Tuesday, March 1, 2016

U.S. vs. Brazil: Eagles Player Grades

If we're being honest, and we always do our best to be, we debated whether to even issue grades for the Eagles match against Brazil. The team had a stinker of a match, probably so much so that's it not even worth evaluating it along with the others. That of course is impossible and in many ways this loss needs to be tattooed on everyone's brain. With that in mind we decided to issue grades and it wasn't pretty.

David Tameilau (6): We started with Tameilau because of all the players that played against Brazil we thought he had the best match. He repeatedly tried to bail the Eagles out at the scrum and he put in some massive hits. He was also hard to take down. Had he more experience he would have made a good choice for captain.

Aladdin Schirmer (5.5): The match was a good opportunity for Schirmer to gain experience. It'll certainly be a debut he'll never forget. He faded out at times and sometimes didn't reach his ability but his handling skills on his try and his support show he has potential.

James King, 77 minutes (5): In some sense you have to fell bad for King. It's unclear how much rugby he's been playing recently and he was brought into a completely new set-up and asked to provide experience and energy. You could tell he looked lost at times during the match. He should get a mulligan.

Take the jump to read more.

Ben Landry (3): After putting in so much positive work in the last two matches Landry didn't have the greatest match against Brazil. In particular his handling wasn't there.

Brodie Orth (3): This is cheating a bit but Orth's description is almost entire identical to Landry's.

Ollie Kilifi (4): It was a tough, tough match for the first time captain. On the pitch he was just okay and there were some things he needed to do better as a captain. It's a good learning experience for him and he'll be a better player as a result.

Joe Taufete'e, 58 minutes (3.5): An okay day from Taufete'e but he needed to be much more active on the pitch and better in the scrum.

Demecus Beach, 34 minutes (2): We don't want to be too cruel but Beach looked completely lost in his short time. We don't know if it was an injury or something else but he had a game he'd like to permanently forget.

Niku Kruger (3): Kruger was another player who'd like to forget this match. He was outplayed by his Brazilian counterpart and he continually got on the wrong side of the referee. Again, another learning experience.

James Bird, 75 minutes (3.5): You have to credit the Brazilian defense. They were quick to rush up and they put pressure on the Eagles, Bird in particular. He wasn't able to distribute the way he would have liked and he had a subpar game as a result.

Ryan Matyas, 52 minutes (4): We're tempted to not give Matyas a rank because he hardly saw the ball. However, we he was asked on defense he made a couple of big plays. That's enough to earn an okay grade.

Andrew Suniula (3): For being a leader on the team Suniula was expected to do more. It's hard to do that from the centers but Suniula needed to be more vocal in getting after his teammates and raising the level of play. Yes, it was his first game since the World Cup but he needed to be a step better.

Mike Garrity  52 minutes (4): Garrity was another player that didn't see much of the ball. Like the rest of the backs he was also called on to do some last ditch defending, some of which was successful and some of which wasn't.

Kingsley McGowan, 57 minutes (5.5): Of all the starters we though that McGowan had one of the better matches. He tried to be active and if there is a complaint it's that he tried to do too much.

Jake Anderson (5): Like the rest of the backs Anderson was probably guilty of kicking away too much. He wasn't involved much in the match other than being a last ditch defender and kicking the ball away.


Eric Fry, 46 minutes (6): Fry tried to do what he could to salvage the match when he came on in the first half and the scrum did stabilize under him but there wasn't much he could do to make up for the shortfalls of his teammates.

Tim Stanfill, 28 minutes (4.5): Stanfill hardly saw any action after he came on the pitch. He did have a couple of dangerous opportunities but not enough.

Chad London, 28 minutes (5): London brought poise and energy when he came on the pitch. That was exactly what the Eagles needed it was just too bad the rest of his teammates didn't pick it up too.

Mike Te'o, 23 minutes (6): Te'o was a brought spot after coming on in the second half. He did not want to lose that match and when the Eagles needed some big plays at the end he was there trying to make them.

Mike Sosene-Feagai, 22 minutes (5): Sosene-Feagai helped stabilize the scrum but it was hard for him to make an impact elsewhere. It's no surprise that with him, Te'o, Fry, and London the Eagles scored a crucial try.

JP Eloff, 5 minutes (NA): Not enough time for a grade.

Hanco Germishuys, 3 minutes (NA): Congrats to Germishuys for gaining the cap but he didn't get enough time for a grade.

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