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The USA got its first win of the season, 29-7, over a game Uganda side Friday in Dubai. The Eagles started slowly, as they had against Scotland to start the tournament, but Uganda also played well, leading to a 7-5 lead for the African champions at halftime.
Having played uncharacteristically poorly against Scotland, captain Madison Hughes didn't touch the field against Uganda, as Don Pati got the start.
The handling issues from the season-opening loss to Scotland carried over into this game, with Folau Niua sending a poor pass to Danny Barrett, which was knocked on. The Ugandans capitalized on the possession, chipping and chasing for the first score.
The Eagles won the restart, but gave possession away in their own end again. Miya was able to win it back in a ruck deep in the American end, and a give-and-go from Martin Iosefo to Stephen Tomasin and back resulted in a long-range try. Uganda converted its try and the USA, didn't - 7-5. That's how the half would end.
As sloppily as the Eagles had played through the first 21 minutes in Dubai, they played the opposite to start the second half. Perry Baker took the restart cleanly, and the Eagles played it wide efficiently to Iosefo, who sliced forward. He executed a five-and-go with Don Pati before feeding Andrew Durutalo for the go-ahead.
The Eagles didn't win the next kickoff, but turned Ugandan over quickly before sending Tomasin in. Then Kevin Williams came in for his debut. He sat a Ugandan defender down and floated a long pass to Iosefo for a try, making it 22-7.
Alec Gletzer subbed on to get his first appearance, and the Eagles took another restart. Barrett took a spill in a tip tackle that went unpunished, but the ball stayed alive and found itself in Tomasin's hands for his second score, which would be converted to close out the contest.
Cup Quarterfinal hopes now hinge on the pool finale against South Africa at 9:06 a.m. ET.