Blitzboks down Eagles in Sydney Quarterfinals

 Michael Lee / KLC fotos

SYDNEY, Australia - The Men's Eagles Sevens dropped from the HSBC Sydney7s Cup round Saturday (U.S. time) in a 21-10 defeat to HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series leader South Africa at Allianz Stadium.

Carlin Isles and Stephen Tomasin scored tries for the U.S., which played in its second Cup Quarterfinal of the 2016-17 season. Australia defeated Wales in the other Quarterfinal, sending Wales to the Fifth-Place Semifinal against the Eagles. That match will kick off at 11:31 p.m. ET, with the live broadcast available on World Rugby's Sevens Series website.

Knowing there would not be respite with a short bench, the Eagles looked to pile the pressure onto the Blitzboks early. Andrew Durutalo disrupted a breakdown to give his team possession in the attacking side of the field before Danny Barrett was sent into touch near the corner of the try zone by three defenders. South Africa went through phases behind its own 22 until the ball came loose from the ruck, with Isles the first to pick up the loose ball for an easy try in the corner.

Justin Geduld's heroics in the latter stages of the first half set the tone for his Blitzboks team, running nearly 75 meters for a 7-5 lead before his two-on-one with Chris Dry against Barrett was finished under the posts by his teammate. The second score, well into the final minute of the half, sent the teams into the break with the Eagles trailing, 14-5.

The Eagles found a comfort zone after a South African penalty allowed Folau Niua to kick to touch. The attack from the eighth-minute lineout reached one touch line before coming back to the other, where Barrett committed a final defender to give Tomasin the path to score in the corner.

Both U.S. tries were unconverted from the touch lines, and a neat one-two between Geduld and Series-leading try-scorer Seabelo Senatla saw the speedster just beat Isles to the posts for a 21-10 score line. The Eagles had the final say by earning a penalty as time expired, but could not tick the scoreboard before a knock brought about the Quarterfinal's end.

The Eagles will face Wales for the first time this season in a Fifth-Place Semifinal clash at Sydney7s. Currently 11th in the Series standings, the U.S. can gain a maximum of 13 points should it finish fifth. The Semifinal matchup is scheduled to kick off at Allianz Stadium at 11:31 p.m. ET Saturday, with the live broadcast available on World Rugby's website.

Men's Eagles Sevens | v. South Africa
1. Carlin Isles
2. Matai Leuta
3. Danny Barrett
4. Chris Coyle
5. Don Pati
6. Andrew Durutalo
7. Folau Niua
8. Connor Wallace-Sims
9. Stephen Tomasin
10. Madison Hughes (C)
11. Perry Baker
12. Martin Iosefo
13. Pago Haini

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

Men's Eagles Sevens | 10
Tries: Isles, Tomasin
Conversions: N/A

South Africa | 21
Tries: Geduld, Dry, Senatla
Conversions: Du Preez (2), Geduld

Men's Eagles Sevens | HSBC Sydney7s
v. Argentina - W 22-19
v. Canada - W 31-19
v. Russia - L 17-14
Cup QF v. South Africa - L 21-10
Fifth-Place SF v. Wales - Saturday, Feb. 4 @ 11:31 p.m. ET