Monday, February 20, 2017

U.S. vs. Canada: Eagles Player Grades

Our player grades are in for the Eagles against Canada. As you would expect with a blowout win there are positive marks across the board.

Tony Purpura, 57 minutes (6): Another solid outing from Purpura. Scoring a try was a bonus on what was overall a good performance. There were some issues in the scrum early but we thought he had his best outing getting around the pitch.

Peter Malcolm, 50 minutes (7): When the ARC is finished it could be Malcolm that emerges as the breakout star. He has been fantastic for the Eagles so far. He's extremely athletic and his scrummaging has only improved. His line out throws have also been on. All in all, he could become the Eagles hooker for foreseeable future.

Chris Baumann, 50 minutes (6): Like Purpura another solid outing for Baumann. The scrum wasn't perfect and there will be need to address some things against of Argentina but overall not much to complain about.

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Nate Brakeley, 80 minutes (7): John Mitchell has to be kicking himself that Brakeley has to go back to work after this match. He has been outstanding during the ARC and even more so against Canada on Saturday. The line out is working to near perfection at the moment thanks in large part to what Brakeley is going.

Nick Civetta, 66 minutes (7): This could be identical to what was written about Brakeley. Both Civetta and Brakeley are going to make Mitchell's job hard when it comes to selections for the World Cup qualifiers. With the likes of Samu Manoa, Cam Dolan, Andrew Durutalo, Tony Lamborn, and Danny Barrett all available for the back-row it could either have one of those excellent players coming off the bench or could potentially break up the Civetta and Brakeley partnership. Given how Civetta and Brakeley are playing it makes it a really hard choice.

Todd Clever, 57 minutes (6): Clever loves playing against Canada and it showed. With Mitchell emphasizing flankers out on the wings Clever has lots of space to run and it's leading to good things. There are still questions whether or not he is a long-term starter.

Tony Lamborn, 61 minutes (7): A quiet but productive shift from Lamborn. He continues to do the small things that help the Eagles win. He may not be the flashiest but he has become an indispensable part of the Eagles.

Cam Dolan, 80 minutes (7): Dolan is playing some great rugby at the moment. Thanks to a run of games with Cardiff before the ARC Dolan has come in and immediately made the Eagles better. One of the things that bumps his grade up in our book is his leadership both on and off the pitch. On the pitch he is the one that recognizes situations early and is there to pounce.

Shaun Davies, 73 minutes (6.5): Davies had a great day from the tee and if he can continue to give the Eagles another kicking option that is going to help his case for selection. He was able to get the ball out quickly against Canada but we're still not sure if it was enough to lock down the starting shirt.

Will Magie, 80 minutes (7): With each match it looks like Magie is coming closer to solidifying the back-up role to AJ MacGinty at flyhalf. One of the things we like the most about Magie is his match awareness. In particular on Saturday he set up a Te'o try simply by taking a risk after the referee had called advantage. Why not take a pooch across the pitch to see if good things can happen?

Nate Augspurger, 80 minutes (6.5): Playing on the wing seems to suit Augspurger. Whether that can hold up outside of opponents in the ARC remains to be seen but his shiftiness is causing a lot of teams problems. He has such a great knack for going forward that it catches other teams off guard.

JP Eloff, 80 minutes (6): It wasn't the strongest match from Eloff but a decent enough one as the Eagles backs were able to run rampant.

Bryce Campbell, 80 minutes (6): Campbell once again found away to make an impact on the match. Defensively he was caught out a few times but his running also caused a lot of problems for Canada.

Ryan Matyas, 47 minutes (6): He started the match off with a great heads up try and had a good shift before having to come out with an injury.

Mike Te'o, 80 minutes (7): Te'o had his best match of the ARC so far with a hat-trick. This match was perfect for him because Canada rarely tried to play for territory by kicking. Instead, Te'o was allowed to roam all over the pitch and do his thing.


Ben Cima, 33 minutes (5): He didn't get a chance to play fly-half but it was good for him to be tested elsewhere. That made him relatively quiet but it was still a good experience.

Ben Tarr, 30 minutes (6): Tarr came in and did well in the scrum but by the time he came in the Eagles were well in charge.

James Hilterbrand, 30 minutes (6): The same goes for Hilterbrand as goes for Tarr.

Dino Waldren, 23 minutes (6): Ditto as above.

David Tameilau, 23 minutes (6): Tameilau was a big impact off the bench. His play out of the maul was a new element that helped the Eagles catch Canada out. He has a spin move that hides the ball and allows the scrumhalf to sneak around.

John Quill, 19 minutes (6): It's always fun to pick up a try off the bench.

Siaosi Mahoni, 14 minutes (6): After the game several players mentioned Mahoni as a player that has stood out in camp. He's still young but he's got all the tools.

Spike Davis, 7 minutes (NA): Not much time for Davis to make an impact in the blowout win.


  1. Davies is very solid. He's a better distributor than Augspurger. I like Augs on the wing. He's a dangerous player and has some serious speed and shiftiness. The question is, who else plays #9?

    1. It will be interesting when Charlie Purdon becomes eligible through residency if he gets a chance. Dylan Fawsitt at hooker and Sebastian Kalm should be eligible soon. Anyone know exact dates when these guys will be eligible for the Eagles? Any others I'm unaware of?

  2. Kalm will be eligible in time for the June Tests. Not sure about Fawsitt. I was hoping that Tom Bliss would be an answer at #9, but he can't seem to stay healthy at the moment. Still some time to find another 9 to create more depth with Davies and Augspurger.