Singapore Sevens Quarterfinal Beckons after Eagles' Victory Over Scotland

15 Apr 2017

By Chad Wise - April 15, 2017

KALLANG, Singapore - The Men's Eagles Sevens qualified for their fifth consecutive HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series Cup Quarterfinals Saturday with a 33-26 defeat of Scotland at The National Stadium.

Perry Baker and Stephen Tomasin recorded a try apiece in each half as the U.S. broke a 12-12 tie at halftime. The win is the Eagles' second in Pool D following a 26-19 victory against Wales earlier in the day. Mike Friday's side will face New Zealand in their final match Saturday, kicking off at 8:50 a.m. ET to decide knockout seedings. The tournament can be streamed live via World Rugby's Sevens Series website.

Scotland made the U.S. work for its pool win in Hong Kong just a week ago with several extended possessions. The Eagles responded with a successful defensive effort, but fell behind early in Saturday's match. Baker gave away a penalty for trying to knock down a pass, and Scott Wight dotted down for the 5-0 lead.

The teams traded knocks on the ensuing restart for a U.S. scrum in its own half. Iosefo saved a high pass from bouncing into Scotland hands by tipping it back to Baker. The wing ran at one defender and spun out of a tackle to open the try-scoring running lane. The Eagles took a 7-5 lead, and Danny Barrett won the restart for Stephen Tomasin to increase the lead to 12-5 within a minute.

Scotland brought the scores level beyond the half-time horn in the stadium with an attack extended by U.S. penalties. Scotland also kept possession through relentless tackles by the Eagles with secure breakdown work, with Mark Robertson dotting down for the 12-12 score line.

The Eagles reacted positively in the second half with an immediate, near-full-field team try. Baker broke the gain line at the defensive 22 and was finally corralled by a fourth defender, but not before a looping offload to the onrushing Martin Iosefo at midfield. Iosefo stepped one defender and found Folau NIua in contact for the playmaker to provide the try assist to Tomasin's second. Barrett extended the lead further, following the loose ball from the restart for a 26-12 lead after 10 minutes.

Blair Kinghorn, chased down in the attacking half by Tomasin on the next possession, popped a pass for Jamie Farndale to score, 26-19. The Eagles survived an attempted hold-up of captain Madison Hughes for Niua to kick downfield. Baker chased and beat the defense for his second try of the match and a 33-19 lead.

Farndale dotted down for his own brace as time expired, bringing the final score to 33-26 and the Eagles' point differential in Pool D to 23 - level with New Zealand. The U.S. can top the pool with a win or draw against New Zeawland, with the final match of Pool D play set to kick off at 8:50 a.m. ET.

Men's Eagles Sevens | v. Scotland 
1. Anthony Welmers 
2. Ben Pinkelman 
3. Danny Barrett 
4. Matai Leuta 
5. Mike Te'o 
6. Andrew Durutalo 
7. Folau Niua 
8. Maka Unufe 
9. Stephen Tomasin 
10. Madison Hughes (C) 
11. Perry Baker 
12. Martin Iosefo 
13. Malon Al-Jiboori

Scotland | v. USA 
1. Grayson Hart 
2. Dougie Fife 
3. Ally Miller 
4. Darcy Graham 
5. Blair Kinghorn 
6. Mark Robertson 
7. Jamie Farndale 
8. Joe Nayacavou 
9. Hugh Blake 
10. Scott Wight 
11. James Fleming 
12. Robbie Nairn 
13. Bobby Beattie

Men's Eagles Sevens | 33 
Tries: Baker (2), Tomasin (2), Barrett 
Conversions: Hughes (4)

Scotland | 26 
Tries: Wight, Robertson, Farndale (2) 
Conversions: Wight (3)

Men's Eagles Sevens | HSBC Singapore Sevens 
v. Wales - W 35-19 
v. Scotland - W 33-26 
v. New Zealand - Saturday, April 15 @ 8:50 a.m. ET