Scotland ends Eagles' Paris adventure

PARIS - Five points will be added to the Men's Eagles Sevens' 2015-16 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tally following Sunday's 14-12 HSBC Paris Sevens Bowl Semifinal defeat to Scotland.

Zack Test scored his team-leading fifth try of the tournament in the loss, which marks the lowest finish for the team after nine rounds. Mike Friday's side will get right back to work next weekend at HSBC London Sevens. Pools and fixture times for the final leg of the pre-Olympic season will be announced in due course.

Scotland started the match with ball in hand from Folau Niua's restart, but Ben Pinkelman turned it over with an open-field tackle and strong play in the breakdown to win a penalty. Captain Madison Hughes sent a kick to the corner of the pitch, where Test met his opposite number in a blue jersey, with Scotland's Damien Hoyland sending the ball into touch.

The Eagles were kept scoreless for more than 60 seconds from the time of the five-meter put-in to the point at which a slap pass from Thretton Palamo to Pinkelman went a hair forward. They kept the pressure up on defense, however, to force Scotland to kick away, only for the match official to call a penalty against the U.S.

Scotland took the fourth-minute tap around midfield, and Nick McLennan broke through the gain line before Dougie Fife split Perry Baker and Palamo for the opening try and 7-0 lead.

The two Eagles beat by the try-scorer each played a part in the reply try for Friday's side, as did the other five players in red, white, and blue on the pitch. Palamo won the restart and the Eagles cycled the ball from one touch line to the other for Baker, who went around the wide defender and beat another to reach the try line. Once in the try zone, however, Baker waited for support, and passed to Niua to center the dot-down for a 7-7 score.

The score remained level at the break despite Palamo winning the ball for the Eagles with 45 seconds on the clock. Scotland kicked possession away in the eighth minute and Baker jumped on the ball, but lost it forward for the opponent's put-in within 10 meters of the try line. Scotland's set play did not bear immediate results, but led to Hugh Blake getting through Hughes' tackle at the gain line. Blake was taken down ahead of the try line as his offload found the onrushing Scott Riddell for try No. 2 and a 14-7 Scotland lead.

A forward pass from Bender in the 11th minute cost the Eagles one potential scoring opportunity, and another in the 13th minute went begging due to a penalty conceded behind the attacking 22. Though Scotland slowed play down with a kick to touch, Test stole the lineout and got the ball back on the wing a minute later to score in the corner, making it four matches in a row in which he has put the ball down in-goal.

The try out wide did not do any favors to Hughes, whose conversion would have sent the knockout match into overtime. The touch-line conversion missed, giving Scotland the 14-12 victory.

The U.S. drops to sixth in the Series standings with Argentina jumping into the fifth-place spot. The Eagles will now travel back to London for the final round of the Series, set for May 21-22 at Twickenham Stadium.

Men's Eagles Sevens | v. Scotland
1. Nate Ebner
2. Ben Pinkelman
3. Danny Barrett
4. Garrett Bender
5. Zack Test
6. Thretton Palamo
7. Folau Niua
8. Maka Unufe
9. Nate Augspurger
10. Madison Hughes (C)
11. Perry Baker
12. Martin Iosefo

Scotland | v. USA
1. Scott Riddell
2. Dougie Fife
3. Hugh Blake
4. James Johnstone
5. Nick McLennan
6. Mark Robertson
7. Jamie Farndale
8. Damien Hoyland
9. Joe Nayacavou
10. Scott Wight
11. James Fleming
12. Glenn Bryce

Men's Eagles Sevens | 12
Tries: Niua, Test
Conversions: Hughes

Scotland | 14
Tries: Fife, Riddell
Conversions: Wight, McLennan

Men's Eagles Sevens | HSBC Paris Sevens
v. Argentina - L 36-0
v. France - L 24-12
v. Canada - W 33-12
Bowl QF v. Portugal - W 19-17
Bowl SF v. Scotland - L 14-12