Hong Kong streak hits four games for Eagles in Quarterfinal

HONG KONG - The Men's Eagles Sevens scored four unanswered tries in their 27-7 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens Cup Quarterfinal win against England Sunday.

Perry Baker extended his lead atop the tournament's try-scoring charts and Head Coach Mike Friday's squad won its fourth match of the weekend at Hong Kong Stadium. The Semifinal - the U.S.'s third consecutive of the 2016-17 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series - will be played against South Africa at 3:53 a.m. ET Sunday. The seventh round of the season can be watched live on World Rugby's Sevens Series website.

The Eagles had conceded three late scores in the teams' HSBC USA Sevens meeting last month to drop their final pool match in Las Vegas, and conceded early in Hong Kong. Allowed to start an attack from the opening possession, Richard de Carpentier's strong run was followed by Tom Mitchell's fend on Andrew Durutalo for a 7-0 lead in the first minute.

Martin Iosefo lost possession following the restart despite a menacing run into the attacking half through two defenders. Dragged into touch, the turnover resulted in an England lineout and clearance kick for a U.S. lineout. Captain Madison Hughes cleaned up a dropped pass outside the 22 and put the ball to his boot. The kick spun around Charlie Hayter and Dan Norton and laid up for Hughes to collect for the 7-5 try.

Possession again switched hands on the restart, but England was undone at midfield via a penalty whistled by match official Craig Joubert. The Eagles' opponent won the ball back from a Durutalo giveaway and quickly countered to the attacking half, but Perry Baker stripped Dan Bibby mid-pass to streak away for the try. His sixth of the tournament gave the Eagles a 10-7 lead with less than a minute to play.

https://twitter.com/WorldRugby7s/status/850928666066337794

The Eagles looked to tack on one extra score before the halftime whistle only to turn over the ball at the England 10 via a penalty. England went through phases with the same intent until Phil Burgess lost the ball forward, and Stephen Tomasin took the loose ball down the touch line for a 15-7 lead at the break.

Substitute Maka Unufe made sure the Eagles played to the momentum by winning the second-half restart. He also kept the movement alive in England's half with a lateral run before Ben Pinkelman followed Danny Barrett on the wing to score, 20-7.

Pinkelman won a penalty in a tackle on Tom Bowen from the next restart to kick off a breathless passage of play featuring two separate Tomasin runs in a U.S. attack and Baker's defensive chase of a chip kick deep in the Eagles' half. Though the ball was lost forward by Unufe after a pass, England threw away a scoring chance wide with a knock. A Baker grubber was collected by the opposition as the clocked ticked down, but the speedster knocked a pass backwards following a U.S. penalty to give Hughes the lane for the final try, 27-7.

Not only is the Cup Semifinal in Hong Kong the Eagles' third consecutive of the season, it is also the team's third consecutive against South Africa following knockout meetings in Las Vegas and Vancouver. Friday's squad dropped into the Bronze Final in both of the prior matchups. Sunday's match is scheduled to kick off at 3:53 a.m. ET, with the live stream available on World Rugby's Sevens Series website.

Men's Eagles Sevens | v. England
1. Anthony Welmers
2. Ben Pinkelman
3. Danny Barrett
4. Matai Leuta
5. Mike Te'o
6. Andrew Durutalo
7. Folau Niua
8. Maka Unufe
9. Stephen Tomasin
10. Madison Hughes (C)
11. Perry Baker
12. Martin Iosefo
13. Malon Al-Jiboori

England | v. USA
1. Richard de Carpentier
2. Charlie Hayter
3. Phil Burgess
4. Dan Norton
5. James Rodwell
6. Tom Mitchell
7. Dan Bibby
8. Tom Bowen
9. Oliver Lindsay-Hague
10. Ruaridh McConnochie
11. Ethan Waddleton
12. Charlton Kerr
13. Callum Sirker

Men's Eagles Sevens | 27
Tries: Hughes (2), Baker, Tomasin
Conversions: Durutalo

England | 7
Tries: Mitchell
Conversions: Mitchell

Men's Eagles Sevens | Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens
v. Russia - W 14-7
v. Scotland - W 19-14
v. Argentina - W 33-5
Cup QF v. England - W 27-7
Cup SF v. South Africa - Sunday, April 9 @ 3:53 a.m. ET