Eagles move to Shield competition at Glasgow Sevens

GLASGOW, Scotland – The Men’s Eagles Sevens could not keep up with the pace of Samoa Sunday at Emirates Airline Glasgow Sevens, losing 31-12 in the Bowl Quarterfinal.

The Eagles will play for the Shield in their next match against Japan at 8:46 A.M. ET.

It took less than 30 seconds for Samoa to get on the scoreboard. Danny Barrett jumped in the air to knock the kickoff back for the Eagles, but they lost the ball and a quick run from Levi Asifa’amatala set up Ritchie Ah Chong for the opening try.

Samoa’s speed was evident throughout the match, but the Eagles held strong in the early going. In the fifth minute, Barrett sent a grubber kick into the try zone for Garrett Bender to chase. Bender and Ah Chong both slid for the ball on the wet pitch but Bender managed to apply downward pressure first, putting five points on the scoreboard for the Eagles to make it 7-5.

Samoa again found its way in the Eagles half and Tulolo Tulolo took a quick tap from an Eagles penalty five meters to the try zone. Sofara Mai kicked the conversion to send the teams into the half with Samoa leading, 14-5.

Eagles captain Zack Test passionately urged his teammates to get the win at halftime, but Samoa scored its third try less than a minute into the second frame. Samoa stole the ball from an Eagles ruck and passed it wide to Lio Lolo for the try and a 19-5 lead.

The ensuing restart was won cleanly by Samoa and Tulolo scored his second try of the match after chasing down his own grubber kick up the middle of the field. Mai kicked the conversion to extend Samoa’s lead to 26-5.

The Eagles got one back from Will Holder, his third in Glasgow this weekend, but Samoa Tolao responded in the final minute of play to keep Samoa’s wide lead and the eventual final scoreline of 31-12.

The Eagles will take on Japan in the Shield Semifinal. Japan, who will replace the bottom team at the end of the 2013-14 IRB HSBC Sevens World Series as the final core team, has lost all four of its matches in Glasgow, including the latest to Argentina in the Bowl Quarterfinal.

Watch the Eagles live in the Shield Semifinal at 8:46 A.M. ET on Universal Sports and follow live match updates on Twitter with @USARugby.

Men's Eagles Sevens | v Samoa
1. Mike Palefau
2. Nick Edwards
3. Danny Barrett
4. Garrett Bender
5. Zack Test
6. Brett Thompson
7. Will Holder
8. Andrew Durutalo
9. Pono Haitsuka
10. Mike Te'o
11. Nu'u Punimata
12. Ryan Matyas

Men's Eagles Sevens | 12
Tries: Bender, Holder
Conversions: Haitsuka

Men's Eagles Sevens | Emirates Airline Glasgow Sevens Shield Semifinal
v Japan - Sunday, May 4 - 8:46 A.M. ET