TOKYO -- The USA had to beat Scotland by 12 points to control their own destiny in reaching the cup quarterfinals. A 12-12 draw with the Scots put their fate out of their control though. Luckily, Wales beat Kenya (who was tied with the USA in the pool going into the last round of pool play), hurling the USA into the cup quarters.
"It's good to be in," said USA Head Coach Alex Magleby after Wales finished Kenya off. "We wish it didn't come to us relying on another result to get there though."
The USA started strong against Scotland with a try by Folau Niua who was the recipient of a surreal Shalom Suniula offload following Zack Test’s line break. Scotland answered back just prior to halftime, but not before Nick Edwards was sent to the sin bin after repeated USA infringements at the breakdown.
Tied 7-7 at the half and facing a man disadvantage to start the second, the directive from Magleby was to slow the ball down and wait for the team to be back at full strength. They did as they were told.
Colin Hawley’s trademark toughness in the contact area led to a Zack Test try. Hawley made a tackle, contested for the ball and forced the Scottish player to hang on. The ref blew up the penalty and the Eagles moved it wide for Test to finish in the right corner.
It looked like the Eagles would hang on to their lead, but Scotland kept putting the USA under pressure. Shalom Suniula, Luke Hume, and Jack Halalilo put in some try-saving tackles, but Scotland kept at it and they were rewarded in the end.
A USA scrum resulted after Hume’s try-saver and Niua’s attempt to clear was charged down by Russell Weir in goal and he fell on the ball to score.
The tie gave USA two points in the pool, forcing Kenya to beat Wales, which they didn't do.
Tries: Niua, Test
Tries: Fedo, Wier