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The Eagles downed Papua New Guinea 42-12 in the semifinals of the Challenge Cup at Hamilton 7s. The United States power and pace proved too much for the tournament debutants.
The United States looked to get on the board first, despite going backwards for the first couple of minutes. The Eagles worked left to right and Maka Unufe cut back inside alluding several defenders in the process. He offloaded to Kevon Williams who sprinted down the sideline but was ultimately shoved into touch.
Papua New Guinea worked the ball forward but ultimately turned it over to the USA. The Island Nation was then called for an intentional knock and lost a player to the sin bin.
With the man advantage, Williams found a hole in the center of the defense and cruised in for the opening score. With the conversion, the Eagles led 7-0.
The USA extended the lead with Perry Baker’s seventh try of the tournament. Martin Iosefo drew two defenders and executed a perfect switch with Baker. The speedster ran through the gap for a try under the posts and a 14-0 lead.
The Eagles capped off the first half with another score. Williams got his second on the day, breaking through the left side and holding off a defender for a try in the corner. At the half, the USA led 21-0.
The moment continued in the second half. Unufe beat a defender and slipped a one handed offload to Matai Leuta sprinted in for a converted try 30 seconds into the half.
The USA poured continued to pour it on. Unufe tapped the kickoff backwards to Iosefo. The island nation left the center of the field wide open and Iosefo marched in under the posts.
PNG finally got on the board after Carlin Isles slipped off a tackle. Isles got some revenge, however, as he took the kickoff and beat a number of players for a last minute score.
PNG added a consolation try to end their campaign but the Eagles advanced to the Challenge Final with a 42-12.