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The United States strung together two comprehensive wins in a row, beating Japan 26-5 in the Bowl Quarterfinals and Portugal 33-0 in the Bowl semis. Up next for the Eagles is France in the Bowl Final.

Against Japan, Folau Niua, Zack Test and Perry Baker scored in the first half to build a 21-0 lead. Carlin Isles chipped in a fourth try for good measure, putting the USA up 26-0 and well out of danger. Japan mustered a score at the death to prevent a shut out.

The USA started quick against Portugal, too. Os Lobos got a penalty on the opening kickoff, as Garrett Bender was whistled for taking out a Portuguese player in the air. Kicking to touch was the option chosen, but Portugal missed long on the lineout. Bender scooped up the loose ball, which was zipped through the hands to Perry Baker. He scorched around Aderito Esteves on the edge of the Portuguese defense to give the USA the 5-0 lead.  

Zack Test took the ensuing restart, and the Eagles swung the ball to Baker again. This time, he didn’t have space, but drew in a couple of defenders and pulled back, allowing the ball to go back to the opposite touch line. Test juked twice back inside and set Durutalo free for the try.

Portugal managed some possession for the next few minutes, as the Eagles had the reins pulled back on them at the breakdown by referee Federico Anselmi, but Baker would glide around the Portuguese defense on halftime to extend the lead.

Baker capped off the hat-trick in the opening minute of the second half, but Madison Hughes did all the work on this one. He darted through the Portuguese defense, committed the last defender and dished to Baker, who strolled casually under the posts.

Mike Friday emptied his bench in the blowout, and Carlin Isles added to the try tally off the bench, victimizing Esteves near the touch line once more.

USA 26-5 Japan
Tries: Niua, Test, Baker, Isles
Cons: Hughes (3)

USA 33-0 Portugal
Tries: Baker (3), Isles, Durutalo
Cons: Hughes (3), Niua

Comments

No slight to Isles but Baker is more fit for this 7s team and Friday made the correct move in starting him on Day 2. Baker is bigger, longer, fast and has a high rugby IQ. 3-0 on day 2 showed a lot of growth and maturity from this team. Hopefully they can build off this for the rest of the circuit.
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