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Team USA claimed the Challenge Trophy in Singapore Sunday with a 26-12 defeat of rival Canada. The win caps off a perfect day two, after the Eagles suffered a 1-2 opening day. The result sees them pass Argentina in the standings, but Kenya has caught up, forcing a tie for fifth place.
There are two tournaments left this season – London and Paris. The team will now head home for recovery, and to take account of a building injury situation, before returning to action in June.
Martin Iosefo’s opening kickoff went out the back of the in-goal, giving Canada the first taste of possession. It took two American penalties, but Mike Fuialefau finally capitalized in the corner for Canada, taking the initial lead. Nathan Hirayama’s conversion attempt failed – 5-0.
The Eagles responded quickly. Danny Barrett caught the kickoff, and Iosefo made the first threatening run, offloading inside to Kevon Williams, who trotted the rest of the way for a try. The extras were banked, giving Team USA a two-point lead.
Hirayama snatched it away with a long-range try. He touched the ball three different times on the possession, playing distributor and finisher, eventually accelerating through an offload for the try. He slotted the two points himself, putting Canada up five with a minute to play in the half.
USA’s man of the weekend wouldn’t let the half end without him getting his, though. Isles scooped up a loose ball at the death and used every centimeter of grass in play to beat the last man and round the corner. The conversion was nailed, putting the Americans up two points going into the break.
Tomasin put the Eagles up a full converted try with the opening score of the second half. He had one man to beat, kicked and regathered to finish off a brilliant individual performance. Williams added one of his own, stiff-arming one and splitting two more for the try. The conversion made it 26-12.