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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Five Eagles That Have Stood Out At The World Cup

Barring a near miracle the Eagles are likely halfway through their World Cup. They've played well at times but haven't been able to put together an 80 minute match on the way to two losses. We thought it was a perfect time to take a look at five players that have stood out so far.

Samu Manoa: Samu Manoa shouldn't be a surprise but when you step back and think about it, this is the first time that he's been able to stay and play with the Eagles for an extended period of time. Manoa has always been impressive for his club and has always been one of the better Eagles on the pitch but with more time together with his teammates he's really coming into his own. He was outstanding against Scotland and for us was our Man of the Match. He's also been versatile. He can play anywhere on the back-row and has slide down to lock later in matches. Hopefully this isn't the last World Cup we see Manoa participate.

Take the jump to read more.

Thretton Palamo: When a highlight package of the Eagles trip to the World Cup is put together it's going to have a bunch of Palamo highlights like this one:

Palamo has been a wrecking ball for the Eagles both on offense and defense. A year ago he might not have been a starter on the team but now it's hard to imagine him not being the first choice player and one of the core pieces for the Eagles going forward.

Titi Lamositele: Like Palamo, Lamositele is going to be one of the key pieces for the Eagles going forward. His time at Saracens is really paying off and his ability in the scrum has improved tremendously. His try against Scotland is also a sign of great awareness on the offensive side of things. At only 20 years old no one can say he doesn't belong at the World Cup, on the Eagles, and starting. When all is said and done we may be talking about Lamositele as the most capped Eagle of all time.

AJ MacGinty: It hasn't been a perfect World Cup from MacGinty. His kicking was a little off against Samoa but it was spot on against Scotland. However, he hasn't seen a drop off anywhere else as he has firmly established himself as the Eagles fly-half. Fatigue, having played a full summer of international rugby, may be setting in but he's only proved how valuable he is.

Cam Dolan: Two times off the bench Dolan has come on and made an impact. The Eagles haven't had the deepest bench at times but having the ability to summon Dolan has to be nice for head coach Mike Tolkin. He's done so well that you have to wonder if he'll gain a start before the World Cup ends.


  1. I think you have to pair Fry with Lamisotele. Fry is one of the two pillars keeping the scrum anchored. For all the criticism he has taken people forget he came into the Eagle squad without playing prop in any serious way previously. He has taken the flack directed at him quietly and simply gone about making himself into a test level prop while maintaining a strong work rate.

    1. Yes. It's great that, for whatever other flaws we may have, the US scrum has been very strong this tournament. It wasn't very long ago that it was a real weaknesses. There was certainly no shortage of criticism of Fry, possibly even deserved, but he has really lifted his game.

  2. I thought Duratalo has looked good too. Almost every time he's touched it he's gained yards. Moves well and is decent in the tackle too.

    I would put Seamus Kelly on here, but he just can't seem to offload the ball when he needs to. He's been strong in the tackle though. I just wish his offload was better. The ball seems to get to him and basically stop there (and yes, I know he was responsible for the assist against Samoa, but that was his only offload of the entire tournament).

    1. My thoughts exactly on Kelly. He's got to learn to make that pass out to the winger when he makes a big line break. I think he's done enough to get a contract though. I wouldn't be surprised to see MacGinty and Kelly pick up contracts.