USA Eagles
21 14
Kenya
19 12
Men's Sevens  @ The Sevens Stadium
December 3, 20162:44 pm 
Dubai Sevens
Challenge Trophy Semifinal

Challenge Trophy up for grabs after Eagles beat Kenya

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – The Men’s Eagles Sevens are into the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens Challenge Trophy Final with a 21-19 defeat of Kenya in the Semifinal Saturday.

Captain Madison Hughes accounted for 16 points in the U.S.’s third win of the weekend. Samoa secured its Final berth with an exhausting win against Argentina in its own Semifinal, and will line up opposite the Eagles at 9:19 a.m. ET. The remaining matches in Dubai are available for view on World Rugby’s Sevens Series website.

Danny Barrett opened the scoring with the Eagles’ first attack after Perry Baker had reached midfield on the wing. The forward ran towards the touch line but cut inside the defender ahead of the 10 for the 7-0 lead.

Kenya looked threatening on its own attack though the Eagles’ staunch defense kept the attackers from crossing the 22-meter line. The ball popped out of a breakdown at midfield and Stephen Tomasin slid to nudge it in the path of Baker. The speedster was contained in the middle of the field but sent a behind-the-back offload to Madison Hughes in support for the try.

Baker was not able to score a try himself, but did well to bring the Eagles to scoring positions. In the sixth minute, however, he found himself isolated 10 meters from the try line and conceded possession to a penalty. Kenya quickly took the tap and neared midfield, where Willy Ambaka received the ball and beat Folau Niua’s diving tackle for a 14-7 score.

Kenya got even closer to the Eagles on the scoreboard before the half expired, winning possession from the restart. Hughes was momentarily drawn into an attacker’s run before the ball was sent to Nelson Oyoo on the wing, and could not take him down with a diving tackle for a 14-12 halftime score.

The Eagles regrouped at halftime and quickly grew their lead. Maka Unufe won the restart and the team set up shop, going from one side to the other. Hughes utilized the space out wide to push off of the defender near midfield and score, 21-12.

Hughes’ second try of the game was matched by Ambaka’s second after a penalty at the 22 put the ball in Kenya’s hands. Substitutions were made in the 10th minute, helping the Eagles keep up their defensive work-rate, but Ambaka was given just enough space along the touch line to beat Barrett for the try.

Both teams found themselves close to the try line in the dying stages of the game, but Baker ended things at 21-19 on the five-meter line with a kick to touch.

The Eagles could finish as the ninth-best team in Dubai with a defeat of Samoa in the Challenge Trophy Final at 9:19 a.m. ET.

Men’s Eagles Sevens | v. Kenya
1. Kevon Williams
2. Matai Leuta
3. Danny Barrett
4. Alec Gletzer
5. Don Pati
6. Andrew Durutalo
7. Folau Niua
8. Maka Unufe
9. Stephen Tomasin
10. Madison Hughes
11. Perry Baker
12. Martin Iosefo
13. Anthony Welmers

Kenya | v. USA
1. Daniel Sikuta
2. Martin Owilah
3. Frank Wanyama
4. Leonard Mugaisi
5. Billy Odhiambo
6. Darwin Mukidza
7. Cyprian Kuto
8. Andrew Amonde
9. Nelson Oyoo
10. Brian Tanga
11. Augustine Lugonza
12. Willy Ambaka

Men’s Eagles Sevens | 21
Tries: Barrett, Hughes (2)
Conversions: Hughes (3)

Kenya | 19
Tries: Ambaka (2), Oyoo
Conversions: Tanga (2)

Men’s Eagles Sevens | Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens
v. Scotland – L 14-5
v. Uganda – W 29-7
v. South Africa – L 19-17
Challenge Trophy QF v. Russia – W 40-5
Challenge Trophy SF v. Kenya – W 21-19
Challenge Trophy Final v. Samoa – Saturday, Dec. 3 @ 9:19 a.m. ET