Cup Quarterfinals await Eagles with second win of Paris pool play

PARIS - Wales was kept scoreless in the final seven minutes of its HSBC Paris Sevens pool play match against the Men's Eagles Sevens Saturday as Head Coach Mike Friday's squad secured Cup qualification with a 38-14 win at Stade Jean-Bouin.

Maka Unufe also crossed for his 50th career HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series try in the Eagles' second win of the day following a 26-19 defeat of Argentina. The 11:58 a.m. ET matchup with New Zealand, also 2-0 in Pool B, will determine the pool's seeding leading into Sunday's knockout rounds. The match and entire tournament is available to stream live on World Rugby's Sevens Series website.

The Eagles benefitted from well-won restarts to build a lead against and keep the ball away from Argentina for large portions of the tournament opener, but found the shoe on the other foot in the opening minute of their match against Wales. Sam Cross slipped through the gain line and timed his offload to Lloyd Evans in support for the 7-0 score inside a minute.

Sure handling has been a strength for Friday's team in the past few tournaments, and the recognition by Ben Pinkelman to know when to keep the ball paid off in the second minute to win a penalty for his side. Baker made headway past the Welsh 10 before Iosefo's footwork and fend leveled the match at 7-7.

A carbon-copy play between Cross and Evans handed Wales one last lead, 14-7, in the fifth minute, and Wales put the Eagles in a precarious position with a restart kicked deep and bouncing into touch five meters from their try line. The throw was well-taken, however, and Baker slipped through the space on offer from 100 meters to send the teams into the break tied, 14-14.

Pinkelman drove forward from the Eagles' second-half restart win to bring the Eagles into the attacking half immediately and Iosefo shook two defenders for a lead, 21-14, the U.S. would not relinquish. Baker turned around two defenders on the wing in the eighth minute to increase the margin of victory to 28-14 before Unufe strode away from the defense from 10 meters out of his own try line two minutes from time, 33-14.

One final opportunity to dot down was gifted to the Eagles when a loose pass by Wales found its way into Baker's hands. The Series-leading try-scorer decided he could do without another hat trick and waited for the support of debutant Alex Schwarz for the Old Blue of New York man's first career try and 38-14 final score.

The Eagles have not missed a Cup Quarterfinal since the third round in Wellington, and could help their case for a top-four spot in the Series standings with a defeat of New Zealand in their final match of pool play. The 11:58 a.m. ET kickoff will be streamed live online on World Rugby's website.

Men's Eagles Sevens | v. Wales
1. Alex Schwarz
2. Ben Pinkelman
3. Don Pati
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. Naima Fualaau

Wales | v. USA
1. Lloyd Lewis
2. Tom Gareth Williams
3. Stefan Andrews
4. Luke Morgan
5. Owen Jenkins
6. Billy McBryde
7. Ethan Davies
8. Lloyd Evans
9. Adam Thomas
10. Sam Cross
11. James Benjamin
12. Ben Roach
13. Jack Maynard

Men's Eagles Sevens | 38
Tries: Iosefo (2), Baker (2), Unufe, Schwarz
Conversions: Hughes (4)

Wales | 14
Tries: Evans (2)
Conversions: Davies

Men's Eagles Sevens | HSBC Paris Sevens
v. Argentina - W 26-19
v. Wales - W 38-14
v. New Zealand - Saturday, May 13 @ 11:58 a.m. ET