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The United States dropped to 0-2 in Dubai with a 26-10 loss at the hands of Australia Saturday. The game mirrored the earlier loss to England in many ways, and it sees the Eagles relegated to the Bowl competition on day two, as Australia and England have punched their tickets to the Cup rounds.
Australia kicked off to start the contest, and the ball didn’t go 10 meters. The Eagles ran a set play off the free kick, and Zack Test made a big line break. Ultimately, Danny Barrett had a go on the opposite side of the field, but was bundled into touch. No harm, no foul, though, as the Eagles won the lineout, and Martin Iosefo was able to breach the Australian defense for his first international try in his first start.
Australia’s rebuttal was made possible by an American penalty. Test was called for going off his feet at the breakdown, and the Aussies were already on the front foot after a couple of forward-charging phases, so when they quick-tapped, they were able to cruise in for the try. Their conversion attempt was true, giving them the 7-5 lead.
Cameron Clark extended that lead off a scrum shortly following the restart. He darted right through the center of the American defense, setting up an easy kick – Australia 14-5 going into the break. For the second game in a row, the Eagles struck first, but melted in the latter part of the opening half to find themselves in a hole.
Also for the second game in a row, the Eagles were stung by some questionable policing of the breakdown. Test was called for not releasing the ball carrier in the tackle, even though he was not the tackler, came in on his feet, and competed for the ball. Australia kicked for territory and found space on the wing for a third try off the set piece.
Mike Friday made wholesale substitutions, resulting in a long-range Carlin Isles try with about two minutes to play. The conversion was missed, making the score 21-10. Australia struck back immediately, though, erasing all hope of a comeback.
Tries: Isles, Iosefo
Tries: Clark, Fou, Jenkins (2)
Cons: Clark, Stannard (2)