GLASGOW, Scotland – Will Holder’s first career try was scored in vain as the Men’s Eagles Sevens failed to keep their unbeaten record against Spain Saturday in a 17-7 loss at Emirates Airline Glasgow Sevens.
Spain doubled the Eagles’ number of passes throughout the match and started early, moving from phase to phase to eventually take an early, 7-0 lead. Los Leones were awarded a penalty five meters from the Eagles’ try line, and, though the initial quick tap was called back, Javier Carrion found Angel Lopez with a pass for the try. Francisco Hernandez conversion from in front was successful.
The Eagles responded immediately through Holder, who was fed the ball on the wing by Brett Thompson. The World-Class Athlete Program player went untouched as he sped down the touch line to dot down for the try. Mike Te’o was not given an easy conversion attempt, but he made it all the same to level the score, 7-7.
Holder wanted to return the favor once the Eagles got the ball back and offloaded to Danny Barrett out wide. Barrett almost replicated Holder’s scoring run but was taken into touch, where he was given a yellow card for tossing the ball away from his opposite number. The Eagles held on for about 90 seconds without Spain scoring before the halftime whistle blew.
Runs from Zack Test and Thompson showed the Eagles could move the ball, but turnovers and penalties set them back throughout the second half. One such turnover in the ninth minute forced Te’o into a try-saving clearance kick to touch, giving Spain a lineout in a dangerous position. Spain’s set piece worked efficiently and eventually resulted in a try with Carrion beating Te’o at the try line.
Down 12-7 and knowing Scotland defeated Australia in the other opening match of Pool D, the Eagles needed to score. Big runs from Test again and the newly-substituted Nick Edwards moved the Eagles forward but more penalties stopped the attacks. Spain nailed the coffin shut with one minute remaining with a try from Jacobo Martin following another quick tap.
The Eagles now hold a 5-1 record against Spain during the 2013-14 IRB HSBC Sevens World Series. Scotland, the Eagles’ next opponent, has not lost to Matt Hawkins’ team this season.
The Eagles will face the home side next at 11:10 A.M. ET. Follow @USARugby on Twitter for live match updates and watch Emirates Airline Glasgow Sevens live on Universal Sports.
Men's Eagles Sevens | v Spain
1. Mike Palefau
2. Nick Edwards
3. Danny Barrett
4. Garrett Bender
5. Zack Test
6. Brett Thompson
7. Will Holder
8. Andrew Durutalo
9. Pono Haitsuka
10. Mike Te'o
11. Nu'u Punimata
12. Ryan Matyas
Men's Eagles Sevens | 7
Men's Eagles Sevens | Emirates Airline Glasgow Sevens
v Scotland - Saturday, May 3 - 11:10 A.M. ET
v Australia - Saturday, May 3 - 1:55 P.M. ET