A strong defensive effort in a 14-10 loss to South Africa and the occasional magic of Perry Baker was enough for the USA Eagles to find a way to the Cup Quarterfinals at the London 7s.
The Eagle started Day 1 defeating Paris 7’s champs Samoa 12-5. The Samoan side would prove to be not of the same ilk as the team that defeated Fiji in the Final in Paris a week earlier.
They would go 0-3 on the day. In their second match the Eagles would equal South Africa with two tries apiece. South Africa’s tries would come from perennial stars of the game Cecil Afrika and Seabelo Senatla. The Eagle’s tries came from relative newcomer to the series Nate Augsburger and Ben Leatigaga, playing in his first tournament. Perry Baker made an amazing try saving tackle on Senatla to maintain the narrow point margin. The Eagles’ inability to convert either try gave South Africa their margin of victory. In their third match the Eagles drew 12 all with Canada. Perry Baker got both USA tries and Madison Hughes converted one.
For the Eagles the good was a defense that allowed only 5 tries in their 3 pool matches. The bad was an offense that only scored 6 tries. The ugly was lots of passes that forced Eagle speedster Perry Baker to play shortstop and scoop up the bouncing ball before turning on his jets.
An occasional drizzle did not dampen the party atmosphere at Twickenham and fancy dress (costumes) were everywhere. Drink and good spirits of all varieties flowed well past the 5 pm closing of the stadium bars. It was like Mardi Gras in a gigantic bubble.
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