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Saturday, October 8, 2016

Match Commentary: USA Selects vs. Fiji Warriors

Today's Eagles coverage is brought to you by Canterbury USA.

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The match can be seen live on The Rugby Channel.

Selects Line-up

Forwards: Mason Pedersen, Joseph Taufete'e, Demecus Beach, Siaosi Mahoni, Matthew Jensen, Harry Higgins, Pat Blair, Sione Tu'ihalamaka; Backs: Stephen Tomasin, Jean-Pierre Eloff, Mataiyasi Leuta, Martin Iosefo, Bryce Campbell, Brett Thompson, Mike Te'o; Bench: Hanco Germishuys, Chance Wenglewski, Alex Maughan, Christian Ostberg, Malon Al-Jiboori, Nicklas Boyer, Benjamin Cima, Ahmad Harajly

Fiji Warriors Line-up

Forwards: Joeli Veitayaki, Seremaia Naureure, Mesake Doge, Rupeni Nasiga, Mesulame Kunavula, Nemani Nagusa, Vasikali Mudu, Eremasi Radrodro; Backs: Henry Seniloli, Alivereti Veitokani, Frederick Hickes, Eroni Vasiteri, Iferemi Tovilevu, Apete Daveta, Lepani Raiyala (Vatukoula) Bench: Mosese Digo, Iliesa Leca, Kalivati Tawake, Sefanaia Nadruku, Vasikali Mudu, Sakiusa Gavidi, Ilimeleki Leiloma, Sitiveni Kunaga

Take the jump to read more.
Pre-game: This is still a very experimental side for the United States. A win would be nice but it's not so much about winning as it is about developing players.
Pre-game: Anthems done and we're about to start.
1: And we're underway!
3: The U.S. with some time in their attacking zone but they can't capitalize and knock it on.
5: Matai Leuta try!!!! Te'o sends the grubber through. Thompson can't grab it but Leuta is there to clean up. Eloff's conversion is no good. 5-0 to the Selects.
7: Try Fiji! They put the U.S. under pressure and then they charge down Eloff's kick to turn it into a try. The easy conversion is good. Fiji Warriors now up 7-5. That was the exact type of situation the Selects need to learn from.
11: Fiji with a dangerous sequence but they can't make the final pass as the U.S. defense closes in. U.S. clears.
12: The U.S. nearly benefit from a high kick and a Fijian slip but it's knocked on. Some good stuff from the Selects so far but work to go.
15: Try Fiji! They benefit from a U.S. penalty to go for the line out. The U.S. initially steals it but it's knocked on and from there Fiji show great hands to go wide, slip a couple of tackles, and are in for the try. So dangerous with ball in hand. The conversion is off. 12-5 to Fiji with 16 played.
18: U.S. pushing hard again. Thompson and Leuta in particular are active but they can't handle it for a knock on.
19: Harry Higgins with a good charge down as Fiji try to clear. It took it in the chest but he'll be okay.
21: Fiji do better in the scrum and force the U.S. on their back foot. From there they voce a knock on as the U.S. try to play.
23: U.S. steal another line out and after able to clear. So far the locks and back-row have been doing well.
26: Penalty count is increasing for the Selects. Pedersen off with an injury. Wenglewski is on.
27: Try Fiji! Off the scrum the number 8 spots the gap and rumbles over easily.  The conversion is off. 17-5 with 28 played.
32: U.S. with more mistakes, including an ill-advised effort from Eloff to save the ball from touch, but Fiji throw it forward.
33: Mike Te'o with the breakaway. Leuta is screaming for the ball out wide but Te'o's pass is knocked away. Ball spills, Bryce Campbell pressures the ball. It looks backward and Thompson capitalizes for what looks like a try. TMO review. Ref says no try. Knock-on. Still, that's better effort from the Selects. Fiji will have to work their way from deep. Scrum penalty on the Selects.
36: Martin Iosefo shown yellow. He's the victim of way too many penalties by the Selects.
37: Fiji with a shout for a try but it's deemed a knock on. Just a few minutes left in the half.
38: Try Fiji. They use their power and size to pressure their way through. The conversion is good. 24-5.
Halftime. The Selects had opportunities but let themselves down. Defense and the scrum not good.
40: The second half is underway!
42: The U.S. knock it on but the defense come sup with the win at the breakdown. Taufete'e with a breakaway but another knock on.
44: Another yellow card to the Selects. Beach is sent to the bin for yet another penalty at the scrum. Two minutes but Iosefo is back.
45: Iosefo is back. U.S. still with only 14 men.
46: Try!!! Steve Tomasin scores off the set piece line out. No one was home for Fiji and he had a clear path. Eloff's conversion is good. 24-12. That was exactly what the Selects needed. Credit to Pat Blair for his quick thinking in the line out. Blair, Thompson, Leuta have all been good.
48: Alex Maughan on to give the U.S. three front-row players. Tuihalamaka off.
50: Try Fiji! They counterattack and after a missed U.S. tackle they are in. Far too easy for Fiji. Conversion good. 31-12. Hopefully the U.S. can learn from their decision-making in this match.
52: Fiji are in again! The wheels have come off for the Selects defense. One missed tackle and the Select don't have the numbers to recover. Conversion is no good. 36-12.
55: Beach is back on. Fiji in another great attacking position. Malon Al-Jiboori comes on for Siaosi Mahoni.
58: Penalty try for Fiji after the U.S. scrum crumples once again. Rough match for the Selects so far. The conversion is good. 41-12.
59: The TMO is looking at something, possibly on Fiji. Just a penalty on Fiji. U.S. will have an attacking line out. Fiji win it with a knock on.
61: Ben Cima is on for JP Eloff. Ahmad Harajaly on for Matai Leuta.
62: Yet another knock on in a great attacking position. The U.S. have had a number of tries slip through their hands.
65: Fiji intercept try. U.S. were actually doing well but Cima's pass was read and turned the other way. The conversion is good. 50-12 to Fiji. This is turning into NZ vs. SA earlier today!
66: Hanco Germishuys is on.
68: Fiji with another try on the counterattack. You have to give credit to Fiji. They have turned up today. Conversion good. 57-12.
70: Christian Ostberg is also on. Te'o goes quick off a penalty. The U.S. knock it on trying to put it down. Story of the game right there.
73: Another Fiji try. Hanco Germishuys tried to tackled him but couldn't hold on. Before that the U.S. had some nice movement.
75: Despite the intercept pass Cima has been good since coming on.  Boyer is on.
79: The subs have made a big impact today. It helps that many of those have good experience. That matters.
That's full time. Fiji 6-12. Plenty of lessons for the Selects. That's the point of this tournament. Match vs. Canada will show a lot.

