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Ian Muir photo

Unlike in the pool opener, the Eagles would jump out to a big lead against Scotland, converting it to a 26-12 win. It sees them to 1-1 in Sydney. They can punch their ticket to the quarterfinals with a win over Canada in the pool finale.

Scotland owned possession early, with the Eagles’ only early touch being a lineout after Folau Niua tackled a Scottish player into touch. Scotland won the lineout, but Perry Baker popped up a pass, hauled it in and strode in for the opening score.

The Eagles doubled up in short order, with Baker offloading to Maka Unufe, who offloaded to Danny Barrett for the score. Barrett couldn’t just put the ball down, he had to round the corner, slipping another tackle in-goal, before centering.

The third try might have been even quicker, with Unufe skying for the restart, tapping it back to Pen Pinkelman. The Eagles moved it quickly wide to Stephen Tomasin, who won the race to the corner.

The next score was the best yet. Martin Iosefo tapped back the restart this time and Tomasin gathered. Niua recognized there was no sweeper and poked a kick through for Baker to gather and score. Three conversions were made, putting the Eagles up 26-0 at halftime.

Scotland caught some breaks at the onset of the first half, with Pinkelman being penalized for tackling from the seat of his pants and Barrett being pinged for diving over at a ruck. The Scots couldn’t convert the opportunity, though, eventually failing to connect on a cross kick. From the ensuing lineout, the ball was spun to Carlin Isles, who lost control and ran into touch.

From the attacking lineout Unufe was penalized for a high tackle, giving Scotland a third attacking penalty. This time Nayacavou broke through a half gap and fed Scott Riddell to erase the goose egg. The conversion was good – 26-7 with under four minutes to play.

Scotland’s second score was setup by a Nayacavou offload. It took another pass in contact to break the American defense, but the score would prove inconsequential.