DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Zach Test gave the Men’s Eagles Sevens a dream start in the Emirates Dubai Rugby Sevens Bowl Quarterfinal against Australia, but the eventual 47-7 collapse drops the Eagles into the Shield Semifinal against France.
Though Folau Niua started the match with the kickoff, Test jumped to get to the ball before his Australian counterpart. With possession and intensity, the Eagles passed well and moved down the field.
Brett Thompson knocked the ball on to turn over possession, but fierce tackling in the early going regained possession for the Eagles. Nick Edwards powered through two defenders and Stephen Tomasin fed Test, who made a nice cut to catch Australia on the back foot and score the match’s first try. Niua kicked the in-front conversion for a 7-0 Eagles lead after two minutes.
Test won another restart and the Eagles moved the ball well once again. Niua eventually sent a grubber into space near the try line for Test, but the try-scorer could not quite get a handle on it before a knock.
Sean McMahon scored Australia’s opening try in the sixth minute to tie the match, and a Niua yellow card allowed the Aussies a second opportunity to score. Con Foley made it 12-7 before Paul Asquith’s conversion.
Tomasin was the next to receive a yellow card from the referee less than a minute before the end of the first half. With two men down, the Eagles could not stop Foley from scoring his second as time expired. Australia took a 21-7 lead into the half.
Eagles coach Matt Hawkins wasted no time in bringing on Carlin Isles, but again the speedster failed to make an impact. He was the first to see action on the restart after catching the kick and was immediately tackled.
The Eagles were forced to clear the ball in the eighth minute and Australia pushed them back on offense. Isles had the opportunity to grab a loose ball from an Australian pass but knocked it on for a scrum. Australia won the scrum and Lewis Holland made it 28-7 with four minutes remaining.
The Eagles managed to keep Australian captain Ed Jenkins off of the scoresheet and relatively quiet throughout the match, but Australia had numerous other threats. Jesse Parahi and Nick Malouf scored two minutes apart and Greg Jeloudev put the icing on the cake with a try after the final whistle for a 47-7 win.
France lost to Samoa 21-10 in the preceding Bowl Quarterfinal, setting up the Eagles’ Shield Semifinal match-up with the French at 3:43 A.M. ET. Watch the playoff rounds from Dubai on Universal Sports and follow live updates on Twitter with @USARugby.
Men's Eagles Sevens | v Australia
1. Carlin Isles
2. Nick Edwards
3. Andrew Durutalo
4. Nu'u Punimata
5. Zack Test
6. Brett Thompson
7. Folau Niua
8. Pat Blair
9. Ryne Haitsuka
10. Zach Mizell
11. Stephen Tomasin
12. Miles Craigwell