Sunday, June 3, 2018

Recap: Eagles Finish Sixth At London 7s

The Eagles finished sixth at the London 7s over the weekend. Thanks to their showing the team now moves up into fifth place in the standings with just one tournament to go.

Eagles 19-19 Kenya

The tournament for the Eagles began with a draw against Kenya. It was the Kenyans that had the early action. Despite that it was the Eagles that would get on the board first. Following up on a turnover Martin Iosefo did most of the hard work before the ball was cycled out to Carlin Isles who raced around the outside for the score. The U.S. then won the ball at a five meter scrum which allowed Iosefo to go in. Like that the U.S. was up 14-0.

The Eagles had to some changes to add to their lead in the second half but couldn't convert. That led to Kenya scoring two tries to even it up. Showing they could make something from nothing the U.S. showed quick hands in the offload as Danny Barrett scored. With a minute to go the U.S. led 19-14. Unfortunately the U.s. couldn't hold on as Kenya scored a leveling try. Fortunately for the U.S. their conversion missed ensuring the draw.

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Eagles 31-14 England

Shaking off the errors that plagued them against Kenya the U.S. came out focused and scored a try just a minute into the match when a beautiful pass from Folau Niua saw Barrett score in the corner. It came from winning the kickoff, an area in which the Eagles continue to excel. Dan Norton came back for England with two fantastic speed tries (along with some good defensive plays) to put England in front 14-5.

That's all England would get as the U.S. found another gear in the second half. First it was Folau Niua. Active hands once again pushed the U.S. forward and caught England out of sorts. Then it was Steve Tomasin as the U.S. won the restart and were off to the races. A yellow card to Dan Norton helped balloon the lead. Norton took out Barrett in the air who after getting up said "F*** you! This is our house!" to the England players in Twickenham. Carlin Isles had two tries for the U.S. to finish things off.

Eagles 38-14 France

The good times kept rolling for the Eagles against France in their last pool play match of the day. It wasn't perfect but they looked crisp and had their offense rolling. Isles picked up where he left off with a try although Kevin Bly scored right back for France. Tomasin and Isles would score before the half as the U.S. were running away with it. Isles would go on to complete his hat-trick while Iosefo and Kevon Williams would also get tries.

Eagles 12-22 Ireland

The biggest surprise of the tournament for the U.S. was their loss to Ireland. They aren't a Series regular and only got in on an invite but they obviously have lots of talent. The U.S. fell asleep a little bit and it cost them big time. Credit to Ireland's defense who stayed firm throughout the match. Speed was a major asset for Ireland with Jordan Conroy even outracing Carlin Isles at times. Ireland had three tries first in the first half to go up 17-0. The Eagles were finally able to get on the board with three minutes gone in the second half but by that point they had expended a lot of energy. The teams traded tries at the end of the match.

Eagles 27-19 Canada

Following their disappointing match against Ireland the U.S. rebounded with a win over Canada. Mike Friday mixed up his starters and it led to Kevon Williams scoring early on a long-range try. Defense wasn't at a premium early as Lucas Hammond was able to slip through the U.S. defense aided by some great offloads. Isles and Williams would each have tries sandwiched around one for Canada as the U.S. led 15-12. Justin Douglas would put Canada in front not long in the second half but staying patient Martin Iosefo flew down the pitch. Madison Hughes had the last try for the Eagles.

Eagles 5-26 New Zealand

In the Plate final the U.S. fell to New Zealand. The team was banged up having already lost Matai Leuta and when Carlin Isles went down for a head injury assessment the U.S. just didn't have it in them to come back. Shortly after Isles went down New Zealand ran in two tries. The U.s. had some chances to start the second half but New Zealand's defense was strong. That lead to a third try for New Zealand. Tomasin would finally get the U.S. on the board with three minutes left. New Zealand scored once more to finish off the tournament.

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