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The Eagles took a two-try lead over Australia in the first half, but a controversial late try from Australia stole the win, 24-19, from the Eagles at the death.
Australia won the opening restart, but Andrew Durutalo cleanly poached the ball on the first tackle of the game. He offloaded to Nick Edwards, who dished to a streaking Brett Thompson for his fifth try of the tournament.
Suniula converted and extended the lead a few minutes later after an Australian penalty gave the Eagles an attacking platform in Australian territory. They spun it wide to Durutalo, who offloaded to Brett Thompson. Suniula ran a hard line off the Arizona Wildcat and scampered in untouched, and then converted.
Zack Test was undercut on the next restart, giving Australia possession straight away off the kickoff, and they spun it straight wide to Cameron Clark, who raced in with relative ease along the touch line. The conversion attempt was missed, leaving the Eagles up 14-5 at halftime.
Australia kept the momentum through intermission, as Lewis Holland scored off of a give-and-go, converted, to pull Australia within two. The possession was setup by a knock-on from Matt Hawkins and a penalty from Andrew Durutalo for playing the ball on the ground.
The Eagles couldn’t get out of their own end on the next possession, and Hawkins getting tackled in isolation gave the ball back to Australia. After a couple of more penalties at the breakdown from the USA, Holland touched down his second try to put Australia up 17-14.
Nick Edwards then took the ball nearly 80 meters to regain the lead, fending off Cameron Clark and putting America back up 19-17 with under 40 seconds left on the clock. But there was still time for a restart.
Australia broke down a tired American defense with patience and nearly went the distance of the field. A desperate tackle from Matt Hawkins brought the Australians down inside the five-meter line.
The next ball carrier was cut down just before the line, reached out to set
the ball in the try zone, but he couldn’t reach it. He then set it back to
be played again, certainly looking like a double movement. But the
infringement wasn’t called and Australia scored, giving it a second win
over the USA at the death this weekend. On to the Plate semifinal.
Tries: Thompson, Suniula, Edwards
Cons: Suniula (2)
Tries: Clark, Holland (2), Stannard
Cons: Stannard, Clark