Men's Sevens
47 26
0 0
Men's Sevens  @ Twickenham Stadium
London Sevens
  Ben Crouse

Breakout Eagles better London standing against Kenya

 Martin Seras Lima

LONDON - Folau Niua celebrated his 50th HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournament with his 50th try Saturday, his first of two in the Men's Eagles Sevens' 47-0 win against Kenya at HSBC London Sevens.

Stephen Tomasin also crossed the try line twice as Head Coach Mike Friday's side rebounded from a lackluster performance against Wales with seven tries and none conceded to better its point differential to plus-31. The U.S. will need a win against South Africa at 12:32 p.m. ET and positive results elsewhere if it is to keep its Cup qualification streak alive. The final round of the season can be streamed live on World Rugby's website.

The Eagles have been the best performers on the circuit in terms of retaining restarts, but were undone by lack of possession as well as unenforced errors earlier in the day at Twickenham Stadium. Against Kenya, Friday gave the rangy Maka Unufe a start to secure those set pieces, which paid dividends. He won the first before the U.S. quickly recycled possession, finishing off the initial attack via Niua from a quick tap.

Niua, another important piece of the restart game, followed his second-minute kick as it was knocked backwards by Unufe. In stride, the playmaker beat the defense to dot down for his second in 60 seconds for the Eagles' 14-0 lead. The two again combined to win the fourth-minute restart before Ben Pinkelman and Andrew Durutalo kept play alive in the tackle area to feed Series-leading try-scorer Perry Baker, 19-0.

Captain Madison Hughes converted both of Niua's tries and got in on the action in the seventh minute, taking the ball from a won scrum 25 meters from the Kenyan try line, daring the defense to make the first move. He slipped through the gain line with pace and beat a defender over the try line for a 26-0 lead at the break.

The second half did not start quite as quickly as the first as Baker lost the restart forward, but Kenya found life difficult even with possession as Durutalo and Pinkelman combined to win the ball back in the breakdown. Durutalo provided the assist for Tomasin's first from the ensuing lineout, and a 12th-minute Kenyan knock from the restart preceded Baker setting up Pinkelman for the 40-0 score line.

Pinkelman's try - his second in London Saturday - was converted with enough time on the game clock for Kenya to mount one final attack from a failed Baker chip-and-chase. The reserves inserted by Friday were not going to let the shutout disappear, however, as Mike Te'o stripped his opposite number of the ball as he neared midfield. Tomasin had an open lane to the try zone for the 47-0 try and conversion, and a last attack by the U.S. was ended to a knock for the final score line.

A nail-biter between Series Champion South Africa and Wales nearly ended in a draw, but the Blitzboks pulled out the 14-12 win. Should Wales beat Kenya to finish pool play 2-1, the Eagles will need a win against South Africa to advance to the Quarterfinals. The deciding Pool A match for the U.S. is scheduled to kick off at 12:32 p.m. ET, with the live stream available on World Rugby's Sevens Series website.

Men's Eagles Sevens | v. Kenya

1. Alex Schwarz

2. Ben Pinkelman

3. Don Pati

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. Naima Fualaau

Kenya | v. USA

1. Derick Mayar Dulo

2. Bush Mwale

3. Frank Wanyama

4. Augustine Lugonzo

5. Billy Odhiambo

6. Darwin Kinyangi

7. Eden Agero

8. Andrew Amonde

9. Nelson Oyoo

10. Samuel Oliech

11. Brian Tanga

12. Dennis Ombachi

Men's Eagles Sevens | 47

Tries: Niua (2), Baker, Hughes, Tomasin (2), Pinkelman

Conversions: Hughes (5), Tomasin

Kenya | 0

Tries: N/A

Conversions: N/A

Men's Eagles Sevens | HSBC London Sevens

v. Wales - L 28-12

v. Kenya - W 47-0

v. South Africa - Saturday, May 20 @ 12:32 p.m. ET