Saturday, June 25, 2016

Eagles Blank Russia In Solid Win

Photo: Michael Kreizenbeck
The Eagles will head into their offseason with a win under their belts having beaten Russia 25-0 at Bonney Field in Sacramento. It wasn't the prettiest results for the team as they let themselves down on several occasions but it is a win and they showed enough positives to feel good about their performance.

The Eagles started the match with a couple of good surges but overall neither team was able to gain much rhythm. The heat certainly had an impact but the Eagles also looked too timid at time, almost like they expected Russia to wilt. That didn't happen and instead Russia themselves had a few chances only to be stopped by the U.S. defense.

The first points of the match came nine minutes in when MacGinty connected on his first penalty. He soon added to that to push the lead to 6-0. During that span the Eagles did have one great movement with some solid passing that sprung Mike Te'o for an opportunity but it was knocked on. Arguably the best chances in the half for the Eagles came from Will Holder and James Hilterbrand. Holder put in a chip and was able to barely beat the Russians to the ball only to see it slip out of his fingers. Hilterbrand's chance came as the Eagles used their maul--created from a charge down from Cam Dolan that forced Russia to kick into touch--but he somehow spilled the ball in the tryzone and Russia clear.

Take the jump to read more.

Photo: Connie Hatfield

Throughout the half the Eagles were able to rely on the boot of MacGinty and capitalize on frequent Russian ill-discipline. MacGinty cranked over three more kicks to put the halftime score at 15-0.

The second half saw more of the same but with the Eagles having some bright moments early. Some nice interplay between Cam Dolan, Shalom Suniula, and Blaine Scully put the Eagles close. They didn't get the try but it did set up another MacGinty penalty.

When the Russians had their lock sent to the bin for repeat team infractions in the 48th minute it looked like the Eagles would finally get some momentum on their side. Instead, Russia did well to slow things down by making substitutes and the Eagles didn't really show much urgency to put points on the board.

The Eagles did have a couple of nice chances in the second half but like in the first half it was the small errors, like a bad pass, that sunk the opportunity to score. One of the best chances came in the 58th minute when Blaine Scully bounced off a couple of defenders to have a shout for the try. However, a great play from the Russian defender held him up.

Still, the match always felt like the Eagles had a try in them and that finally came in the 64th minute. After several phases in their attacking territory a dummy from MacGinty froze the defense. He then made a great offload to Mikey Te'o who bounced off a couple of defenders and went in for the score. With the conversion the Eagles led 25-0.

After the try the match seemed to lose some energy. Substitutes like Langilangi Haupeakui made an impact early but the heat from the day sapped a lot out of the players.

In the end the Eagles will be pleased that they were able to put points on the board through the boot of MacGinty. At the same time they will be disappointed to only come away with one try. The lack of try scoring is becoming a bit of a problem for the team recently. They will also be concerned that they committed too many small errors that cost them chances. Those will be fixed by playing more together.

The silver lining in the match is that is was a win and the Eagles will head into the fall with a positive result. They also have to be proud of the way they defended as a team. Coupled with their shutout of Chile earlier in the year the team now has two, something that may not have happened in years.

The team will now wait to regroup in the fall when they take on the Maori All Blacks and go on a tour of Europe.


Tries: Teo
Conversions: MacGinty
Penalties: MacGinty (6)


  1. Wait the eagles played yesterday? I saw a bunch of international rugby on espn3, but no eagles match.... Oh wait, that's right they where on some obscure ppv channel. Oh well, the other rugby was just as entertaining. Guess USA rugby does not care whether I or the public at large watch or not.

  2. Was there a Man of the Match awarded?

  3. No not on obscure PPV..... very accessible.... besides let's all complain less and support more withour thinks we are owed something

  4. I would love to support TRC. But, considering how many times it dropped out yesterday it's incredibly difficult to find anything to support. If you are going to charge people for a subscription then you have to ensure that your offering is consistent and of good quality. Not one or the other but both. The quality was good but consistency seriously lacking.

  5. Agreed with Gregory. My iPad kept constantly losing its signal. I had to watch on my laptop, which was very inconvenient. If I'm paying, the quality needs to be good. I don't mind paying $5 a month. That's actually cheap. But I would like for it to WORK, like ESPN's app does.

    1. I need to say, I have no issue with the pricing. Very afordable but yeah, if I'm going to pay for it I want the quality to be there. It can be done. Look at Glendale feed.