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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Tolkin Says The Eagles Will Be Gunning For Scotland

Without question the Eagles will be going after Scotland on Sunday and according to head coach Mike Tolkin he think his team has a good chance. We caught up with Tolkin to talk about what his team needs to do to beat Scotland, the Samoa match, the health of the team, and more. 

On whether he's happy with the group against Samoa: "I think the group of players was the right group and they performed but we just needed the ball in our hands more in the first half. In the second half we had space to use but we didn't always put the ball there and put them under pressure."

On whether some of the penalties (outside of the referee's strange decisions (our notation)) had to do with World Cup nerves: "Yea, I think there was some of that or being amped up too much. Whatever it was it was the first game and that played a part for sure."

Take the jump to read more.
On keying in on Scotland as potential win over a Tier I nation: "More important than being a Tier I win it's an important pool game for us. We showed some really good parts on Sunday against Samoa. We played some really good ball. We created opportunities that we didn't always take advantage of. If we calm down a little bit, play with composure, and take the right options we certainly have a good chance."

On whether Scotland's fatigue and roster change might help the Eagles: "It helps, having them only have a short turnaround. We want to play physical with them and expend more energy. It will definitely be a little bit of a help and we're to try to exploit that in particular."

On what in particular his team has that can beat Scotland: "We have some x-factors players like a Ngwenya, a Palamoa, or a Manoa. Those are guys that do some pretty amazing things on the field and if we can get them the ball in the right spots we can exploit some mismatches."

On the craziness of the pool and whether the gap between Tier I and Tier II nations has shrunk to not be a big factor: "I'll definitely say it's shrunk. It's still a factor but it's not as much as it used to be. All the Tier II teams are able to start competing, play more full games, and put pressure on teams to put out a good performance in order to win."

Does he think there will be more upsets: "Yes."

On the team's health, in particular Blaine Scully: "Blaine's done well this week. He's fine. Beside the usual bumps and bruises no major issues.

On if he's pleased with the team's training: "Yes. It's been really good, really positive, and energetic. We worked them hard on Wednesday. It's a non-training day today and we'll be back at it tomorrow." 

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