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Ian Muir photo

For the second-straight game, the Eagles dug themselves a hole they couldn’t get out of. This time it was against Spain in the 5th-place semifinal. Like Russia did in the quarterfinals, Spain jumped out to a 19-0 first-half lead.

Against Russia, the halftime score was 19-0, but against Spain the Eagles added one before the halftime hooter and two more through the second half to tie it up. Spain got the last laugh, scoring at full time to take the win. Ryan Carlyle scored two of the USA’s tries and Naya Tapper the third.

In the final pool match, the Eagles were blanked 31-0 by New Zealand. The result of the four-game skid (including the Dubai final) is a match against Ireland Sunday to determine 7th/8th place. The Eagles are now 1-3 in Sydney and 4-7 on the season.

As well, the Eagles will pay for the losing streak with a slide in the standings from second to fifth. They will be leapfrogged by Russia, Canada and New Zealand, two of whom they lost to this weekend.