TOKYO, Japan – The Men’s Eagles Sevens held strong against Fiji Saturday at Tokyo Sevens to earn a 19-19 draw at Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium.
Zack Test gave the Eagles the first lead of the match in just the first minute with a long run down the wing. He broke a tackle from the last defender about 15 meters from the try line and fell to the ground, but he was not held down, allowing him to get up to score.
Danny Barrett recovered the ball for the Eagles in the fifth minute just outside of their own try line before a penalty was awarded to Fiji. Pio Tuwai took a quick tap and caught the Eagles off guard to give Fiji a 7-5 lead.
The Eagles withstood Fijian pressure for the remaining two minutes of the half until time expired, when Samisoni Viriviri beat Madison Hughes on the wing. Instead of attempting to get closer to the uprights, Viriviri dotted down in the corner, causing Emosi Mulevoro’s tough-angled conversion to go wide.
The Eagles were down 17-0 against Samoa in the first match at Tokyo Sevens, so overcoming a 12-5 halftime deficit was not out of the question.
Viriviri put the Eagles a bit further out of reach in the ninth minute by finishing off good, impromptu team play. Mulevoro made the conversion to extend the lead to 19-5.
Test added his second try of the match in the 11th minute after jumping on the restart to take the ball to the try zone. Nick Edwards helped give the Eagles the draw A minute later with a hefty run inside 20 meters of the try line before offloading to Brett Thompson for the try. Mike Te’o successfully converted both tries to bring the score to 19-19.
With just a minute remaining, the Eagles again had to hold off a fierce Fijian attack. They finished off the job by tackling a ball-carrier into touch to draw the final whistle.
The win gives the Eagles a 1-1-0 record at Tokyo Sevens. They are tied atop Pool C with Fiji with one match remaining against France, who lost to Samoa to earn its first win of the tournament.
Men's Eagles Sevens| v Fiji
1. Mike Palefau
2. Nick Edwards
3. Danny Barrett
4. Garrett Bender
5. Zack Test
6. Brett Thompson
7. Marcus Satavu
8. Andrew Durutalo
9. Pono Haitsuka
10. Mike Te'o
11. Madison Hughes
12. Ryan Matyas
Men's Eagles Sevens | 19
Tries: Test (2), Thompson
Conversions: Te'o (2)
Men's Eagles Sevens | Tokyo Sevens
v France - Saturday, March 22 - 4:30 A.M. ET