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Thursday, October 8, 2015

U.S. vs. South Africa: Eagles Player Grades

As you'd expect after their loss to South Africa our player grades for the Eagles aren't great. We aren't going to destroy them for their performance because at times some players did well, but the grades are still on the low end.

Ollie Kilifi, 58  minutes (5): Although it's the whole forward pack that is responsible for the scrum much of the attention will always go to the props and the Eagles didn't have a good day in that department. That's going to ding Kilifi's grade a bit but he was the better scrummager of the two props and Kilifi was one of the few players to make a positive impact on office finishing second on the team with carries over the gainline with five.

Phil Thiel, 71 minutes (4.5): The good news is that the line out was much better and the U.S. didn't lose a single one of their own. Still, it wasn't the best day for Thiel missing four tackles, good enough for the second most on the team.

Chris Baumann, 80 minutes (4.5): Defensively Baumann was the most active Eagles making 16 tackles although he missed three. The scrum was an issue for him which will take him down a bit.

Take the jump to read more.

Lou Stanfill, 80 minutes (5.5): All things considered we though Stanfill had one of the better matches for the Eagles. It's not like he hasn't face a team like South Africa before and he wasn't intimated making tackles and putting in good runs.

Matt Trouville, 69 minutes (5): Some questioned whether he would fit in at lock but overall there didn't seem to be too many issues with him there. That said, he wasn't as effective as he would like against the Springboks and didn't stand out too much.

Danny Barrett, 57 minutes (5.5): We thought that the entire Eagles back-row was one of the few bright spots for the Eagles, especially in the first half. Barrett did miss three tackles but he also showed up in good spots and was a pest at times.

John Quill, 80 minutes (6): Quill was another player we thought had good moments given the circumstances. He was second on the team in tackles made at 13 and was generally bothersome to South Africa at the breakdown. It would not be odd to see him get more playing time down the road which shows just how deep the Eagles are at back-row.

Samu Manoa, 47 minutes (7): Our man of the match. Manoa is such a special player and even in the difficult circumstances played well. Offensively he was the Eagles biggest threat taking it to South Africa time and time again. Defensively he was also a solid presence as well. We thought the choice to make him captain to lead by example was a good one.

Niku Kruger, 80 minutes (5):Without question there were times when Kruger struggled against the Springboks, especially missing five tackles (although he did temporarily save a try). That said, for only his third appearance in an Eagles jersey we thought he handled some of the pressure well and definitely looks like the successor to Mike Petri at this point.

Shalom Suniula, 80 minutes (5): There is only so much a fly-half can do when under the pressure that Suniula was under for 80 minutes. He did help keep possession early in the match but then faded some as the time rolled on.

Zach Test, 80 minutes (5): Like the rest of the backs Test did most of his work defensively and only saw the ball on a few occasions.

Andrew Suniula, 80 minutes (5): Suniula was able to make an impact carrying the ball at times and did get stuck in on tackles but generally had a hard time making his presence felt.

Folau Niua, 80 minutes (4.5): Niua didn't see much of the ball in the match and was largely silent.

Brett Thompson, 80 minutes (5): Thompson had some good cover tackles and was able to collect a few returning one especially well. Overall though, like the rest of the backs wasn't as involved as usual.

Blaine Scully, 69 minutes (5.5): Scully showed how brave he was in the Habana collision and he tried to make an impact on the match, especially kicking from hand at times, but he was always under pressure before giving way to Chris Wyles.


Cam Dolan, 33 minutes (6): Dolan once again came off the bench and made an immediate impact. He looks good in a super sub role but it wouldn't shock us to see him start against Japan.

Al McFarland, 23 minutes (5): A largely quiet 23 minutes for McFarland. He did come in and fill much of the same role that Barrett provided.

Mate Moeakiola, 22 minutes (5): Moeakiola got his first taste of action at the World Cup and did decently. His experience showed through at times which was needed late in the match.

Chris Wyles, 11 minutes (5): Wyles came on and tried to get involved but by the time he came on it was too late to do much.

Zach Fenoglio, 11 minutes (4.5): He came on for Trouville but was largely a spectator toward the end.

Joe Taufetee, 9 minutes (5): The surprise inclusion on the roster made his World Cup debut and showed a lot of good energy even if the performance wasn't perfect.

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