Saturday, November 19, 2016

Match Commentary: Eagles vs. Tonga

Our coverage of the the Eagles November is brought to you by Canterbury


The match will be shown live on The Rugby Channel. Before it starts get caught up with our preview.

Eagles Line-up

Forwards: Joe Taufete'e, James Hilterbrand, Chris Baumann, Cam Dolan, Nick Civetta, Samu Manoa, Tony Lamborn, Andrew Durutalo; Backs: Nate Augspurger, Will Holder, Martin Iosefo, Marcel Brache, Thretton Palamo, Blaine Scully, Madison Hughes; Bench: Pat Blair, Angus MacLellan, Dino Waldren, Al McFarland, Langilangi Haupeakui, Mike Te'o, JP Eloff, Bryce Campbell

Tonga Line-up

Forwards: Tevita Mailau, Paul Ngauamo, Siua Halanukonuka, Steve Mafi, Joe Tu’ineau, Daniel Faleafa, Jack Ram, Tevita Koloamatangi; Backs: Tane Takulua, Kali Hala, Fetu’u Vainikolo, Latiume Fosita, Siale Piutau, Nafi Tuitavake, Telusa Veainu; Bench: Elvis Taione, Paea Fa’anunu, Sila Puafisi, Valentino Mapapalangi, Kotoni Ale, Tomasi Palu, Tevita Taufu’i, Tevita Halaifonua

Take the jump to read more.
Pre-game: As we mentioned in our preview this is going to be a tough one for the Eagles. However, they have all the tools to pull off the upset.
Pre-game: In particular we are watching to see what the back-row can do.
Pre-game: Anthems up. Pat Blair can really belt it out.
0: We're underway!
3: First scrums up now. The U.S. is doing alright but the turf easily gives way.
4: Tonga with the first real threat out of the scrum. A timely intervention from Scully helps break it up. Clearance doesn't go far.
5: Eagles commit the penalty. Very kickable from Tonga but they go for the line out.
9: Eagles scrum commits a penalty. Tonga are going to try and turn the screw with another one. All Tonga so far.
10: Try Tonga! Easy stuff from Tonga out of the scrum has Telusa Veainu score. Three missed tackles. Conversion good from Tane Takulua. 7-0.
12: Eagles get the ball back and want to go on attack but Brache drops the pass on his first touch.
14: Eagles get meters from the line on a great driving maul. They are going to have the easy kick in front of the posts after a penalty. Holder's kick is good. 7-3. It's so important that they get the scoreboard churning over.
17: Eagles get the ball back. It's spilled (good defense from Tonga) and Tonga are now on the attack.
19: Eagles cleared but it was carried back into the 22. Those are the types of mistakes that really hurt.
22: Try Tonga! Fetu’u Vainikolo gets a beautiful offload from Jack Ram who had eluded the U.S. from the line out. Takulua's conversion is good. 14-3 to Tonga.
28: Brache getting pinged for a late hit. Ball is going to where the Tongan kick landed. Another mistake that really hurts.
30: Tonga think they have a try but this might come back for foul play. Ref going to TMO to check a Tonga clean out on Chris Baumann. Yep. It's coming back. Eagles catch a break.
34: The U.S. needs to try something different on attack. They aren't making many meters and are going backward. Also, not dropping passes helps your attack.
37: Eagles with their best attacking movement of the day but Tonga poach it. Eagles win it back at the breakdown.
39: Try Iosefo!! Augspurger thinks quick from the ruck to jump over the defense and then make the offload. Crucial, crucial score. Holder's conversion is good. 14-10 with just a minute or so left in the half.
40: U.S. commit the penalty. Takulua's kick is good. Tonga 17-10 Eagles at halftime.
44: Tonga had the initial attack in the second half but the U.S. clears. Turf monster swallowing the scrum. Ref warning both teams about "mucking" around at the scrum. He says they won't like it if he has to fix it.
46: U.S. with a better attacking movement. They need more of that. Halted with a small knock-on.
48: Dolan with a heads up play from the ruck. Lamborn with a big run and the Eagles are in business.
50: Madison Hughes with a cheeky kick ahead. It never went into touch and as Tonga were moving forward he kicked and recovered.
51: Try Eagles! Joe Taufete'e stretches after solid ball movement. Holder's kick is good. All tied at 17-17 with 30 minutes to play. It all came from Hughes's play and then good running from Scully.
53: Eagles are out again and have Tonga on their back feet. Brache with an initial break but a forward pass prevents the try.
59: Try Hughes!!!! Eagles stay patient trying to find the break and it comes from Brache who then offloads to Hughes. Ref is going to the TMO. He's looking for obstruction on Taufete'e. NO TRY!
60: Langilangi Haupeakui is in for Manoa.
62: Eagles penalized and Takulua's kick is good. 20-17 to Tonga.
63: Subs coming on now. Matai Leuta is on, Thretton Palamo is off. Iosefo should move to center.
64: Eagles attacking again but it's knocked on. Still, much better signs. Brache has settled in well.
67: Referee going to the TMO to check for foul play again. Not sure what for. They are using a cell phone for the TMO. Never seen that before. It turns out it's a penalty on Tonga. Holder off, Te'o on. Te'o is the flyhalf.
70: Yellow card on Sila Puafisi. U.S. have an advantage for the rest of the match. It's called a late charge. Kinda soft but they were warned.
72: U.S. trying to push forward yet again. They are so close to a break through.
73: Leuta recovers his own chip and the Eagles are out attacking again. Still looking for the break. McFarland on, Durutalo off.
74: Tonga win a penalty on the scrum. That's a crucial penalty.
76: Just a few minutes left. Eagles with a big put in at the scrum right now.
77: Ugh. Another knock on from the Eagles. This is going to let Tonga kill time.
79: Another scrum penalty gives Tonga another chance to kill time. Tonga going for the line out.
80: Eagles get the turnover but Hughes throws it away. Tonga clear and the match is over.

Tough result for the Eagles again. This is a match they should have had but it's those small errors crushing them.

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  1. The Eagles again tease us and then let us down with simple mistakes. How many knock on's today??? Absolutely kill us. And we get a man advantage for the last 10 minutes of the game and it's panic mode......lose our own attacking lineout, lose a turnover ball on attack, knock on's, scrum gets pushed around, although Mitchell didn't sub anyone out of the front row and they were all tired. Play smarter and it's a win.

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