All signs were promising to start the second tournament of the Series and the USA certainly played good rugby in spots, but a complete 14-minute performance eluded the young team.
Against a very quick Australian team, the USA put together a stunning try with Zack Test finishing to go up Early on the Aussies. A quick response try from Australia and a failure by the Eagles to pressure Australia in their own half are culprits for the loss. Australia made plenty of mistakes and the Eagles could have done more with what they were given.
The Eagles had France up next who were smashed by Canada earlier in the day and were rearing to get a win. An early try put the USA in the hole and there they would stay. A great try from Shalom Suniula and another one later from rookie speed merchant Carlin Isles got the Eagles within three, but the winning try evaded them to the final whistle.
Canada had a shot at winning Pool D outright and the Eagles were the only things standing in their way. The lone Eagle try came from Test in the first half. Scores were tied briefly but Canada cranked up the heat in the rain and scored three unanswered tries to finish well out in front of the Eagles.
It's much easier said than done, but execution in the final minutes could have changed the outcome of two of the games on day one. The USA had the ball against Australia in the final seconds but got penalized at the breakdown and handed Australia the win. There was a similar end to the France game. There is no doubt that the USA is a talented and well-coached team, but finishing games has always been a struggle for the USA, there seems to be a lack of killer instinct.
The Eagles need to make their hard work count and turn their toil into tally and they will quickly find themselves winning and winning often.
On day two the USA will play Spain in the Bowl Quarterfinals at 12:20 am EST. For all the updated information and broadcast details, visit the Eye on the Eagles page at http://bit.ly/EyeontheEaglesDubai7s.
Tries: Test, Hawley
Tries: Laloifi, McMahon, Lee
Conversions: Clark (2)
Tries: Suniula, Isles
Conversions: Suniula (2)
Tries: Dall Igna, Bouhraoua, Delmas
Conversions: Bouhraoua (2)
Tries: Duke, O'Toole, Hearn, Mack
Conversions: Hirayama (2), Mack