USA Eagles
10 5
South Africa
28 14
Men's Sevens  @ Cape Town Stadium
December 10, 20164:10 pm EEST
South Africa Sevens
Referee:  Craig Evans

Blitzboks ground high-flying Eagles in Cape Town

CAPE TOWN, South Africa – The Men’s Eagles Sevens delivered another gutsy performance at HSBC Cape Town Sevens Saturday in a 28-10 defeat to South Africa.

Maka Unufe dotted down for his first try of the tournament early in the game as the U.S. starved their opponent of possession, holding a 12-3 passing advantage at one point in the first half. Though the loss drops Chris Brown’s squad to third in Pool A behind Australia, a heavy victory against Russia could see the team through to Sunday’s Cup round. The final match of pool play is scheduled to kick off at 12:34 p.m. ET.

The Eagles utilized productive restarts in their first match of the day to keep Australia from scoring, and began the match against South Africa with a restart win and fluid attack. Despite the offensive movement ending to a forward pass, Martin Iosefo surprised his opposite number behind the gain line with an interception only for Folau Niua to drop the final pass along the touch line five meters from the try line.

South Africa bent to the U.S. pressure from the five-meter scrum and kicked a line drive from behind the posts that barely reached the 10. Captain Perry Baker came in from the wing to take on two defenders and popped an offload to Unufe for a quick try in the corner.

The 5-0 lead did not last long, as Seabelo Senatla made up for dropping the ensuing restart by kicking a loose ball in the back field. He was unable to grab the ball off of the ground, but Cecil Afrika followed up the play and eluded a Stephen Tomasin tackle to give South Africa a 7-5 advantage. Tomasin’s low pass on the next possession was scooped up by Branco du Preez for Werner Kok to take in-goal, giving the Blitzboks a 14-5 lead at halftime.

A penalty against Andrew Durutalo from the second-half restart set South Africa away on another try-scoring attack, with Senatla holding onto the ball long enough to dot down in the corner, 21-5.

Substitute Kevon Williams, who scored his first career HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series try last weekend at Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens, added a boost for Brown’s side midway through the second half, saving a try in the 10th minute with a strip on the try line and setting up Danny Barrett’s 13th-minute try to bring the score to 21-10.

With a minute remaining, the Eagles searched for two tries to reclaim their first-half lead, but Kok rounded the defense from the restart for an insurmountable, 28-10, final score.

The U.S. finishes pool play in Cape Town against Russia, of two losses, at 12:34 p.m. ET. Cape Town Sevens can be viewed live on World Rugby’s Sevens Series website.

Men’s Eagles Sevens | v. South Africa
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. Anthony Welmers
11. Perry Baker (C)
12. Martin Iosefo

South Africa | v. USA
1. Chris Dry
2. Philip Snyman
3. Dylan Sage
4. Kwagga Smith
5. Werner Kok
6. Kyle Brown
7. Branco du Preez
8. Rosko Specman
9. Justin Geduld
10. Cecil Afrika
11. Seabelo Senatla
12. Ruhan Nel
13. Siviwe Soyizwapi

Men’s Eagles Sevens | 10
Tries: Unufe, Barrett
Conversions: N/A

South Africa | 28
Tries: Afrika, Kok (2), Senatla
Conversions: du Preez (3), Geduld

Men’s Eagles Sevens | HSBC Cape Town Sevens
v. Australia – W 19-0
v. South Africa – L 28-10
v. Russia – Saturday, Dec. 10 @ 12:34 p.m. ET