Saturday, June 24, 2017

Match Commentary: Eagles vs. Canada

Today's Eagles coverage is brought to you by Canterbury. For all your team gear as well as replica jerseys make sure to check them out. #CommittedToTheGame

The Eagles start their World Cup qualifying series today against Canada in Hamilton, Ontario. The Rugby Channel has the action live.

Our preview of the match can be found here.

USA Line-up 

Forwards: Tony Purpura, James Hilterbrand, Paddy Ryan, Ben Landry, Nic Civetta, Todd Clever (C), John Quill, Cam Dolan; Backs: Nate Augspurger, AJ MacGinty, Matai Leuta, Marcel Brache, Bryce Campbell, Mike Te'o, Ben Cima; Bench: Peter Malcolm, Ben Tarr, Dino Waldren, Matt Jensen, David Tameilau, Andrew Durutalo, Shaun Davies, Will Magie

Canada Line-up

Forwards: Djustice Sears-Duru, Ray Barkwill, Jake Ilnicki, Brett Beukeboom (C), Evan Olmstead, Admir Cejanovic, Matt Heaton, Tyler Ardron; Backs: Phil Mack, Shane O'Leary, Taylor Paris, Connor Braid, DTH van der Merwe (C), Andrew Coe, Ciaran Hearn; Bench: Benoit Piffero, Anthony Luca, Matt Tierney, Kyle Baillie, Aaron Carpenter, Gord McRorie, Nick Blevins, Dan Moor

