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Team USA lost back-to-back games on day two to bow out of Cape Town tied for eighth place. Sunday started with a winnable Cup quarterfinal against Scotland, but the Scots extended their winning streak over the USA to six with a 24-19 overtime win. The Eagles, with Folau Niua in street clothes and a shoulder sling having apparently suffered an injury against Scotland, then fell 28-12 to Fiji in what used to be the Plate semifinal.
The Scotland game was there for the Eagles to win. A first-half brace of tries from Perry Baker and a pair of quick-strike scores from Scotland saw the Eagles trail 14-12 at halftime. The USA then took a second-half lead with a try from Martin Iosefo, who stole the ball off a defensive scrum. Stephen Tomasin added a conversion, putting the Eagles up 19-14.
It would stay that way until the 13th minute, when James Fleming leveled the table. The would-be-winning conversion attempt was missed, leaving the game knotted at 19-19. There was time for another restart, but neither team could mount any real threat, forcing overtime. Indiscipline undid the Eagles in the extra period, as penalties mounted up and led to Scotland winning with a sudden death try.
The USA's final contest of the tournament started with a flurry of knock-ons. Danny Barrett had the kickoff come forward off him, Fiji returned the favor, and then the Eagles gave it back. From a scrum deep in its own end, a simple switch move by Fiji set Osea Kolinisau free for a long-range try. The score was converted, putting the USA down 7-0.
The second score came on the ensuing restart. Maka Unufe skied to tap the kickoff back to his team, but Fiji scooped it up on the bounce. All it took was one offload to set up the score, 14-0.
Possession wasn't easy for the Eagles to come by in the first half, but when they got it they didn't cherish it. Wayward offloads and panicked ball placement saw Fiji on attack most of the opening seven minutes. Playing so much defense seemed to gas the Eagles, and Fiji managed a third score before the half when a long spell of possession ended with an exhausted Barrett being beaten easily around the corner, 21-0.
A renewed spark saw the USA get on the board quickly in the second half. Kevon Williams took the opening kickoff, and a phase later Don Pati rammed into contact. He was brought down, but fought to his feet and regathered the ball, bullying his way past the Fijian defense for a try. The conversion was missed, and the restart didn't go 10 meters, giving Fiji a midfield free kick with a three-score lead.
The American defense held stiff for a couple of minutes, making the Fijians work to earn the death knell score. It was again a tired defense that got beat, with Jerry Tuwai taking a switch under the posts. The restart went awry, giving the USA a free kick. This time the Eagles maintained possession long enough to wear down Fiji, and Williams managed a try with time expired. It was converted, bringing the final score to 28-12.