Pinkelman, Tomasin combine for four tries in Singapore Quarterfinal win

KALLANG, Singapore - The Men's Eagles Sevens controlled possession and Olympic gold medalist Fiji in a 24-19 victory in the HSBC Singapore Sevens Cup Quarterfinal Sunday.

Largely kept quiet throughout the Eagles' fourth consecutive Quarterfinal appearance, Fiji's try-scoring opportunities were few and far between due to U.S. ball security and discipline. Head Coach Mike Friday's squad will meet Australia - ranked just behind the U.S. in the 2016-17 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series standings - in the Semifinal, which is scheduled to kick off at 5:10 a.m. ET. World Rugby's live stream will be available to viewers in the United States.

Fiji did itself no favor with a knock on its own restart kick, and the U.S. settled into a patient attack from the set piece. Danny Barrett ran at the defense twice along with touch line and brought the move to the 22 before Ben Pinkelman ran for the corner to open the scoring, 5-0.

Already down one player, Andrew Durutalo, for Day Two, Friday replaced Martin Iosefo with Maka Unufe after the try. Perry Baker caught the fourth-minute restart off of Fijian hands, but a hard tackle on Pinkelman forced the ball loose in the attacking half. Waisea Nacuqu was the first to it for a lengthy score and 7-5 Fijian lead.

The Eagles regained the lead in the final minute of the half after keeping Fiji from a chip-and-chase try. Stephen Tomasin put his head down at midfield to slide by the defender at the gain line and score in the corner. Captain Madison Hughes struck the touch-line conversion for a 12-7 advantage at the break.

The first-half rest seemed to do the trick for Iosefo, who returned to the field for the second half as Baker drew a penalty on Folau Niua's restart. Iosefo took the ball forward from a lineout to win another penalty meters from the try line, and Tomasin scored his second from the tap to extend the U.S. lead to 17-7. Niua set up another lineout from a Fiji penalty for Iosefo to offload in contact to Tomasin a minute later, and Pinkelman dotted down through two attempted tackles for a 24-7 score.

Baker scored four tries in two matches to open the eighth round of the season but was kept out of the try zone in his team's only pool play loss. He nearly chased down his own kick through from a Fiji dropped pass in the 13th minute; instead Josua Vici benefitted from a 22-meter drop kick bounce to bring the Eagles lead to 24-12. A knock by the U.S. from the ensuing restart allowed Isake Katonibau to score, too, but time was up for the 24-19 final.

https://twitter.com/WorldRugby7s/status/853473036447563777

View match stats on Trenarian.com


Australia cut the Eagles' lead in the No. 5 standings slot with a win in a Bronze Final matchup last weekend at Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, and defeated Series-leading South Africa in the Quarterfinals Sunday. Friday's squad will contest its fourth consecutive Cup Semifinal at 5:10 a.m. ET, with the live broadcast available on World Rugby's Sevens Series website.

Men's Eagles Sevens | v. Fiji
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

Fiji | v. USA
1. Isake Katonibau
2. Jasa Veremalua
3. Kalione Nasoko
4. Setareki Bituniyata
5. Sevuloni Mocenacagi
6. Mesulame Kunavula
7. Osea Kolinisau
8. Waisea Nacuqu
9. Jerry Tuwai
10. Amenoni Nasilasila
11. Josua Vici
12. Nacanieli Labalaba
13. Lemeki Tulele

Men's Eagles Sevens | 24
Tries: Pinkelman (2), Tomasin (2)
Conversions: Hughes (2)

Fiji | 19
Tries: Nacuqu, Vici, Katonibau
Conversions: Kolinisau, Nasilasila

Men's Eagles Sevens | HSBC Singapore Sevens
v. Wales - W 35-19
v. Scotland - W 33-26
v. New Zealand - L 21-14
Cup QF v. Fiji - W 24-19
Cup SF v. Australia - Sunday, April 16 @ 5:10 a.m. ET