WELLINGTON, New Zealand – Canada scored five tries in a 29-12 win against the Men’s Eagles Sevens at Wellington Sevens Thursday.
The Eagles started on the front foot by gaining possession from the kick off. Multiple phases resulted in Canada being spread out defensively, and Zack Test found Andrew Durutalo on the wing in the second minute for the match’s first try. The big number eight outran his opposite man and slid a few meters into the try zone to give the Eagles their first lead of the tournament, 5-0.
A minute later, Canada’s Phil Mack sent a grubber kick in behind the Eagles for Connor Braid to chase. He was up against Carlin Isles and still managed to beat the “fastest man in rugby” to the ball and seemed to ground it. The referee, however, convened with his partners and deemed the play dead; no try.
Canada got the ball back and tried the same play, only this time Danny Barrett was ready for it. Sliding into the try zone, Barrett grounded the ball only for Connor Trainor to follow the play and repeat the motion. This time the try was awarded and Canada leveled the match at 5-5.
Trainor scored his second in the final minute of the first half after a Canada lineout. The big man ran across the Eagles defense until he found a hole and burst through it to bring the score to 12-5 at halftime.
The second half was not much better for the Eagles, who allowed Harry Jones to extend Canada’s lead to 19-5 just two minutes into the half. Three minutes later, Sean Duke scored his first try of the tournament after making his first appearance of the season against Scotland earlier in the day with a burst of speed on the wing to give Canada a 24-5 lead.
Nick Edwards got one back for the Eagles after breaking two tackles in his own half. The Australian-born captain slid underneath the uprights for an easy conversion for Suniula, who brought the score to 24-12.
Even though the final whistle was blown during the next possession, Canada went for the jugular in an effort to increase its point differential in the pool. Mike Scholz was the man to do it after entering the match less than a minute earlier, and Canada took the match 29-12.
The Eagles will finish pool play against Scotland at 12:56 A.M. ET before entering the Bowl Quarterfinals on Day Two. Follow @USARugby on Twitter for live match updates from Wellington and watch Wellington Sevens LIVE.
Men's Eagles Sevens | v Canada
1. Carlin Isles
2. Nick Edwards (@ 10')
3. Danny Barrett
4. Garrett Bender
5. Zack Test
6. Brett Thompson (@ 8')
7. Folau Niua
8. Andrew Durutalo
9. Pono Haitsuka
10. Shalom Suniula (@ 8')
11. Madison Hughes (@ 10')
12. Ryan Matyas (@ 12')
Men's Eagles Sevens | 12
Tries: Durutalo, Edwards