Men's Sevens
26 12
17 7
Men's Sevens  @ Cape Town Stadium
South Africa Sevens

Eagles into Cup Quarterfinals in Cape Town

 Martin Seras Lima

CAPE TOWN, South Africa - Captain Perry Baker added a brace of tries to his HSBC Cape Town Sevens tally Saturday in the Men's Eagles Sevens' 26-17 defeat of Russia in the final match of Pool A play.

Danny Barrett and Stephen Tomasin also scored for Chris Brown's side, which allowed Russia to score for the first time this weekend. With all results in pool play considered, including South Africa's 29-7 win over Australia in the final matchup, the Eagles advance to their first Cup round of the 2016-17 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series as the pool's second seed. They will face Scotland in Sunday's Cup Quarterfinals at 5:48 a.m. ET. The second leg of the season can be viewed live on World Rugby's website.

Since the Eagles played Russia prior to the South Africa-Australia clash, the goal was to win by the widest margin possible to give themselves the best chance to finish ahead of the potential loser of the other Pool A encounter. Similar to their starts against those two earlier in the day, the U.S. went right to work from the opening whistle.

Baker won the restart with his long reach and a determined lateral run by Martin Iosefo preceded a knock against Russia in the middle of the attack. The Eagles turned over possession via a knock of their own and Iosefo was sent to the bin in the third minute for what match official Rasta Rashivenga determined was a cynical knock on defense.

The Eagles stole possession from a lineout in the fourth minute and welcomed contact before Barrett broke two tackles to open the scoring in the corner. Andrew Durutalo won the ensuing restart and Tomasin backed himself for the corner to extend the Eagles' lead to 12-0 after five minutes, consuming the entirety of Iosefo's sinning in the process.

Russia struck back in the final minute of the half through Vladislav Lazarenko, whose chip and chase inside the 22 resulted in his team's first try of the tournament and a 12-7 deficit heading into halftime.

Baker again won the half-opening restart, and the Eagles cycled possession to one touch line and back to the captain with one phase. Baker initially appeared to want to swing the play some more, but stutter-stepped his way around the touch-line defender and cut inside the sweeper for a 19-7 advantage.

Niua was called for a knock in Russia's half, but Barrett grabbed a dropped ball in Russia's attack and started the Eagles' counter. Matai Leuta dragged two defenders towards the try line before Baker raised his arm in support and took the pass over the line for a 26-7 score line after 11 minutes.

With time ticking away, the Eagles continued to search for ways to pad the lead. Lazarenko had other ideas, however, and benefitted from ill-disciplined defensive play to round out his hat trick with two second-half tries and bring the final score to 26-17.

The Eagles will play for a medal this weekend following a Challenge Trophy-winning campaign at Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens seven days ago. They will get the knockout round started Sunday at 5:48 a.m. ET in the Cup Quarterfinals against Scotland.

Men's Eagles Sevens | v. Russia

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

Russia | v. USA

1. Kevin Akuabu

2. German Davydov

3. Vladislav Sozonov

4. Vladislav Lazarenko

5. Dmitriy Perov

6. Vitaly Zhivatov

7. Eduard Filatov

8. Dmitry Sukhin

9. Roman Roshchin

10. Alexey Kapalin

11. Eme Patris Peki

12. Ilya Babaev

13. Ivan Kotov

Men's Eagles Sevens | 26

Tries: Barrett, Tomasin, Baker (2)

Conversions: Tomasin (3)

Discipline: Iosefo (Yellow)

Russia | 17

Tries: Lazarenko (3)

Conversions: Perov

Men's Eagles Sevens | HSBC Cape Town Sevens

v. Australia - W 19-0

v. South Africa - L 28-10

v. Russia - W 26-17

Cup QF v Scotland - Sunday, Dec. 11 @ 5:48 a.m. ET