England nabs late try to defeat Eagles, 14-7

GOLD COAST, Queensland – The Men’s Eagles Sevens could not keep England from snatching a late, 14-7, win at Gold Coast Sevens Saturday.

Zack Test added his fourth try of the IRB HSBC Sevens World Series’ first leg in the losing effort, which also featured strategic changes in the Eagles’ starting VII. Nick Edwards and Folau Niua earned starts in place of Danny Barrett and Maka Unufe.

It was a slow start to the match, with the Eagles finding themselves pinned within 10 meters of their own try line. They controlled the play and eventually created a gap in the England defense to spring for territory.

The Eagles came close to scoring first with less than a minute remaining in the half. Test brought the men in blue to the 22 with a break but outran his support, forcing him to take a penalty in the tackle. The Eagles managed to get the ball back and Isles found himself facing two defenders with Test on the wing. He waited a second too long and misplaced his pass for Alex Gray to run 80 meters for the try.

It was a cruel way to end the half after maintaining the majority of possession, but Mike Friday’s players did not hang their heads. Two minutes into the second half, Pat Blair – in his first appearance of the tournament – drew a defender and fed Test, who broke free to level the match.

The Eagles were seconds away from earning a point from the match and even scoring a last-second try after England kicked to touch directly from the restart. With the ball at midfield, Hughes orchestrated a trained move before the team was penalized during the first phase. England’s Dan Bibby took the quick tap and sent the ball to Charlie Hayter, who scored his first career try to give England the 14-7 win.

There were good signs from the Eagles, who controlled the flow of the match for at least 10 minutes, and were never out of it. With Argentina defeating Canada in the other Pool D match, the Eagles hold their own destiny. With a defeat of Argentina by at least five points, the Eagles – level with England at four points – could finish second at minimum.

Watch the Eagles take on Argentina live on Universal Sports at 2:07 A.M. ET. Follow live match updates on Twitter with @USARugby.

England will line up alongside the Eagles next, at 10:51 P.M. ET. Watch the first leg of the IRB HSBC Sevens World Series on Universal Sports and follow live match updates on Twitter with @USARugby.

Men's Eagles Sevens | Gold Coast Sevens
1. Carlin Isles
2. Nic Edwards
3. Danny Barrett
4. Peter Tiberio
5. Zack Test
6. Andrew Durutalo
7. Folau Niua
8. Maka Unufe (@ 14')
9. Garrett Bender
10. Madison Hughes (C)
11. Perry Baker (@ 9')
12. Pat Blair (@ 8')

England| Starting XII
1. Charlie Hayter (s)
2. Alex Davis (s)
3. Phil Burgess
4. Dan Norton
5. James Rodwell
6. Tom Bowen (s)
7. Dan Bibby
8. Sam Blanchet (s)
9. Marcus Watson
10. Christian Lewis-Pratt (s)
11. John Brake
12. Alex Gray


Men's Eagles Sevens | 7
Tries: Test
Conversions: Hughes

England | 14
Tries: Gray, Hayter

Men's Eagles Sevens | Gold Coast Sevens
v Argentina - Saturday, October 11 - 2:07 A.M. ET