Canada Cup Quarterfinals await Eagles with defeat of England

VANCOUVER - The Men's Eagles Sevens earned a place in Sunday's Cup Quarterfinals at HSBC Canada Sevens with an important, 17-12, defeat of England in pool play Saturday.

The U.S. followed up a six-try performance against France with its first win against England in four opportunities this season, having lost to last year's fourth-place team in Dubai, Wellington, and Sydney. The Eagles' final match in Pool D at the sixth round of the 2015-16 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series will kick off against New Zealand at 6:44 p.m. PT.

Possession was won by the Eagles on the opening restart and regained by Danny Barrett in the third minute following an extended attack from England that ended behind where it began. A successive penalty in the attacking half led to captain Madison Hughes drawing two defenders over to the touch line to tackle him, and Folau Niua fed Martin Iosefo for the opening score.

Perry Baker, without partner in crime Carlin Isles this weekend, scored two tries in the defeat of France and nearly bagged his third of the inaugural tournament at BC Place Stadium in the sixth minute with a chase on a kick towards the try line. He raced up to the ball five meters from the try line but could not quite find the handle as he dove over, losing it forward.

England kicked away possession from the set piece and the Eagles drew a penalty, but some extracurriculars from Barrett saw the penalty reversed. Quick passing from England led to Dan Norton scoring in the corner for a 7-7 lead at the break.

The U.S. kept the ball on the second-half restart before a pass just out of Iosefo's reach was lost forward. The Eagles won the ensuing set piece, however, and replicated Norton's try by swinging the ball wide to Baker, with Iosefo providing the assist.

Iosefo did well to win a penalty in the 13th minute after Baker and Ben Pinkelman had combined to do the same earlier in England's attack. Barrett took the tap and Niua sent a skip pass to Pinkelman on the wing before the attack switched directions for Baker's second try of the match and fourth of the day. The 10-point lead at 17-7 did not last until the final whistle as Tom Bowen crossed over from a penalty tap at the hooter for the 17-12 final.

With the U.S. and New Zealand both on two wins with each other the final opponent of Pool D, the 6:44 p.m. PT match will decide the seedings for Sunday's Cup Quarterfinals. The winner of the match will be seeded first, while a draw would see the Eagles and their superior point differential on to face the second-place team in Pool A. Canada Sevens is being streamed live on World Rugby's website.

Men's Eagles Sevens | v. England

1. Thretton Palamo

2. Ben Pinkelman

3. Danny Barrett

4. Garrett Bender

5. Ben Leatigaga

6. Pat Blair

7. Folau Niua

8. Seth Halliman

9. Nate Augspurger

10. Madison Hughes (C)

11. Perry Baker

12. Martin Iosefo

England | v. USA

1. Tom Bowen

2. Charlie Hayter

3. Phil Burgess

4. Dan Norton

5. James Rodwell

6. Warwick Lahmert

7. Harry Glover

8. Richard de Carpentier

9. Cameron Cowell

10. Ruaridh McConnochie

11. Ethan Waddleton

12. Oskar Hirskiyj-Douglas

Men's Eagles Sevens | 17

Tries: Iosefo, Baker (2)

Conversions: Hughes

England | 12

Tries: Norton, Bowen

Conversions: Cowell

Men's Eagles Sevens | HSBC Canada Sevens

v. France - W 42-14

v. England - W 17-12

v. New Zealand - Saturday, March 12 @ 6:44 p.m. PT