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The United States finished day one at Wellington winless with a 19-19 tie
with Scotland. The Eagles boasted a 14-0 lead in the first half, but an
injury time score from Scotland jump started a comeback.
Carlin Isles kicked off the scoring with a bizarre try. He ran backwards and sideways, but found enough space on the outside of Scotland’s defense. Once in the open field, he cut back against the sweeper and scored easily.
The Eagles put their second try on the board immediately following the restart. The USA won the kickoff, Isles passed to Madison Hughes, who put Nick Edwards into a hole he exploited for five more points.
Scotland nearly got on the board when the Eagles were caught without a sweeper, but Nick Edwards showed some good recovery speed and forced the Scots to fly kick the ball through in-goal.
Scotland then caught a break when Danny Barrett kicked the ball away after being harshly called for offside and received a yellow card. Mark Robertson chose to toe through the ball from five meters out and burrow into the try zone, but Hughes did well to hold the ball up. The USA defense finally broke when the Eagles were called for a penalty at the ensuing scrum and Andrew Turnbull quickly ran in. The touch line conversion was missed, leaving the Eagles up 14-5.
The USA was awarded a lineout straight off the kickoff, and they swung the ball wide to Nick Edwards at midfield. He had Isles with space to his outside, but chose to take contact instead of pass, lost the ball and Scotland scored seconds later. The successful conversion closed the difference to two at 14-12.
Scotland sent the next restart straight into touch, and the Eagles would take advantage. Isles made the initial line break before being bottle up. The ball was recycled, and Danny Barrett charged forward and offloaded to Pono Haitsuka, who found Hughes for the score. The very makeable conversion was missed by Folau Niua, keeping Scotland within a converted try at 19-12.
Sloppy defensive structure and some missed tackles, two from Niua, saw Andrew Turnbull score what would be the leveling try when converted.
Scotland won the ensuing restart, lost the ball forward, stole it back against the head and eventually kicked a penalty to touch to end the game in a tie. Because of a better point differential, the tie was good enough to see Scotland finish third in the pool and the USA fourth. The Eagles will now move to the Bowl Quarterfinals, where they’ll likely meet France at 8:05pm ET Friday.
Tries: Isles, Edwards, Hughes
Cons: Hughes 2
Tries: Turnbull 2, Glashan
Cons: Gregor 2