kong 7s: U.S. Downs Argentina, Makes Quarterfinals

Photo: All World Photo

Having been done a solid by Wales in their defeat of France the Eagles only needed to avoid a disastrous loss to Argentina to advance to the Cup quarterfinals on point differential. The two sides of clashed a lot this year, memorably in the final in Vegas. In this match up the U.S. triumphed 31-17. That sets up a Cup quarterfinal meeting against New Zealand at 11:42 p.m. et/8:42 p.m. pt.

It started early with Perry Baker once again as he beat the Argentina defense around the outside to score only forty-five seconds in. He even capped off the try with a tribute to the great Waisale Serevi. Argentina looked like they were going to equalize just a minute later when they had space themselves but the pass was called forward.

Soon the U.S. began to open up a lead. The Eagles attack was on fire led by the distribution of Folau Niua. That set up Danny Barrett who showed his pace on the outside for a try and a 12-0 lead. However, Argentina were next to show their pace as they collected the restart and found one pass to open up the defense.  Still, sandwiching that try was another effort by Danny Barrett and the U.S. would lead 19-5.

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The second half was more even with each team grabbing a few tries. Danny Barrett finished off his hat-trick with a try only thirty seconds in. Credit goes to Matai Leuta who got up big to take the restart. The last try for the Eagles came as they won the battle at the breakdown. After the first match against France they really improved in that category. Finishing things off was Martin Iosefo who bumped off multiple defenders.

The match didn't end the way the Eagles would have liked as they took their foot off the gas up 31-5. They gave up two tries to Argentina and that won't have head coach Mike Friday happy as they move into the Cup quarterfinals tomorrow.

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