You are here
A Perry Baker hat-trick and Martin Iosefo extracting a tooth from James Stannard’s head highlighted a 31-14 win for the Eagles over Australia in the London 7s quarterfinals Sunday. The Eagles now advance to the semifinals to face the winner of New Zealand versus Scotland at 9:48 a.m. ET.
Australia opened the game with a kickoff, but it didn’t go 10 meters, giving the USA the ball with a free kick at midfield. The Aussies deployed a blitz defense, which took the Eagles two phases to unlock when Madison Hughes ran forward and fed Baker for the opening try.
Maka Unufe scored the second try seconds later. Mike Friday put Baker on one side and Unufe on the other, giving the Eagles world class speed on both end of the pitch. Australia couldn’t cope, and Unufe just raced around Stannard.
Australia earned its first real possession shortly after the next restart but kicked it away, and all it took was one phase for Unufe to get his double. He got the ball in the first receiver position, and Australia again rushed up to try and prevent the ball getting wide to the speed, and Unufe sold a hard dummy before slicing upfield and waltzing in.
Australia stopped the bleeding right before halftime. A long cut-out pass stressed the American defense and Australia was good enough to hold onto the ball and patient enough to find the hole. The USA converted two of its tries and Australia made its lone kick, making the score 19-7 at halftime.
The Eagles regained possession at the onset of the second half, winning the restart. This time Unufe and Baker were next to each other, Unufe offloaded out of contact to Baker, who spun out of a tackle and darted past the Australian defense. The kick was good – 26-7.
It took two possessions for the USA to cross the line again, with Tomasin being pushed to touch ending the first. The second concluded with a long skip pass from Martin Iosefo to Baker and the wing delivering a stiff-arm while walking the tight rope en route to pay dirt.
On the next kickoff, Martin Iosefo collected the ball after a knock-on, and before Craig Joubert could blow the whistle, he collided with Stannard, knocking a tooth out of the Australian’s mouth. Play was paused for a second while Stannard handed his tooth to someone on the sideline.
The consolation for Australia came via a try at the death following a pair of American penalties. It was inconsequential, though.