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With Carlin Isles leading from the front with a second-straight hat-trick, Team USA beat Scotland 33-12 in the Challenge Trophy semifinals Sunday in Singapore.
The game started in a flurry, with Carlin Isles making a break and being miraculously caught. Scotland turned the ball over and went on attack, but knocked on what might have been the final pass ina scoring possession.
Isles gave Scotland another prime opportunity by being penalized for no-releasing in a tackle deep in the American end, giving Scotland a five-meter attacking lineout. But the throw was way off, switching possession back to the USA.
And it would be Isles scoring the other direction, after the Eagles tired out a broken Sottish defense enough to give the speed space on the wing. Isles hesitated, then turned outside and blow the doors off his opposite for the opening try. The conversion was good – 7-0 after four-and-a-half minutes.
Isles doubled up in the final minute. This time, much of the work was done for him. Stephen Tomasin stated the possession by jinking through the middle of the field, and when it came back to him a couple of phases later, he hit a sprinting Isles in stride for the score.
There was time enough for one more kickoff, and Isles nearly scored again, over running his own chip and chase with no time left. But Scotland gathered possession, and with the help of a penalty and yellow card against Danny Barrett, scored right on halftime to cut the deficit to five.
Scotland scored first on the other side of the break, too, tying the game at 12-12. Robbie Fergusson dotted down after a kick ahead by Scotland was missed by its target and Tomasin before Fergusson, the kicker, came on to scoop it up and score in the corner. The conversion was missed – tie game.
Barrett came back on the pitch and scored immediately, taking hard switch off the sideways running Williams more than half the length of the pitch to reestablish the lead for the Eagles. Tomasin slotted the conversion, making it 19-12 with just over three minutes to play.
Isles bagged his second hat-trick in a row to slam the door shut. He came to a complete standstill, freezing the defense, swerved around one on the outside, cut back to the inside of a swinging arm and jogged under the posts.
Cody Melphy got in on the action, too scoring his first World Series try in spectacular fashion. He gathered a loose ball, popped a kick over the defense’s head, grabbed it on the jog and dove over.