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The Eagles lost to Scotland 14-12, a chance to tie in the Bowl semi-finals failed when the conversion at the death fell short. The kick ended the USA’s disappointing Paris 7s tournament.
The day at Stade Jean Bouin – cloudy, cold, and overcast – started with a narrow 19-17 win against Portugal, the Eagles hanging on after a 19-5 start. Zach Test had two individual tries, one almost 80 meters. Baker saved a try with a last minute tackle marking one of several come from behind take downs during the team’s five games.
An indication of careless Eagles play came when a slow, loft ball was passed from inside the Eagles’ try zone at the far line all the way to mid goal post (instead of back to the nearest player for a safe clear), which produced a Portugal knock on, but could have been the easiest try of the tournament.
A sinbin sendoff reduced the USA to six men with a few minutes left. Then Estevez, the powerful Portuguese winger broke for the try zone, met Baker’s strong tackle head on, and overpowered the Eagle defender. It was 19-12. The Portugal kick failed from the corner. Victory, barely, for the USA 19-17.
The Scotland game began with a quick Scot’s score and conversion, the USA down 7-0. Baker made a spectacular run into the far corner of the end zone. Instead of touching for a score, smartly, he waited for back up, passed to a teammate who scored under the posts for an easy conversion. Play see-sawed back and forth with both teams making scoring moves without success. Scotland made some clever off-loads for try under the posts, going ahead 14-7 with seconds ticking off the clock,
The Eagles fought back, the runners desperately trying to keep the ball in the middle of the field to score near the posts. First Baker than Barret battled close to the try line, their forays stopped by Scotland. As the rooster sounded, time ended, and the USA managed to score at the far line. Hughes’ kick was short.