WELLINGTON, New Zealand – Danny Barrett’s brace could not save the Men’s Eagles Sevens from another heartbreaking loss at Wellington Sevens, as France scored a last-second try to win the Bowl Quarterfinal 14-12.
France kept most of the possession in the early going, but it was the University of California alumnus who put the first points on the scoreboard. In the fifth minute, Barrett took a quick tap about 10 meters from the try line and spun past a defender to dot down between the sticks. Madison Hughes, making his second consecutive start, kicked the extras for a 7-0 Eagles lead.
Before the first-half whistle, France’s Steeve Barry received the ball from a fallen teammate 15 meters out and fended Carlin Isles to even the score at 7-7 following his own conversion.
The Eagles gained possession from the restart and decided to go for a late try instead of kicking the ball to touch after the whistle was blown. Barrett received the ball in the Eagles’ half, broke a tackle and outran the final French defender to slide into the in-goal. Hughes’ conversion from the wide angle missed just wide, sending the teams into halftime with the good guys up 12-7.
Both teams struggled to get a positive attack going in the second half, and it was not until the final minute when France truly threatened with a scoring opportunity. The final whistle had blown, but French substitute Julien Candelon found the in-goal with ball in hand to knot the score at 12-12. Paul Albaladejo stepped up to take the potential winning conversion, which he sent through the uprights to send the Eagles to the Shield Semifinal.
The Eagles will take on Portugal Friday at 10:32 P.M. ET. Portugal finished pool play winless in arguably the toughest pool of Wellington Sevens with England, South Africa and Wales. In the Bowl Quarterfinal, Portugal was shut out by Kenya, 34-0.
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Men's Eagles Sevens | v France
1. Carlin Isles
2. Nick Edwards (@ 11')
3. Danny Barrett
4. Garrett Bender
5. Zack Test
6. Brett Thompson
7. Folau Niua
8. Andrew Durutalo (@ 9')
9. Pono Haitsuka
10. Shalom Suniula
11. Madison Hughes
12. Ryan Matyas
Men's Eagles Sevens | 12