Men's Sevens
22 12
7 7
Men's Sevens  @ Hong Kong Stadium
Hong Kong Sevens
World Rugby


HONG KONG - The Men's Eagles Sevens answered the bell in their final pool match at Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens Saturday, scoring four tries in a 22-7 defeat of Australia at Hong Kong Stadium.

It was the first victory over the Aussies in three HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series meetings this season, and the tournament's joint-leading try-scorer, Perry Baker, only played four minutes of the encounter. The Eagles will play South Africa in their ninth consecutive Cup Quarterfinal Saturday at 11:20 p.m. ET.

Like its match against Argentina earlier in the day, the U.S. found itself behind on the scoreboard within the first two minutes against Australia. Folau Niua was penalized after catching the opening restart and Australia attacked with menace as Allan Fa'alava'au powered over the try line on a second early run. James Stannard converted the try for a 7-0 score line.

Another penalty from the restart was called against Ben Pinkelman, who had won the ball cleanly as he was lifted in the air. Martin Iosefo and Maka Unufe stood up the attacker on the wing following a scrum at midfield, forcing a turnover, and the Eagles strutted down the pitch with their first attack.

Unufe showed why he is dangerous with ball in hand in the middle of the park, threatening the pass while letting his feet do the work to break the gain line in the defensive half. Captain Madison Hughes was there in support to get closer to the 22, and the U.S. kept possession to find Garrett Bender on the far wing to cut into the deficit at 7-5.

Danny Barrett placed himself in the perfect position to win the ensuing restart, and another run by Bender on the wing forced Australia to shift on defense. Successive penalties against Australia led to an attacking lineout for the Eagles, and the captain finished the attack with a switch run behind Niua for his third try of the tournament and 12-7 halftime lead.

Iosefo's eighth-minute tackle from behind at midfield was enough to force the Australian attacker into losing the ball forward, and mass substitutions followed a lame U.S. pass into touch. Baker was one of the players inserted into the play, and an overthrown lineout from the Australians led to the winger getting the ball and scoring his fourth try in Hong Kong for a 17-7 score line.

The Eagles kept the ball out of Australia's hands for the majority of the remaining minutes in the match, and were rewarded with a late try from Pinkelman in the corner to bring the final score to 22-7.

Mike Friday's side completes its first undefeated pool campaign of the season to set up the Cup Quarterfinal matchup with South Africa. The two teams have met three times this season - twice at HSBC USA Sevens last month - with the Blitzboks claiming all three contests. The match is scheduled to kick off at 11:20 p.m. ET Sunday, with the live stream available via World Rugby's website.

Men's Eagles Sevens | v. Australia

1. Nate Ebner

2. Ben Pinkelman

3. Danny Barrett

4. Garrett Bender

5. Zack Test

6. Peter Tiberio

7. Folau Niua

8. Maka Unufe

9. Nate Augspurger

10. Madison Hughes (C)

11. Perry Baker

12. Martin Iosefo

Australia | v. USA

1. Nick Cummins

2. Tom Kingston

3. Sam Myers

4. Lewis Holland

5. James Stannard

6. Con Foley

7. Cameron Clark

8. Stephan Van Der Walt

9. Ed Jenkins

10. Allan Fa'alava'au

11. John Porch

12. Boyd Killingworth

Men's Eagles Sevens | 22

Tries: Bender, Hughes, Baker, Pinkelman

Conversions: Hughes

Australia | 7

Tries: Fa'alava'au

Conversions: Stannard