Monday, February 13, 2017

U.S. vs. Brazil: Eagles Player Grades

Our grades are in for the Eagles against Brazil. Overall players do very well and get better marks than they received against Uruguay.

Ben Tarr, 40 minutes (6): Overall we thought that Tarr had a quiet match. He did well in the scrum but wasn't super active in the open field. If John Mitchell was looking for one of his props to take ownership of the position he'll probably still be looking.

James Hilterbrand, 59 minutes (7): Captaining the team for the first time Hilterbrand did well to lead both in his interactions with the referee and on the pitch. He has settled into a solid role with the Eagles and is the number one option at hooker heading into the summer.

Dino Waldren, 40 minutes (6): Like Tarr, Waldren did well in the scrum and we thought he was more active than his partner. He made several good carries.

Nate Brakeley, 80 minutes (8): Brakeley continues to be a steady presence for the team. The more international rugby he plays the better he becomes, in particular at the line out where he is lethal. We also thought he had more of a chance to show off his 7s skills in open play this go around.

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Nick Civetta, 80 minutes (7.5): Another fantastic performance from Civetta. The Eagles should be thankful they'll have him around next week against Canada. Along with Brakeley he was a major force in the line out and did a lot of the dirty work that teams need to be successful.

John Quill, 63 minutes (7.5): The player arguably most adept at doing the dirty work without getting a lot of the credit is Quill. We thought he was excellent against Brazil at disrupting what they wanted to do and generally being tough on defense.  After some time away from the Eagles he's back and looking like a key piece.

Tony Lamborn, 80 minutes (8): Lamborn was our man of the match. Not only was it his scoring but it was his general play. He brings a lot of experience from his time in the Mitre 10 Cup in New Zealand and he makes those small, but important, heads up plays that make the difference between winning and losing.

Al McFarland, 52 minutes (6): Another solid shift from McFarland before he had to come off with injury. He was very active throughout the match and did better than he did against Uruguay.

Shaun Davies, 73 minutes (6): Davies loves to play quickly. That's been known about him for a long time and against Brazil it worked well. He got the backs involved early and often. We're not sure it was enough to elevate him above Nate Augspurger but it advanced the conversation.

Will Magie, 59 minutes (6.5): We thought that Magie did enough to firmly place his name in serious consideration for the back-up to AJ MacGinty for World Cup qualifying. For us it's between him, James Bird, and Ben Cima with Magie having the inside track. The only downside to his game on Saturday was that it wasn't his day from the tee. On the flip side, his kicking from hand was excellent and we wonder if he might be a good option at fullback when AJ MacGinty is on the roster.

Nate Augspurger, 80 minutes (7): The move to wing can always be tough but Augspurger handled it well. It utilized a lot of his skills at making plays and taking risks. It also says something about a player when the coach finds a spot for you on the team even if it isn't your natural position.

JP Eloff, 80 minutes (7): A solid match from Eloff. He justly picked up a try but more importantly he put himself in good spots to succeed. That was the big difference for him between the Uruguay match and the Brazil match.

Bryce Campbell, 80 minutes (7): It's hard to say enough positive things about Campbell's ARC so far. He has take the next step up in his play and it might be hard to see him starting over Thretton Palamo in the summer but he is inching himself into that conversation.

Spike Davis, 61 minutes (6): It shouldn't shock anyone that Davis scored on debut. He is a try scoring machine. We liked how he continued to do what made him successful in PRO Rugby and use his strength to take on the smaller opposing players. It opens up a lot of chances for his teammates.

Mike Te'o, 80 minutes (5.5): Te'o does so many things well that help his team. A couple of the tries scored on Saturday could directly be traced to positive play by Te'o. At the same time there is something off with his passing at the moment and it killed a couple of opportunities.


Chris Baumann, 40 minutes (6.5): Another good performance from Baumann. The ARC has been great for his confidence.

Tony Purpura, 40 minutes (6.5): Like Baumann, a good performance off the bench.

Cam Dolan, 28 minutes (7): Dolan genuinely has fun when he is out on the pitch. He came in on Saturday and made a huge impact to the team going forward. It's no coincidence that the team started pounding in tries after he came on.

Peter Malcolm, 21 minutes (7): Malcolm continues to grow in confidence. As a young player he came on against Brazil and immediately inserted himself into the action. We thought he had a great day carrying the ball.

Ben Cima, 21 minutes (6.5): Another solid day from the team and a solid day as a playmaker. There are still a few things he needs to recognize more quickly but he's getting there.

Peter Tiberio, 19 minutes (6): A try on debut for Tiberio was a fitting cap to being called into camp on short notice and delivering.

Todd Clever, 17 minutes (6): We think that coming off the bench is the best move for Clever going forward. He's able to come in and make a big impact in a short period of time. When the rest of the team is sagging in energy after 60 or so grueling minutes he can come in and fire them up.

Deion Mikesell, 7 minutes (6.5): There wasn't a lot of time for Mikesell to make his presence known on the match but for that short time he was very active on the wing and showed a lot of positive signs.

1 comment:

  1. Brakely's got to pick up a contract soon. He is growing with every Test and could become a phenomenal player in a full-time setup. Davies got the ball out much more quickly than Augspurger has. Slow delivery has been the one knock on Augspurger. Though he looked fabulous on the wing. I think Augs is better suited for the back three than Madison Hughes, and that Hughes would be better at 9 than Augs.

    Cima is magnificent from the tee and Magie is great at kicking from hand. However, if this had been the Argentina match we would have needed the 12 points left on the field in missed penalties and conversions. Cima probably gets us at least half of those points. Cima will grow with more playing time as he is all of 20. Overall, the #10 jersey appears to have some good depth that didn't exist a year ago.

    We also have to find a new fullback. I don't think it's Te'o, not at least as the first choice. I would like to see Scully there since we have depth on the wings.