Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Eagles Run Past Chile

World Rugby Press Release

The Eagles made their intentions known from the start in Fullerton, California, and would have had the game’s opening try had Cam Dolan not dropped the ball on his way to the line. The home side did not have to wait long to open the scoring, though, scrum-half and captain Nate Augspurger profiting from the quick hands and feet of full-back Mike Te’o and the pace of winger Ryan Matyas to dot down with less than five minutes on the clock.

Chile showed their commitment and at one stage held the ball for more than 25 phases, but the Eagles stayed strong in defence and had the next score when outside centre Dylan Audsley touched down in the left corner for his maiden international try.

Los Condores’ only points in the opening half came from the boot of dangerous full-back Tomás Ianiszewski, whose full array of skills were evident throughout the game. But the South Americans did fulfil their promise of getting better with each game throughout this year's Americas Rugby Championship as this was the best 40 minutes they’d produced in the tournament, holding the Eagles to a 10-3 half-time lead.

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It wasn’t to last, as straight from the restart the Eagles took a handful of seconds to score their third try and stretch the lead to 17-3 with Audsley getting his second after a quick lineout throw from winger Josh Whippy saw the ball go from touch to touch.

Audsley gave the scoring pass to fellow centre Bryce Campbell a couple of minutes later and, with the bonus point secured, the Eagles momentarily switched off and were caught napping as hooker Tomas Dussaillant combined with second-row Mario Mayol at the front of the lineout to score their first try.

Te’o showed his attacking skills again with a 40-metre solo run which, after a superb sidestep ended in try. Then, debutant Malon Al-Jaboori scored under the posts to take the score to 38-8 with 15 minutes to play.

Chile replied with their second try, in the 73rd minute, when a deep counterattack involving second-row Nikola Bursic and Ianiszewski combined to send winger Ítalo Zunino on a long run to the line. Former Chicago Bears American Footballer turned Eagles winger Paul Lasike used his huge frame to close the game with his first test try with Ben Cima’s conversion bringing about the final scoreline of 45-13.

Next Saturday the Eagles travel to Sao José dos Campos to tackle Brazil while Chile return home to play against Uruguay as they go in search of their first ARC win in two years.

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