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Sunday, February 25, 2018

Eagles Beat Brazil, Set Up Uruguay Showdown


World Rugby Press Release

USA produced a strong first-half display against Brazil to bag the bonus-point win that keeps them in pole position to defend their title. The U.S. won 45-16.

Playing in their first away match of the 2018 competition, the Eagles showed no signs of travel-weariness as they took to their task from the start. Hard-running full-back Mike Te’o opened the scoring when he crossed in the left corner for an unconverted try in the fourth minute.

Josh Reeves struck back for Brazil by kicking an eighth-minute penalty, but the home side were struggling to live with their unbeaten opponents. Superior in the physicality stakes, the Eagles’ forwards regularly made good metres and the supply of quick, front-foot ball meant that inevitably holes started to appear in the home side’s defence.

Take the jump to read more.

Sandwiched between two mauled tries for prop Huluholo Mo’ungaloa Moungaloa and lively back-rower Hanco Germishuys, centre Bryce Campbell finished off a good team effort.

With the bonus point in the bag inside the opening half an hour, the Eagles looked well in command, but they were given a reminder of just how dangerous Brazil’s backline can be when winger Stefano Giantorno broke clean through after collecting an aimless kick from the USA and drew in the last defender to put Moisés Duque free down the left touchline.

Fly-half Reeves nailed the difficult conversion to add to his earlier penalty to make the half-time scoreline 26-10 to the USA.

Lifted by their dominant scrum and the introduction of livewire replacement Ariel Rodrigues, Brazil came out firing at the start of the second half.

Rodrigues was bundled into touch just short of the line before being called upon at the other end to stop Josh Whippy in his tracks with a brilliant cover tackle as the Eagles threatened to land a sucker punch on the counterattack.

Reeves kicked two penalties to close the gap to just nine points after both sides lost players to yellow cards for high tackles, Giantorno followed by Nick Civetta in spending 10 minutes on the sidelines.

But their comeback bid was thwarted when replacement second-row Diego López was also sent to the sin-bin for foul play, followed two minutes later by tight-head prop Jardel Vettorato, who had illegally sacked the maul which led to Tony Lamborn’s try.

Paul Lasike scored his second try in as many games off the bench, receiving a tip back from Whippy before reaching out and acrobatically planting the ball one-handed over the line. It was some finish from the American Football convert who has made an instant impression after switching codes.

Attacking straight from the restart, Germishuys got his second as the Eagles made 13-man Brazil pay for their ill-discipline and they nearly added another but Psalm Wooching was unable to keep hold of the ball with the line at his mercy.

2 comments:

  1. A bit of a disappointing performance in that after the Eagles got the bonus point try they seemed to switch off. The final score is more than a little flattering given that it was 13 on 15 at the end.

    The first 25 minutes were terrific but the Eagles need an 80 minute performance of they are going to beat a tough Uruguay outfit.

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