The Eagles fell 19-15 to Australia Sunday in the Bowl semifinals in Las Vegas, Nev.
The first half, which proved to be a comedy of errors by both teams, started with Shalom fielding the opening kickoff and running straight into touch. Australia scored easily off the lineout, when Pama Fou ran through a large gap in the US defense.
On USA’s next possession, a no-look pass from Zack Test hit the dirt in the try zone, and Matt Hawkins dotted it down, giving Australia a five-meter scrum. USA made up for the mistake by stealing the setpiece.
USA lost possession again when Maka Unufe ran out of bounds, but Australia leveled the table of mistakes by losing the ball forward in contact. The Eagles then strung a nice series of offloads together leading to an Andrew Durutalo try.
Australia sloppily fielded the restart, and USA’s disheveled defense opened up a crease. Sean McMahon took it and scored to regain the lead for the Wallabies.
The Eagles took the restart, were on the right end of a ruck infringement. But when Mike Palefau was tackled without support, Matt Hawkins returned the favor by entering the ruck from the side, giving Australia a penalty from which it scored. Wallabies 19-7 at halftime.
USA opened the second half with a series of handling errors and bad passes, but luckily Australia knocked on in-goal, giving the Eagles a scrum on its defensive five-meter.
Shalom Suniula scooped up the ball which squirted out on Australia’s side, and the Eagles put Wallabies on their back feet. Matt Hawkins got a break on the attacking side of the field and had people in support. Instead of taking the easy route, he took the ball into contact and was lucky to get the ball out to Maka Unufe, who scored in the corner.
Down 19-14, The Eagles regained possession in time to mount a comeback, but again the ball was taken into contact instead of passed to an open teammate in good position, leading to a turnover and a loss.
The Eagles finish USA Sevens 1-4. They’re now 1-9 in their last 10 games and 5-16 on the season.