Five tries in Singapore lead Eagles over Wales

KALLANG, Singapore - The ever-improving Perry Baker scored two brilliant tries as the Men's Eagles Sevens beat Wales, 35-19, at HSBC Singapore Sevens Saturday.

Captain Madison Hughes earned 10 points in converting all five of the U.S.'s tries in the opening match of the eight round of the 2016-17 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. Head Coach Mike Friday's squad saw a sizable winning margin dwindle in the latter stages of the Pool D clash, but are still in prime position to advance to the Cup Quarterfinals ahead of a second matchup against Scotland. The match will kick off at 4:34 a.m. ET from The National Stadium, with the tournament live stream available via World Rugby.

Coming off of two consecutive nine-try, Dream Team-selection tournaments, Baker could not wait to get his hands on the ball after Wales won the opening restart. Martin Iosefo and Folau Niua obliged their teammate, with the latter causing a turnover in a tackle at the U.S. 22 and the former quickly finding the speedster with a pass. Baker still had work to do, but breezed across the gain line through two defenders for the long run and 7-0 try.

Iosefo provided the assist on the second score, as well, reaching higher than the lifted Welshman on the second-minute restart for an offload to Andrew Durutalo. The former member of Japan Sunwolves scored his second try at The National Stadium - the first came in the Super Rugby team's March 2016 match in Singapore - with a fend and dot-down, 14-0.

Wales' Morgan Williams was able to put Wales on the first-half scoreboard with a fifth-minute broken tackle and try as Wales resumed the offensive pressure it enjoyed in the opening minute. Danny Barrett saved a second try in the seventh minute with a tackle that made James Benjamin lose the ball forward in an attempted grounding.

The Eagles won the ensuing set piece at the five-meter line, and Niua perfectly dummied the final defender to create a half-gap for Baker. With another defender sliding into position, Baker sprinted past for a near-100-meter try. Hughes converted the third try of the half for a 21-5 lead at the break.

The U.S. was not done, securing the second half's first possession and cycling the ball from one touch line to the other. With Baker outside him on the touch line, Iosefo found Tomasin running a switch line for the San Diego State University graduate to take the offload to the uprights. Substitute Maka Unufe won the ensuing restart and Tomasin reached the 22 with a run before the reserve with fresh legs scored. Unufe beat his opposite number with a juke, tripped up another with a dummy, and turned around a third for a 35-5 advantage.

Friday rested five of his starters for nearly four minutes by emptying the bench following the Eagles' final try. They would concede two scores, however, bringing the final to 35-19.


View match stats on Trenarian.com


The Eagles ended a six-game winning streak Scotland had over them on the Series last weekend in Hong Kong, and will continue pool play in Singapore Saturday at 4:34 a.m. ET. The entire tournament can be streamed live on World Rugby's Sevens Series website.

Men's Eagles Sevens | v. Wales
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

Wales | v. USA
1. Luke Treharne
2. Morgan Williams
3. Jared Rosser
4. Luke Morgan
5. Owen Jenkins
6. Billy McBryde
7. Ethan Davies
8. Lloyd Evans
9. Owen Lane
10. Sam Cross
11. James Benjamin
12. Ben Roach

Men's Eagles Sevens | 35
Tries: Baker (2), Durutalo, Tomasin, Unufe
Conversions: Hughes (5)

Wales | 19
Tries: Williams, Lane, Roach
Conversions: McBryde (2)

Men's Eagles Sevens | HSBC Singapore Sevens
v. Wales - W 35-19
v. Scotland - Saturday, April 15 @ 4:34 a.m. ET
v. New Zealand - Saturday, April 15 @ 8:50 a.m. ET