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For the first time in USA Rugby history, the United States won the Cup Final in a leg of the HSBC World Series. The Eagles defeated Australia 43-22 to cap off a 6-0 weekend to win the London 7s.
The first minute of the game was all Wallabies. Australia opened the scoring with a try from Nic Malouf. The Australians worked the ball side to side and outflanked Andrew Durutalo out wide to go up 5-0 less than a minute into the match.
The United States responded off the ensuing restart. Durtutalo busted through a hole on the right and did well to keep possession despite being isolated. The Eagles swung the ball left to Danny Barrett who found a seam in the Australia defense. While being tackled he offloaded to an oncoming Madison Hughes. Hughes dotted down under the posts and converted the kick to lead 7-5.
The Eagles won possession off the kickoff and twice in as many minutes, Barrett busted through a gap, slipped a tackle and went one on one with the Australian sweeper. Barrett lowered his shoulder and barged over the last Wallaby to score under the posts.
Matai Leuta caught the kickoff and went untouched until he reached the Australian 22. The ball went right and Maka Unufe sent a skip pass to Barrett, who scored his second try of the half in the right hand corner.
Australia responded with a score from Lewis Holland after a couple of missed tackles from the United States. Holland slipped around an Eagle defender to cut the lead to 26-10.
The kickoff failed to go 10 meters and the Eagles continued to display great attacking prowess. .Leuta found the ball down the left sideline and offloaded in the tackle to Unufe. Unufe skipped through a tackle and found Folau Niua. In the tackle Niua returned the favor and found Unufe who scampered into the corner. The Eagles led 26-10 with little time left in the half.
The United States, who has been great on the restart all day, won another kickoff. The Eagles probed for more points but an unlucky forward pass ended the half.
The Eagles earned a penalty at the start of the second half and got on the board thanks to a piece of individual brilliance from Perry Baker. Baker stutter stepped down the left sideline and turned on the jets to get around a defender. He slipped the tackle and tip toed down the sideline before turning on the jets to score in the corner. With eight minutes remaining the Eagles led 33-10.
Australia refused to go away adding a try to cut the lead to 33-15. However, Unufe ended any hopes of a comeback, slicing through the center of the Australian defense for a 70-meter try. His second score of the day was his last touch on the afternoon as he came off for a substitute with five minutes to play.
At 38-15, the Eagles valiantly defended for the next three minutes. The Wallabies pressed the Eagle defense but a penalty at the goal line alleviated the pressure. The Eagles kicked to touch but lost possession on the lineout. The Wallabies pounced on a lose ball and dotted down under the posts to cut the lead to 38-22 with less than two minutes to play.
Carlin Isles fielded the restart and after a couple of phases substitute Thretton Palamo sealed the victory with a 60-meter try. The big forward didn’t play much this weekend, but the he made it count with a blistering run through the center of the Australian defense.
Australia searched for one last score but a knock on ended the contest. The 43-22 victory completed a weekend of great rugby and the first ever HSBC World Series Cup tournament victory.