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The USA team has lost 21-10 to Kenya in the second round of the Tokyo 7s.
The game itself was exciting and extremely physical, but in the end Kenya's defense was a little better than that of the Eagles, and the Americans made too many mistakes. With the loss, the USA is 1-1 in pool play, with a points difference of -9. Kenya is 1-1 and at -1. To make the Cup Quarterfinals, the USA needs to beat Scotland, and hope Wales beats Kenya, or, if Kenya wins, the USA needs to win by nine more than Kenya wins by, or must beat Scotland by 12.
The Eagles kicked off the Kenya did well to work the phases before getting a penalty in the ruck. They tapped quickly but fumbled the ball. However, they still put the USA under pressure as Kenya scrummed the Eagles right off the ball.
Eventually the USA defense held, with a superb tackle from Folau Niua got the USA on the attack.
It took a lot of work to get the ball into Kenyan territory, but the USA finally did. A half-break from Colin Hawley allowed him to offload to Matt Hawkins, but the pass was a difficult one to catch and the captain dropped it. Still in the Kenyan end, the USA tried to bottle Kenya up, and gave up a penalty right on the tryline. Kenya tapped quickly, and worked their support well to run 97 meters to score.
Down 7-0 the Eagles had about a minute to get those points back. They were unlucky to see Colin Hawley yellow carded - he thought a penalty from referee Kevin White was for the USA and tried to tap and run, when it was actually against the USA. Hawley was sin-binned for killing the ball.
Kenya were patient and did well to free up Sidney Ashioya for the try and a 14-0 lead.
In the second half, the USA had the ball for much of the time, but could not break through the Kenyan defense. Several half-breaks saw Nick Edwards, Niua, Hawkins, and Zack Test close to the tryline, but no one could get it over. Eventually they turned the ball over thanks to a penalty, and Kenya seemed off for another try. Hawley, back on the field from his sin-binning, raced all the way back and across the field to make a startling try-saving tackle. He then nabbed the ball, and passed out to Shalom Suniula. Suniula started a counter-attack from his own in-goal that went through the hands of everyone (except the exhausted Hawley, who deserved a breath of air), and ended when Test circled around Edwards, took the pass, and scored in the corner.
It was a beautiful try, but with the conversion no good, the Eagles still had to score twice.
Sub Carlin isles made a nice run, and recycled the ball, but on the wing, Luke Hume tried a kick, despite having numbers on his left. Hume was tripped up chasing the ball, and from the ensuing lineout, Kenya was all the way.
Test and Andrew Durutalo made inspiring, try-saving tackles, but the Kenyan support was there to finish it off.
With time up, the Eagles knew that points difference might decide this pool, so they kept playing, and sent Isles around the corner for a try.
But it wasn't enough. The USA played with a lot of heart, but made crucial errors early in the match, and couldn't break through the Kenyan defense when they were able to sustain possession.
The scenarios now look like this:
USA beats Scotland and Kenya ties or loses, USA in Cup Quarterfinals.
Kenya beats Wales and USA beats Scotland by 12, USA in Cup Quarterfinals.
USA ties Scotland and Kenya loses to Wales, USA in Cup Quarterfinals.
USA beats Scotland and Kenya beats Wales, but USA winning margin 9 points higher than Kenya's, USA in Cup Quarterfinals.
Any other scenario means USA does not make the Cup Quarterfinals.
Tries: Test, Isles
Tries: Ouma, Ashioya, Ombachi
Convs: Biko Adams