Eagles score four tries, defeat Japan in Gold Coast Bowl Quarterfinal

GOLD COAST, Queensland – The Men’s Eagles Sevens came out strong on Day Two of Gold Coast Sevens Sunday, scoring three first-half tries in a 26-5 defeat of Japan in the Bowl Quarterfinal.

With Danny Barrett starting in his first game back from suspension, the Eagles looked confident in possession early in the match. Andrew Durutalo showed off his footwork and speed with a grubber at midfield in the first minute. A phase and quick tap later, Garrett Bender fed Folau Niua for the opening try. Niua faked the pass to the outside to beat two defenders and give the Eagles a 7-0 lead.

Niua turned provider immediately after the restart, giving Zack Test the opportunity to score his fifth try of the tournament. Test made his run and gave Niua his only option before he broke through the defensive line. Madison Hughes kicked his second successful conversion for a 14-0 lead.

Moments after making an influential tackle on one wing, Perry Baker received the ball near the other. One sidestep was all he needed to find his stride and beat everyone to the try zone. Baker dotted down between the sticks for an easy Hughes conversion and 21-0 lead.

Like their previous matches, the Eagles let up their concentration as the half came to a close and allowed Japan to attack in their half for the first time in the opening seven minutes. Head Coach Mike Friday let his team know their mistake during the break.

Carlin Isles replaced Baker early in the second frame and utilized his speed in the 11th minute to chase after Hughes’ clearance kick. Though, Japan recovered the ball, Isles was on the forefront of the Eagles’ defensive pressure during their opposition’s time on the ball.

Isles was rewarded for his defensive work moments later with a try that saw the speedster step around at least three defenders at midfield on his way in-goal.

Up 26-0, the Eagles spent the remainder of the half without the ball and eventually conceded a try in the corner through Kentaro Kodama. That was all that was left in the match, and the Eagles set up a date with Portugal in the Bowl Semifinal with the 26-5 victory.

Portugal defeated Kenya, 19-17, in a last-minute Bowl Quarterfinal win for the Europeans. The Bowl Semifinal is scheduled to kick off at 11:27 P.M. ET. Watch the match live on Universal Sports and follow live match updates with @USARugby on Twitter.

Men's Eagles Sevens | Bowl Quarterfinal v Japan
1. Carlin Isles (@ 11')
2. Nic Edwards (@ 10')
3. Danny Barrett
4. Peter Tiberio (@ 13')
5. Zack Test
6. Andrew Durutalo
7. Folau Niua
8. Maka Unufe (@ 12')
9. Garrett Bender
10. Madison Hughes (C)
11. Perry Baker
12. Pat Blair (@ 12')

Japan | Starting XII
1. Yusaku Kuwazuru
2. Yuho Ashiya
3. Naoki Chono
4. Lomano Lemeki
5. Ryohei Miki
6. Katsuyuki Sakai
7. Yuga Hyakutake
8. Dai Kasagi
9. Kazushi Hano
10. Kentaro Kodama
11. Koshiro Shuto

Men's Eagles Sevens | 26
Tries: Niua, Test, Baker, Isles
Conversions: Hughes (3)

Japan | 5
Tries: Kodama

Men's Eagles Sevens | Gold Coast Sevens
Bowl Semifinal v Portugal - Saturday, October 11 - 11:27 P.M. ET