Thanks for following along!

8 comments:

  1. Didn't watch the game but based on t this commentary, it sounds like Beach got rocked in the scrum. Same thing happened in the ARC. He doesn't seem like an international quality prop.

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    1. Beach name is mention twice in the article...you didn't watch the match but he doesn't seems like an international quality prop..also No ARC team has ever rocked him...why you hating??lol

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    2. First, props usually get carded for one thing: repeated scrum infringements. Second, please go watch the match against Brazil in the ARC and tell me he didn't get rocked in the scrums. A healthy prop doesn't get subbed out at the 31st minute mark. I stand by my comment. He is a good prop in the US, but that isn't so much a compliment as an indictment of the US's lack of international quality props.

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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. I'm assuming the Fiji Warriors get a lot more time together. Hopefully, given the score line. I was also impressed by Cima. I hear he's doing good things with Rocky Gorge. At the same time, I hope someone is advising him to get more time at a higher level of play (exchange year to NZ or elsewhere?). I liked Teo's ability with ball in hand, but an international level fullback should do much more like that. I wasn't impressed with his tactical kicking. Has he impressed elsewhere in that regard? Finally, does anyone know what's happening with Zach Test. I know he was trying to make the Eagles as a winger/fullback. If he's not at the sevens camp, why isn't he at the APC?

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    1. A large contingent of the Fijians play together, so continuity helps. Frankly, the match showed three things. First, the US lacks depth in its player pool. Second, our top players need to spend more time together. Look at how much game time the Argentina XV have gotten together over the last 10 months: the ARC, the South American Championship, and now this tourney. Third, our players need higher fitness levels.

      Cima is likely a leading candidate for the #10 jersey for one of the rumored east coast expansion PRO teams. He is a very good player and should be MacGinty's backup in 2019. Test is in the Macabbi squad for next year's games. He also has "established" himself in 15s. Just check out his 3 consecutive tackles against Japan at RWC 2015.

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  4. I'm assuming the Fiji Warriors get a lot more time together. Hopefully, given the score line. I was also impressed by Cima. I hear he's doing good things with Rocky Gorge. At the same time, I hope someone is advising him to get more time at a higher level of play (exchange year to NZ or elsewhere?). I liked Teo's ability with ball in hand, but an international level fullback should do much more like that. I wasn't impressed with his tactical kicking. Has he impressed elsewhere in that regard? Finally, does anyone know what's happening with Zach Test. I know he was trying to make the Eagles as a winger/fullback. If he's not at the sevens camp, why isn't he at the APC?

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    Replies
    1. Minor injury I believe for Zach Test

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