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Sunday, September 20, 2015

Match Commentary: Eagles vs. Samoa


The match can be viewed on Universal Sports. Our match preview can be found here.

U.S. Line-up

Forwards: Eric Fry, Zach Fenoglio, Titi Lamositele, Hayden Smith, Greg Peterson, Al McFarland, Andrew Durutalo, Samu Manoa

Backs: Mike Petri, AJ MacGinty, Chris Wyles, Thretton Palamo, Seamus Kelly, Taku Ngwenya, Blaine Scully

Bench: Phil Thiel, Ollie Kilifi, Chris Baumann, Cam Dolan, Danny Barrett, Shalom Suniula, Folau Niua, Brett Thompson

Samoa Line-up

Forwards: Zak Taulafo, Ole Avei, Anthony Perenise, Filo Paulo, Joe Tekori, Maurie Fa'asavalu, Jack Lam, Ofisa Treviranus

Backs: Kahn Fotuali'i, Tusi Pisi, Alesana Tuilagi, Rey Lee-Lo, Paul Perez, Ken Pisi, Tim Nanai-Williams

Bench: Viliamu Afatia, Motu Matu'u, Census Johnson, Faifili Levave, Alafoti Faosilivia, Vavao Afemai, Mike Stanley, Fa'atoina Autagavaia

Take the jump to read more.
Pre-game: This is it. After four years of hard work the Eagles are back at it. As we wrote in our preview, if they want to achieve their goals at the tournament they are going to need a win today. However, watch out for Samoa who are a dark horse this tournament.

1: And we're underway!
3: U.S. physical early on with Thretton Palamo delivering a big hit.
8: And Samoa are up 3-0 early after a Pisi penalty.
10: The Universal Sports PPV stream isn't working for people so we're going to hold off on our commentary until it's up.
17: Okay, we'll keep going here. Pisi with a shot on goal for Samoa after a penalty but it's short.
19: Samoa put the pressure on the U.S. and when Pisi puts in the grubber Tim Nanai-Williams is able to pounce on the try for the score. Pisi's conversion is no good. 8-0.
21: Samoa definitely on the ascendency at the moment making several breaks. This is a dangerous time for the Eagles.
26: Samoa with another series of pressure and it leads to yet another penalty. This time on Greg Peterson for holding on after the U.S. got the ball back. Jack Lam with a good run to set that up. Pisi's penalty is good. 11-0.
28: As the commentators are saying. The U.S. tackling is simply too high at the moment. Credit to Samoa for being hard to take down.
29: Samoa penalized for being offside. The U.S. will have a shot at the posts. The kick is good and the Eagles are back in it at 11-3.
33: Chris Wyles try!!!! They steal the line out and try to clear but the kick is muffed. Still, the bounce goes their way and they quickly work the ball across the pitch. MacGinty makes the break  who then finds Kelly to passes to Wyles for the try. We have a game! MacGinty's conversion is no good. 11-8.
36: Samoa will have a line out in a solid position after another error from the Eagles. Lots of small errors from the Eagles so far.
37: Petri handles the ball in the ruck when he shouldn't. Samoa with another easy shot at goal. It's good and Samoa lead 14-8.
40: U.S. with a late push before the half but a knock-on ends the action. Overall, some good play from the Eagles but those small mistakes are killing them.
41: Second half is underway!
43: Solid start from the U.S. to the second half. Palamo with a couple of big runs. The movement ends with the U.S. are off their feet.
45: Try Samoa but we're going for the TMO. They are looking for a knock-on. Grubber's are proving effective for Samoa today. And it's awarded. Ofisa Treviranus with the try. The conversion is no good. 19-8. Not what the Eagles wanted. Should have had their own try.
49: Penalties are killing the U.S. at the moment. They are now in double figures. It was Fenoglio with the high tackle. Pretty clear on that one. Pisi's penalty is good. 22-8.
50: Thiel, Dolan, and Thompson on for Fenoglio, Smith, and Scully.
52: Samoa penalized for offside. MacGinty will have an easy shot at goal. Good response from the Eagles. The kick is up and good. down 11 at 22-11.
56: Ngwenya with a break but he's caught. U.S. penalized for diving on. Yet another missed opportunity.
57: The announcers aren't too pleased with referee Clancy. Let's just say there are some "interesting" calls today. Barrett on for Peterson.
61: Another huge hit for Ngwenya but we're going back to a U.S. knock-on.
65: Ngwenya with another break but he's too fast for his support and the ball goes out for a line out.
67: Tuilagi with a strong run but they aren't able to get the score. A break for the Eagles.
69: McFarland penalized for crossing. Controversial again. Stanley will have a shot at goal. It's good. 25-11.
70: Kilifi and Baumann on for Fry and Lamositele.
72: A deliberate knock-on from Samoa. With less than 10 minutes to go the U.S. will go with the line out.
73: Try Eagles! They are going to check with the TMO but the Eagles cross over (Baumann) after several pick and go's. That is exactly what the Eagles needed. The conversion is no good. Not what they needed. 25-16.
76: Just about four minutes remaining and the Eagles regain the ball. They are going to have to hurry up.
78: U.S. penalized for offside. Samoa running the clock down and when they clear that should pretty much do it. Only a minute left.
79: Baumann called for playing the ball on the ground. Samoa will have a line out.
80: And that's it. Full time. Eagles fall to Samoa 25-16. Some good elements but overall too many errors.

Thanks for following along. Recap to come. 


  1. The USA line is absolute crap and has been for the past few games. They have a lot to fix at halftime.

  2. Two changes need to made at the half - Feneglio and McFarland off - Thiel and Dolan on.

  3. So there are three rucks in a row where a Samoan is either standing or lying on the ground and there is no whistle. Not one. We get pinged for everything. Lots of inconsistency in this area.

  4. The US was not great today, but Somao was beatable. Unfortunately the ref called this game as if the USA has never played rugby before. Really hard to watch when you know the ref is looking to penalize your team for anything and everything. Ugg

  5. Consider this. The Eagles outscored Samoa 16 - 14 over the last 50 minutes and left 4 points on the table. They were as flat as day old Coke throughout much of the match. Something that happens far too often.

    Even so, the pool remains open with a lot of rugby still to play. Against Scotland they have to come into the game with an intensity that they brought to the Australia game. Samu Manoa needs to force himself into the game, He is a great player but I always come away feeling that there is a lot more that he can do to influence the game when he wears the Eagle jersey. He had moments today but we need much much more.

    All is certainly not lost. But the Eagles really need to throw the kitchen sink and then some at Scotland; who will be coming ion the game on short rest. Not an impossibility and in some ways Scotland offers a much more conventional challenge than does Samoa.