Men's Sevens
33 12
5 5
Men's Sevens  @ Hong Kong Stadium
Hong Kong Sevens
  Craig Joubert (RSA)
Match 20

Five-try Eagles fly to top of pool in Hong Kong

 Michael Lee / KLC fotos

HONG KONG - The USA Men's Eagles Sevens saved the best for last in a 33-5 Pool D win against Argentina Saturday at Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens.

The U.S. finishes top of the pool for the second consecutive round of the 2016-17 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, and will match up with current circuit No. 2 England in Sunday's Cup Quarterfinals at Hong Kong Stadium. The knockout match is scheduled to kick off at 11:42 p.m. ET Saturday night, with the live stream available to viewers in the United States on World Rugby's website.

The Eagles have had Argentina's number this season, but were out of favor in the opening three minutes of Saturday's game. After drawing match official Craigh Joubert's whistle for offside in the opening minute, Andrew Durutalo was penalized for intentionally knocking down an Argentina pass. Perry Baker was guilty of the same infraction as the U.S.'s opponent neared the 22, though advantage was played. Jose Barros Sosa followed a teammate to the try line to pick up the ball from the ruck for the try.

Kept without the ball for three minutes, the Eagles looked to make Argentina pay with their first possession. Mike Te'o, in his first start of the season, won the ensuing restart before Durutalo combined with Martin Iosefo on a long run to the Argentina 10. Iosefo's pass out to the forward was dropped, however, and a chase tackle into touch by Stephen Tomasin saved a try from the set piece.

Interplay between the forwards continued from the lineout and led to space for Te'o to open his season scoring account with the match-tying try. He helped to win the restart for the Eagles with less than a minute remaining on the clock, and a quick tap from a high tackle on Danny Barrett put Folau Niua in a position to dummy under the posts.

The halftime lead of 12-5 was briefly in jeopardy when Maka Unufe gave away a scrum deep in the U.S. half from the restart. Franco Sabato dropped a final pass on the wing, however, and Baker was first to the ball for a 90-meter score, 19-5.

Matai Leuta found his way onto the scoresheet in the 11th minute after Te'o took the ball from the Argentine ruck. Captain Madison Hughes slotted a difficult conversion for a 26-5 lead, and Ben Pinkelman was inches away from adding another five points if not for being held up in-goal. The U.S. won the five-meter scrum, and Te'o scored his second try of the game by spinning out of a tackle and dotting down through another.

The 33-5 victory was more than enough to see the Eagles top their pool in Hong Kong. England lost its battle of undefeateds in Pool A to Australia, finishing runner-up for a Quarterfinal date with the U.S. The knockout match will be streamed live Saturday at 11:42 p.m. ET.

Men's Eagles Sevens | v. Argentina

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

Argentina | v. USA

1. Renzo Barbier

2. Lucas Belloto

3. Fernando Luna

4. Nicolas Menendez

5. Jose Barros Sosa

6. Matias Osadczuk

7. Lautaro Bazan Velez

8. German Schulz

9. Gaston Revol

10. Felipe del Mestre

11. Franco Sabato

12. Javier Rojas

13. Santiago Alvarez

Men's Eagles Sevens | 33

Tries: Te'o (2), Niua, Baker, Leuta

Conversions: Tomasin, Hughes (2)

Argentina | 5

Tries: Sosa

Conversions: N/A

Men's Eagles Sevens | Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens

v. Russia - W 14-7

v. Scotland - W 19-14

v. Argentina - W 33-5

Cup QF v. England - Saturday, April 8 @ 11:42 p.m. ET