Men's Sevens
31 19
14 7
Men's Sevens  @ Twickenham Stadium
London Sevens
  Craig Joubert

Three for Baker as Eagles win fifth Quarterfinal of the season in London

 Martin Seras Lima

LONDON - The Men's Eagles Sevens will continue in their search for a second Cup on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series following a 31-14 defeat of Australia in Sunday's HSBC London Sevens Cup Quarterfinal.

Perry Baker extended his lead atop the season's try-scoring table with a hat trick of five-pointers in the victory, with Maka Unufe scoring twice in a blistering opening five minutes from Head Coach Mike Friday's squad. The Eagles, who won their only Series Cup at Twickenham Stadium two years ago, will play Scotland in the Cup Semifinal at 9:48 a.m. ET. The match will be streamed live online on World Rugby's website.

Having created a hole on Day One with a pool-opening loss, the Eagles knew the importance of a strong start to the day Sunday. Another start for Unufe proved vital in the restart game, though James Stannard's first failed to travel 10 meters for a U.S. tap at midfield. Ben Pinkelman ran down the wing twice as the Eagles stretched the defense before captain Madison Hughes took on a defender to create space for Baker, who opened the scoring, 5-0.

Unufe did not allow Australia to get clean hands to the restart, forcing a knock from the opposition. The Eagles won the scrum and went one way before Baker sent it back towards the opposite touch line, where Unufe challenged the defenders at the 22 for the 12-0 score.

The fifth-minute restart again went the way of Unufe and the U.S., but Australia kicked the ball downfield after the Eagles gave up possession in the same manner. Folau Niua won possession with the chase, and Unufe dummied a defender and fended another at his own 10 for an untouched run to the posts, 19-0.

Apart from the kick in the build up to the fifth-minute try, Australia had not created any offense in the game up to that point. Unufe's knock on the restart gave Australia a chance to do so, and Alex Gibbon put his side on the scoreboard after it initially lost possession to an interception by Baker in the attacking half. The try brought the halftime score to 19-7.

The Eagles took the ball from Australia after a heavy Stephen Tomasin tackle inside midfield in the eighth minute, and a quick recycle to the wing saw Baker in for his second, 26-7. Australia had a 10th-minute lineout stolen by the U.S., from which Baker fended off of a defender at the 22 to tally his third of the game and the Eagles' fifth for an insurmountable, 31-7, advantage. With reserves on the field, Simon Kennewell added a consolation try for Australia for a 31-14 final.

Finishing ahead of Australia in London means the U.S. will hold onto fifth place in the Series standings for the highest-ever Series finish. The Eagles had a run of four consecutive Cup Semifinals end last weekend in Paris, and have earned the right to medal once again with a fifth Semifinal appearance of the season. Scotland beat New Zealand with a late try at Twickenham Stadium to set up a 9:48 a.m. ET Semifinal matchup against the Eagles, which will be streamed live via World Rugby's website.

Men's Eagles Sevens | v. Australia

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

Australia | v. USA

1. Tom Kingston

2. Simon Kennewell

3. Nick Malouf

4. Alex Gibbon

5. James Stannard

6. John Porch

7. Tim Anstee

8. Dylan Pietsch

9. Boyd Killingworth

10. Liam McNamara

11. Brandon Quinn

12. Lachie Anderson

13. Charlie Taylor

Men's Eagles Sevens | 31

Tries: Baker (3), Unufe (2)

Conversions: Hughes (3)

Australia | 14

Tries: Gibbon, Kennewell

Conversions: Stannard (2)

Men's Eagles Sevens | HSBC London Sevens

v. Wales - L 28-12

v. Kenya - W 47-0

v. South Africa - W 24-12

Cup QF v. Australia - W 31-14

Cup SF v. Scotland - Sunday, May 21 @ 9:48 a.m. ET