Sponsor: Irish Rugby Tours

Sponsor: Nike Rugby Camps

Monday, September 21, 2015

U.S. vs. Samoa: Eagles Player Grades

Our player grades are in for the Eagles after the Samoa match. Not the best grades of the year with those responsible for the lineout getting the worst grades.

Blaine Scully, 50 minutes (6.5): Before coming off with an injury around the 50th minute mark Scully was playing well. He was winning the ball in the air and had some good defense. He was also able to get more involved on offense. The Eagles will have to hope he is healthy next week.

Taku Ngwenya, 80 minutes (6.5): Ngwenya continues to play well. Once again it was his defense that stood out making a couple of thunderous tackles. He had a couple of breaks on offense but his final pass was missing a couple of times.

Seamus Kelly, 80 minutes (6): Kelly had his hands full on the defense end and mostly did well with a few mistakes thrown in there. He was instrumental in Chris Wyles's try but running great support and making the right offload. Look for him to have a game against Scotland.

Take the jump to read more.

Thretton Palamo, 80 minutes (6.5): Mostly Palamo was impressive against Samoa and certainly wasn't afraid to make a hit. He made tackles but also missed some as well. Consistency is the major issue for Palamo who is playing better.

Chris Wyles, 80 minutes (7): On a day in which most of the team committed simple errors Wyles stood out. You can tell he has played in a lot of matches with the pressure on. His try was fantastic and defensively he made several key tackles. The Eagles best player on the day.

AJ MacGinty, 80 minutes (5.5): Having only played a handful of matches of international rugby prior to the World Cup there were always going to be nerves. Overall MacGinty did well but he wasn't able to create as much space as he has in the past and his kicking game was off a tad.

Mike Petri, 80 minutes (5.5): When he's given time and space at the breakdown Petri can make things happen. However, when the ruck was a mess like it was on Sunday and he's put under more pressure Petri tends to kick too much. That's what happened as a couple of errant kicks cost the U.S. territory. Still, he tried to get the team going.

Samu Manoa, 80 minutes (7): Manoa was a beast in his World Cup debut, especially on the defensive end where he consistently stopped the Samoans going forward. Unfortunately he didn't get enough touches on offense. Now having gotten that match out of the way expect him to be a beast once again against Scotland.

Andrew Durutalo, 80 minutes (6.5): Like Manoa, Durutalo made hard tackle after hard tackle. However, he needs to find a way to be more of a nuisance against teams that are better at the breakdown. That's his greatest strength and in the last two matches he's been neutralized in that regard.

Al McFarland, 80 minutes (6): McFarland had some good carries but doesn't quite have the bit that is needed to be a star on the international stage. It wouldn't be surprising if the coaching staff changed something up here, possibly putting Manoa at lock and Danny Barrett at Number 8.

Greg Peterson, 57 minutes (5.5): Not the best day for Peterson and the rest of the locks. He was the target or referee Clancy and the lineout wasn't working. Still, he did carry the ball well at times and dug in on offense.

Hayden Smith, 50 minutes (5.5): This is basically the same thing for Peterson.

Titi Lamositele, 70 minutes (6.5): Lamositele did well for most of the match not only in the scrum but also getting up and down the park. It's important to still remember that he's only 20. The first of many World Cup games for him.

Zach Fenoglio, 50 minutes (5.5): The lineout's struggle can't all be put on Fenoglio but it wasn't helped. Other than that he did well in the scrum and on offense.

Eric Fry, 70 minutes (6.5): See Lamositele except with a bit more activity around the park.


Brett Thompson, 30 minutes (6): After a summer of only getting action here and there Thompson came in and played well. Defensively he was strong and he was solid in the air. A good replacement for Scully.

Phil Thiel, 30 minutes (6): Thiel came in and calmed things down a bit. He gave the lineout a little more stability, which was important.

Cam Dolan, 30 minutes (6.5): A great effort for Dolan who came in and gave the team energy. It wouldn't shock us if he moved into the starting line-up at some point.

Danny Barrett, 23 minutes (6.5): Another player that came in an upped the energy. The U.S. needs another ball hawk out there. Look for him to lay a bigger part against Scotland.

Ollie Kilifi, 10 minutes (6.5): The U.S. reserve props have taken a bit of a beating this summer but Kilifi came in and did well. He scrummed well and helped push the Eagles toward their final try.

Chris Baumann, 10 minutes (6.5): Baumann had his best match in an Eagles jersey that was justly capped off by a try. 


  1. can we get some grades sometime that aren't just a range between 5-7? i'd like to see some 2s, 3s, and 9s when they're deserved. every match is the same 5.5, 6.5, 6. 7, etc. for every player.

    1. It fits with the general sense of meh around this performance.

  2. How these grades are worked out I will never know. Clearly we are watching different games.

  3. I love how offended people get by these grades. Please feel free to have your own scorecard. If someone was scoring a 2 or 3 they wouldn't be representing us on a national level. A 5.5 or a 6 equates to 55 or 60. This is still a failing grade. Sorry its not negative enough for all the the USA Rugby Naysayers out there who love attacking the team and will never get behind them.

    1. @WM not offended in the slightest, and couldn't be more supportive of the Eagles. I'm purely stating that it would be good to know what the players are graded on as some continue to get marks based on their name as opposed to their performance.

      To use your pass / fail on the backrow for eg:

      Duratalo 13 tackles (87%), 5 carries for 6 meter gain = 6.5 (pass)

      Mcfarlane 11 tackles (85%) 9 carries for 33 meter gain = 6 (fail)

      Manoa (the beast) 11 tackles (92%), 13 carries for 33 meter gain = 7 (pass)

  4. I thought it was Palamo's best game yet. Certainly he stood out to the fellas I watched the game with - his sidesteps and power running were impressive.