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Ian Muir photo

The Eagles made it two-in-a-row with a 31-14 defeat of Australia Saturday in Cape Town, with Carlin Isles adding three scores to go with the two he notched in the tournament opener against New Zealand. The win improves the USA to 2-0 in pool play, and barring an upset by Spain and a massive point differential shift, will see them take the top seed out of the group. If chalk holds in Pool C, the Eagles will see Argentina in the quarterfinals on Sunday.

Australia won the opening kickoff and possessed the ball for the first minute and change begore wearing a hole in the American defense. Boyd Killingworth did the scoring. He ruffled the feathers of Danny Barrett in the process, resulting in a shoving match and an icy stare as they walked back to midfield.

Tomasin won an uncontested restart after the score, and off the first ruck, Carlin Isles picked the ball up from the base and raced in for a long-range try. Both conversions were made, knotting the game at 7-7.

Isles broke the stalemate with another pick-and-go try in the seventh minute. Danny Barrett rumbled violently up one touch line, and Madison Hughes danced into contact on the other. Isles swiped the ball from the ruck and snuck in for the score. The conversion was missed, putting the USA up 12-7.

The Eagles won the kickoff, and after a defensive penalty from Australia, the ball was spun wide to Isles, who found room on the edge for another score. The conversion was missed, and the Eagles took a 17-7 lead into the half.

It wouldn’t take but a couple of seconds for that to be extended, as Isles offloaded to Ben Pinkelman, who found a streaking Tomasin in an ocean of space. He carried it untouched for the score – 24-7 after the conversion.

Maka Unufe came on after the try, but he was sent off almost immediately with an intentional knock-on. Lachie Anderson converted the power play with a try for Australia, 24-14.

The Eagles did well to keep possession the rest of the two minutes. Off a midfield attacking lineout, Madison Hughes was brought down but not held in the tackle, and he popped back up and ran in untouched. He converted the score himself, securing the win for the Eagles.