Take the jump to read more.
Pre-game: This is going to be a big one for the Eagles. A win isn't necessary but they can't put themselves in a big hole.
Pre-game: Some facts about Hamilton. 1) It was once a hotbed (still is?) for steel production. 2) It's home to McMaster University. 3) home of Jason Jones, Eugene Levy, Martin Short, and Dave Thomas. 4) The city is split into two by the Niagara Escarpment. The stadium is in downtown and the suburbs are "on the mountain" as they call it. 5) TIAR founder Curtis lived there for 9 non-consecutive months from 2006-7.
Pre-game: The pre-game festivities are still underway. Just moments from kickoffs.
Pre-game: The try zone area is going to be big today. That happens when you play on a Canadian football pitch.
Pre-game: Another small consideration for today. The U.S. don't want to find themselves in a hole because the date of the next match, is July 1st which just so happens to be Canada Day and Canada's sesquicentennial. They are going to be fired up.
Pre-game: Anthems up.
0: And we're underway!
2: Eagles win a turnover at the breakdown and now are on the attack but it's knocked on.
3: The first scrum goes to Canada in convincing fashion.
5: Eagles commit the penalty at the breakdown. O'Leary's kick is wide as the wind pushes it wide.
6: Try Canada! DTH van der Merwe is in for Canada after some good movement on the wing. Nice quick passing to an overload. O'Leary's conversion is good. 7-0 to Canada.
9: Try Eagles! On the restart the ball finds Nic Civetta who crashes over. MacGinty makes the conversion. 7-7.
13: After that early try the U.S. have settled back into the match with some possession.
15: Canada have been solid at the breakdown so far.
17: Not a great set from the Eagles. The scrum is not doing well and then they toss it into touch.
17: DTH van der Merwe is in again! They are going to the TMO. He saw no one was home at the ruck.  TMO confirms that the try is good. O'Leary's conversion is no good. 12-7.
21: The Eagles miss Blaine Scully for a lot of things but defense has to be near the top.
23: Clever is going off as a blood sub. Durutalo is on.
24: Canada had an attacking scrum but it's knocked on. Canada have had a lot of good territory and possession the last 5+ minutes.
25: Penalty on the Eagles. O'Leary is on with the easy kick. 15-7 to Canada.
28: Clever is back on for Durutalo.
30: The U.S. defense has not been good so far. Way too many missed tackles and assignments. They are probably lucky to only be down 8.
33: Best spell of possession for the Eagles so far and it leads to a penalty on Canada.
35: U.S. go for the corner rather than the points. Clever is meters short and then Civetta picks it up and crashes over!
36: MacGinty's conversion is good. 15-14. U.S. have to be happy about that one.
39: A couple of kicks ahead from the Eagles have them on the attack again. A bit of scramble rugby there. It's recycled quickly and Te'o is in at the corner. MacGinty started it with a chip. Te'o recovered, passed to Augspurger, who soccer kicked it ahead and recovered. He was tacked but it went quickly out to Te'o. Conversion is good. 21-15.
40: That's halftime too. Excellent comeback from the Eagles to get the offense going.
40: Second half is underway!
41: Uff. Not a great way to start the second half for the Eagles as Cima punts it into touch.
44: Hilterbrand hit Mack. Could easily be a penalty but not sure if it's a card. Referee says it's yellow so he'll sit for ten minutes. Canada going for the posts. O'Leary's kick is good. 21-18.
49:  Yikes. Canada kick deep and the Eagles knock it on.
50: Peter Malcolm, David Tameilau, and Durutalo on. Landry and Clever off. So is Cima.
51: Te'o intercept try! He reads the overlap perfectly as Canada tried to take advantage of the U.S. down a man. Lazy pass from Canada but well read from Te'o. That's two for Te'o and two for Civetta today. Conversion good. 28-18.
53: Tarr and Waldren on for Purpura and Ryan.
56: Card is done. The Eagles come out of that head 7-3. They'll take that. Could have been 0-10 for Canada. Davies is on for Hilterbrand. Augspurger shifts to win. Te'o moves to fullback.
58: Dolan guilty of an infraction and he's shown a yellow. Canada go for the line out.
59: U.S. try the maul again but this time the U.S. defend it well and win the put in at the scrum.
60: Matt Jensen on for Nick Civetta.
61: Barring a complete collapse the U.S. have to like where they are sitting with 20 minutes left. Even if Canada win it won't be by much.
62: Try Canada! The U.S. throw a bad pass and Canada use quick hands out to Andrew Coe. Nevermind. After a TMO review Coe is ruled to have lost the ball.
64: Canada is just killing themselves with simple errors. This is a complete reversal of four years ago.
69: Try Canada! After a good run from DTH van der Merwe it goes through a few cycles before Aaron Carpenter gets in the corner. The conversion is good. 28-25 with ten minutes to go. Dolan is back on for the Eagles.
73: The game has slowed down a bit the last few minutes.
77: Canada only a foot short. Eagles guilty of a couple of infractions on a try line stand. Canada go for points. O'Leary's easy kick is good. 28-28.
79: MacGinty tries a drop goal but it's wide. Only a few seconds left.
80: U.S. guilty of a penalty. O'Leary has a long kick. It's no good. Final: 28-28. Well. So after 80 minutes it's tied. Next week is winner take all. 


  1. Why am I having to resort to this telegraph play-by-play? (Which I am grateful!)

    No more pay-walls for rugby!

    1. Unless there's some technical issue which prevents you from subscribing (in which case I understand), it's something like $5/month. It costs more to drive to the liquor store to buy beer. I encourage you to pitch in and support them... I'm happy to put my money behind them, though I do wish they were more technically competent.

    2. A paywall is the WORST thing for USA if they are trying to grow the fan base. Obviously the rugby community will pay the $5 a month, which I agree is nothing, but no one else is going to. A bonehead move. Watch ESPN has almost all the June test matches available. Except USA games. Any barriers that are put up to prevent the average American sports fan from watching rugby is laughable. If they want to really grow the fan base, lift the paywall.

    3. I agree with Andrew. I went to a bar on Sat afternoon to watch the USAv Can match. The owner would have gladly put the game on one of the big TVs but it was only online. Very few in the bar but at least it would have had some exposure. I had to watch it on my phone through their wifi. Bars are always looking to put sports on tv. I watched some archery contest yesterday. Just think if rugby were on and there were people watching the game and how much we could educate the curious.