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Ian Muir photo

In their second game of the tournament, Team USA defeated Wales 33-12, clinching a spot in Saturday's quarterfinals. There was a power outage at the stadium, so there was no broadcast of the match and no scoring details are available via World Rugby. 

The win setup a pool final with also undefeated New Zealand, a game in which the Eagles never got out of the starting blocks. The Eagles ran into some misfortune early, and coupled with an uncharacteristically poor performance by Perry Baker, it was enough to sink the USA. The Eagles will likely draw Fiji in the quarterfinals. 

Baker was lost to the sin bin on the opening kickoff after undercutting an All Black who’d gone up for the ball. The Eagles did well to make New Zealand work for it, exhausting nearly the entire two minutes before Sam Dickson finally scored to take advantage of the power play. 

The Eagles were blanketed by the All Blacks on their first meaningful possession, and a lack of options led Folau Niua to throw a long miss pass that missed all targets and wound up in Kiwi hands. The Eagle defense held long enough for Danny Barrett to win possession back in the breakdown via a holding-on penalty against New Zealand.

The Eagles elected for the lineout and won the set piece, but referee Richard Haughton obstructed the out pass, allowing New Zealand’s defense to cut off the play before it got going. The Eagles knocked on under the undue pressure, and New Zealand scored right off the scrum. Both conversions were made, putting New Zealand up 14-0 going into the break.

Baker won the kickoff to start the second half, but the pososession was ended when he knocked on shortly thereafter. One phase after the scrum, Dylan Collier scored by catching a stagnant offload at the try line and fighting past Ben Pinkelman for the grounding. The conversion was no good – 19-0.

Handling woes continued for the Eagles, who struggled to get anything going even through a Kiwi yellow card. Finally, Isles found some room on the wing outside a Kiwi forward, which he converted into the USA’s first score of the match. It was too little, too late, and New Zealand managed one more score before the final hooter to boot.