Men's Sevens
19 7
0 0
Men's Sevens  @ Cape Town Stadium
South Africa Sevens
  James Doleman

Shutout of Australia sets Cape Town tone for Eagles

 Martin Seras Lima

CAPE TOWN, South Africa - The Men's Eagles Sevens earned their second shutout in a week on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in a 19-0 defeat of Australia at HSBC Cape Town Sevens Saturday.

Captain Perry Baker turned the tide in the U.S.'s favor with a first-half try before Folau Niua and Stephen Tomasin eased the defensive pressure with second-half scores. The Eagles sit in second in Pool A after South Africa's 41-0 win over Russia at Cape Town Stadium. The Blitzboks are set to take on the Chris Brown's side at 9:10 a.m. ET, with the live broadcast available for streaming on World Rugby's Sevens Series website.

The season did not start the way the Eagles wanted with a tournament-opening loss at Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens last weekend, and the early goings of the first half saw the team at maximum intensity. A chasing defense kept close tabs on Australian attackers and individual efforts turned over possession as Australia was denied from crossing the try line.

Australia held its own on defense, as well, keeping the Eagles within their half of the field for the first five minutes of the game. Danny Barrett saved a third-minute try from a chip kick with a slide and pass out to Niua, but there was not much room to maneuver, leading to a knock in-goal. A turnover at the breakdown a minute later kept Australia out of the try zone before the Eagles again lost the ball to a scrum in-goal.

The momentum was in Australia's favor, but the U.S.'s defensive shape put Baker in prime position to pounce on a pass along the wing. The captain stepped out of an initial tackle and spun out of the next with a cut inside before beating the remaining defenders to the uprights for a 7-0 lead.

The score remained at halftime despite the teams playing beyond the seven-minute mark. The Eagles got right back to work from Niua's second-half restart, which bounced off an Australian shoulder and into the arms of Baker. The ball was quickly sent away from the high-traffic area and Niua dummied through a hole in the defense for a run towards the corner, where he fought off the tackler and grounded the ball before he could slide into touch. A review confirmed a successful try, extending the Eagles' lead to 12-0.

The ensuing restart was slapped by an Australia despite not passing the 10-meter line, and the Eagles used the possession to starve their opponent of attacking opportunities. Baker and Barrett combined to cross midfield in the ninth minute before Maka Unufe shoved his way through the 22, and Tomasin finished off the play in the corner with the strength to keep all of his limbs in touch on the grounding.

Australia lost the ball forward on multiple attacks in the final minutes of the game as the Eagles preserved their 19-0 victory.

The home team in Cape Town, South Africa, also opened its tournament with a shutout, and will defend its top seed in Pool A against the Eagles at 9:10 a.m. ET. Cape Town Sevens can be watched live on World Rugby's Sevens Series website.

Men's Eagles Sevens | v. Australia

1. Kevon Williams

2. Matai Leuta

3. Danny Barrett

4. Alec Gletzer

5. Don Pati

6. Andrew Durutalo

7. Folau Niua

8. Maka Unufe

9. Stephen Tomasin

10. Anthony Welmers

11. Perry Baker (C)

12. Martin Iosefo

Australia | v. USA

1. Henry Hutchinson

2. Jesse Parahi

3. Sam Myers

4. Alex Gibbon

5. James Stannard

6. Sam Caslick

7. Simon Kennewell

8. Stephan Van der Walt

9. Ed Jenkins

10. Mick Adams

11. Charlie Taylor

12. Boyd Killingworth

13. Tim Anstee

Men's Eagles Sevens | 19

Tries: Baker, Niua, Tomasin

Conversions: Tomasin, Niua

Australia | 0

Tries: N/A

Conversions: N/A

Men's Eagles Sevens | HSBC Cape Town Sevens

v. Australia - W 19-0

v. South Africa - Saturday, Dec. 10 @ 9:10 a.m. ET

v. Russia - Saturday, Dec. 10 @ 12:34 p.m. ET