WELLINGTON, New Zealand – Carlin Isles and Brett Thompson added to their IRB HSBC Sevens World Series tallies with a try apiece, but it was not enough for the Men’s Eagles Sevens as Argentina won its first match of Pool C at Wellington Sevens, 19-14.
Argentina opened the scoring through Gaston Revol in the third minute. After a penalty against the Eagles, Revol received the ball and kicked it into the try zone. He was able to chase after it and dot it down before kicking the conversion for a 7-0 lead.
The Eagles could not gain the restart and Argentina was at it again. What seemed to be a maul with five Eagles and the Argentine ball-carrier was left alone by the referee and, minutes later, Argentina doubled its lead with a German Schultz try. Revol converted for a 14-0 score line.
Isles caught the ensuing restart, but Andrew Durutalo was stripped of the ball a phase later. Argentina made the most of it after the final whistle had gone when Diego Palma carried Isles into the try zone. Revol’s third attempted conversion went wide to send the two teams into halftime with Argentina up 19-0.
The Eagles only had two possessions in the first half but were by no means out of the match. In rugby sevens, it is not uncommon for a team to score multiple times in one minute.
The Eagles seemed to pick up where they left off, as Folau Niua made a lengthy run into Argentina territory before his pass was mishandled and turned over to the opposition.
It took some time, but the Eagles found the try zone in the 11th minute when substitute Shalom Suniula found Isles, who put a move on the Argentina defender to gain the inch of space he needed to accelerate past everyone. Suniula converted from in front and the Eagles were in the match, down 19-7.
Argentina was penalized in the 13th minute for a lineout not being straight and the Eagles won the ensuing scrum. Garrett Bender, in his first action for the Eagles since 2012, fed Thompson on the wing near the 10. Thompson took the pass in stride and ran around the final defender for the Eagles’ second try. Suniula converted from the tough angle to cut the deficit to 19-14.
With time ticking away, the Eagles needed to win their own restart cleanly to avoid Argentina running down the clock and kicking into touch. Suniula’s conversion did not go 10 meters, however, and Argentina was allowed to kick it out, anyway.
Canada defeated Scotland 17-14 in the other Pool C match, keeping the point differential in the pool close. With two wins, the Eagles can still reach the Cup competition for the first time this season.
Follow @USARugby on Twitter for live match updates when the Eagles take on Canada at 9:48 P.M. ET.
Men's Eagles Sevens | v Argentina
1. Carlin Isles
2. Nick Edwards
3. Danny Barrett
4. Garrett Bender
5. Zack Test
6. Brett Thompson
7. Folau Niua
8. Andrew Durutalo
9. Pono Haitsuka
10. Shalom Suniula
11. Madison Hughes
12. Ryan Matyas
Men's Eagles Sevens | 14
Tries: Isles, Thompson
Conversions: Suniula (2)