CARY, N.C. – In the marquee matchup of Pool A at the 2015 NACRA Sevens Championships, the Men’s Eagles Sevens defeated Mexico, 50-0, at WakeMed Soccer Park Saturday.
The win marks the second for the U.S. on the day following the victory against Barbados. With Saint Vincent and the Grenadines’ forfeit, the Eagles are 3-0 with one match remaining. Mike Friday’s team will finish pool play against Jamaica at 9 a.m. ET Sunday on USA Rugby TV.
Maka Unufe opened the scoring in the second minute of the half after Mexico enjoyed a spell of possession in its own half from the restart. Continuing the theme of stealing lineouts, the U.S. regained possession inside Mexico’s half before Unufe reached over a defender for the try.
Danny Barrett could not quite handle the ensuing restart, but the Eagles got the ball back near the try line and Perry Baker took it in-goal to extend the lead to 12-0. Baker then saved a try on defense with a nifty wrap, using his large wingspan to take down the attacker on the wing. The U.S. poached the ball in the breakdown and Folau Niua dummied to Baker before dotting down in the try zone for a 19-0 lead.
Mexico held the Eagles to three tries in the half, but the U.S. maintained their composure to get back on the front foot in the second frame.
Baker outpaced three defenders, as he did throughout the 2014-15 World Rugby HSBC Sevens World Series season – his rookie campaign – down the wing to score in his last action of the match.
Andrew Durutalo was in the perfect position to capitalize on a Carlin Isles tackle at midfield a minute later and the Eagles moved up the pitch. Danny Barrett used Isles as bait on the wing before taking on a defender on the try line for a try.
Isles scored what can only be described as the try of the tournament so far for a 38-0 lead. Zack Test won the restart to give his team the ball, and Isles saw nothing but the try zone. After spinning out of one tackle near Mexico’s 10, he danced through a few more defenders and managed to keep his feet through a last-ditch ankle slap to dot down between the sticks.
Chris Wyles was the beneficiary of Isles’ work to get the Eagles to the try line again in the final minute of the match, with the speedster playing it smart in contact by not reaching over the line. Wyles grabbed the ball from the ruck and was close enough to dot down in the corner.
Isles put the Eagles at the half-century mark with a second try to end the match, giving the U.S. a 50-0 win.
Men’s Eagles Sevens | v. Mexico
1. Carlin Isles
2. Chris Wyles
5. Zack Test
7. Folau Niua
8. Maka Unufe
10. Madison Hughes (C)
11. Perry Baker
12. Martin Iosefo
Men’s Eagles Sevens | 2015 NACRA Sevens Championships
v Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – W (forfeit)
v Barbados – W 54-0
v Mexico – W 50-0
v Jamaica – Sunday, June 14 – 9 a.m. ET