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Zack Test against Kenya. Martin Seras Lima photo

Everything went the USA’s way in the final pool match of the day, as the Eagles beat Kenya, 33-5. There was little to criticize, and a lot to praise. In their final two pool matches, the USA outscored Wales and Kenya, collectively, 71-17

It was a methodic start for the Eagles. Kenya knocked on the opening kickoff, so the Eagles took possession right away. The ball was swung to one sideline, Zack Test drew in some defenders, the ball was moved swiftly to the other end, and Danny Barrett bowled into the try zone.

Another Kenyan misstep, this time being dragged into touch, led to the next American try. Folau Niua darted diagonally off the lineout, and Maka Unufe took a switch under the posts, keeping balance through a tackle attempt.

Kenya nearly got some points back with a minute left in the first half. An American turnover in the attacking end gave the Kenyans the ball, and it took a last gasp cover tackle from Madison Hughes to prevent a try.

After one botched try attempt right on halftime, the USA caught a break. Niua made a break, passed to Martin Iosefo, who yielded to a streaking Carlin Isles. Kenya bottle him up, and in the ensuing contact area the Eagles committed an offside penalty. Kenya kicked to touch with no time left, but the lineout had to be played. Test tapped it to his team, and the ball was moved to Isles, who turned the corner for a try. The USA led 19-0 at the break.

Kenya won the kickoff opening the second half, but some good work by Test in the breakdown turned the ball over, and after some passing back and forth, he’d be the one to break the line and dot down. The conversion saw the USA take a 26-0 lead.

The floodgates remained open after the Eagles took the kickoff. Isles offloaded to Niua, who offloaded to Hughes for the score. Up 33-0, the Eagles had taken a chunk out of South Africa’s massive point differential in the pool table. A couple of more tries could have kept the pool title on the table, pending the result of the South Africa vs. Wales game to follow, but Kenya scored in garbage time to form the final score.  

With the win, the Eagles will advance to the Cup Quarterfinals for the first time this season and face New Zealand, which beat England, 5-0, to claim Pool D.

USA 33
Tries: Barrett, Hughes, Isles, Test, Unufe
Cons: Hughes (3)

Kenya 5
Tries: Wamalwa