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Sunday, October 11, 2015

Match Commentary: Eagles vs. Japan


The match can be viewed on Universal Sports and PPV. 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, Zack Test, Thretton Palamo, Seamus Kelly, Taku Ngwenya, Chris Wyles (C); Bench: Phil Thiel, Ollie Kilifi, Chris Baumann, Cam Dolan, John Quill, Danny Barrett, Niku Kruger, Folau Niua

Japan Line-up

Forwards: Keita Inagaki, Shota Horie, Hiroshi Yamashita, Luke Thompson, Justin Ives, Michael Leitch (C), Michael Broadhurst, Ryu Koliniasi Holani; Backs: Fumiaki Tanaka, Kosei Ono, Kotaro Matsushima, Craig Wing, Harumichi Tatekawa, Yoshikazu Fujita, Ayumu Goromaru; Bench: Takeshi Kizu, Masataka Mikami, Kensuke Hatakeyama, Shinya Makabe, Amanaki Lelei Mafi, Hendrik Tui, Atsushi Hiwasa, Karne Hesketh

Take the jump to read more.
Pre-game: This could be the last match for players like Mike Petri, Taku Ngwenya, Chris Wyles, Phil Thiel, and even possibly Samu Manoa. Despite what the outcome is today we should treasure what they've done for the Eagles.
Pre-game: Anthems are up and we are just moments away.
1: And we're underway! Japan knock it on early and the U.S. will have a scrum near the 22.
2: First scrum and it's a good one from the Eagles. Petri tries to go quick after a couple of phases but it's forward. Good start.
3: Japan pinged for not rolling away. U.S. are going to go for the posts. The kick is up and good! Eagles lead 3-0 early.
7: U.S. misses a tackle and Japan break through. A few phases and Matsushima has a try in the corner. Great counter attack from Japan. That's not what the Eagles wanted. Too easy to get through the defense. Goromaru's conversion is good. 7-3.
10: Japan with all the possession the last few minutes. They've looked dangerous but the U.S. defense is holding. Give away a penalty, though.
14: Forward pass gives Japan possession but Durutalo wins the ball at the breakdown. Ball spilled back to Japan.
15: Another forward pass for the Eagles. They want to get forward but too many mistakes so far.
16: Water break. After a good first five minutes mistakes have allowed Japan to apply pressure. Still 7-3.
19: Japan pulling down the maul. U.S. tries the crossfield kick but it doesn't work. We'll go back for the penalty. Going for the lineout. The U.S. botches the lineout from five meters and Japan will have the ball.
24: Ngwenya try!!!!!!!!!!! Over 20 phases, penalty on Japan, but using advantage a great pass from Wyles puts Ngwenya through! MacGinty's conversion is no good. 8-7 to the Eagles with 25 gone.
26: Japan back threatening immediately off the restart.
27: Japan use their maul and Fujita is through for the try. All came off the missed play at the restart. The conversion is good. Japan retake the lead at 14-8. Momentum is changing hands quickly in this match.
30: Cam Dolan is coming on for Hayden Smith.
31: U.S. are offside. Goromaru will have a kick at the posts. It's up and good. Japan 17-8 Eagles.
36: A bit and back and forth over the last few minutes and the teams exchange kicks.
37: Great kick chase and defense from the U.S. forces a five meter scrum. Good works from the backs.
39: U.S. get the ball out of the scrum but Peterson is held up on the ball goes to Japan.
40: U.S. penalized at the scrum. Japan kick it out and that's halftime. 17-8 to Japan.
Halftime: Eagles not taking advantage of their opportunities again. Too many small mistakes. A just early in the 2nd have has them back in it.
40: Teams are back out on the pitch and we're underway in the second half!
42: U.S. penalized early again. Goromaru will have a shot at goal. The kick is good. Japan lead 20-8.
46: U.S. pushing close to the line again but yet another mistake as it's lost forward.
52: A few phases from the U.S. but yet another knock on. Japanese defense is coming up big.
54: Durutalo wins the ball at the breakdown. U.S. going for the posts. MacGinty's kick is good. Eagles 11-20 Japan.
56: Eagles try to play out of their own end and are bailed out when Japan knock it on. Almost the game there.
57: The ball is turned over and Ngwenya is nearly through but he's caught. Still, a little better from the Eagles.
60: Eric Fry sent to the bin for kicking the ball away as Japan are just meters short. Little argument there. Japan are going for the lineout.
61: Japan score a try off the lineout through Mafi. Defense gone missing there. Goromaru's conversion is no good. Japan lead 25-11.
64: Barrett and Thiel on for Fenoglio and McFarland.
66: Samu Manoa just crushed a Japanese player but it's a penalty. Japan only meters short but the Eagles steal it and clear.
71: Good runs from Barrett and Palamo earns the Eagles a penalty. They go with the quick tap.Try Wyles!!!!! They go through several phases and the skip pass from MacGinty finds Wyles for the try. MacGinty's conversion is good. 25-18. Fry back on.
75: U.S. commit a penalty and Japan will have a shot at goal. Goromaru's kick is good. Japan lead 28-18 with four minutes to go. Quill on for Peterson.
79: U.S. with some pressure looking for the score but it's lost forward. That will almost certainly be it...except a penalty.
80: Japan win the ball and kick out. That's the final: Japan 28-18 USA. Disappointing but fitting end to the World Cup for the Eagles.

Thanks for following along!


  1. Just shocking that Smith was even on the roster with that lingering injury. What a waste of a sub. Hopefully Dolan can provide a spark.

  2. I just have no confidence that Tolkin knows his best 15 and let alone basics like his best back row combinations. Tonight was a better overall game, especially Barrett, Durutalo and even Ngwenya came to life, but Japan always seemed to have it in the bag.