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Saturday, February 10, 2018

Recap: Eagles Take Care Of Business Against Canada


The Eagles dominance over rivals Canada continue on Saturday in Sacramento with a 29-10 win. The result moves the U.S. to 2-0 in ARC with the final match of their homestand coming next week in Fullerton, California. The result wasn't always secure for the Eagles. They started out hot but then Canada came on strong at the end of the first half to make it close. However, a much better effort from the Eagles in the second half delivered them to the victory.

As mentioned the U.S. got out to a strong start. After a few minutes of feeling each other out the Eagles were finally able to spot a weakness as Nate Augspurger slipped around the edge of a ruck five meters out for the opening try. Will Magie was up to the task and on target with the conversion. Helping the Eagles early was some pretty poor defense from Canada. That was fully evident in the second try for the Eagles. After winning a turnover at midfield the  ball was simply flung out to Ryan Matyas who slalomed his way in for the score. With the conversion it was 14-0 to the Eagles and they were in full control.

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Whether it was the U.S. resting mentally or Canada coming back into it the rest of the half essentially belonged to Canada. They didn't do anything fancy and simply took care of the ball to wear the Eagles down. Eventually Pat Parfrey was able to crash in at the corner for the score. Brock Staller would hit the conversion and Canada were back in it at 14-7. Canada remained in the control after the try and even had a shot at the posts after a TMO awarded a penalty for a high tackle but it was off. Intead it was the Eagles that would have one final shot a try before halftime but it was knocked on.

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Staller would hit a penalty to start the second half to put Canada as close as they would come but after that it was all Eagles as they continued to pile on the pressure. The maul was a weapon once again for the Eagles and it paid dividends as from a maul sequence Hanco Germishuys powered over for the try. Germishuys has been one of the outstanding players of the tournament so far for the Eagles. His energy has always been there but he's been putting together complete games as of late.

As the match wore on the U.S. continues to have more and more chances with Canada barely making it out of their own half. Will Hooley missed one attempt at goal but nailed another to push the U.S. lead to 24-10.

There were some fireworks late in the match with a dust-up between Nick Blevins and Cam Dolan. A yellow could have easily been given to both players--Dolan for a tip tackle and Blevins for a punch--but in the end only Dolan went to the bin. Still, rather than Canada going on the attack it was the Eagles. Even down a man they were able to find Matyas on the wing for the final score. That try was set up by an excellent grubber from Hooley to put Canada on the back foot and then after a turnover a series of great passes from Andrew Durutalo, Hooley (with a fantastic cutout pass), and Dylan Audsley before finding Matyas. Once Dolan had come back on the damage was done and the Eagles were in control.

It wasn't a perfect match for the Eagles by any means. They will be disappointed by their effort at the end of the first half and the scrum wasn' as strong as it has been. Still, in the end it was a job done and the team played well.

In theory their next two matches against Chile and Brazil should be the easiest of the ARC but the loss to Brazil a couple of years back still looms large. If the U.S. can take full points from that match and Uruguay wins out it will set up a winner take all in the final match.

U.S.

Tries: Augspurger, Matyas (2), Germishuys
Conversions: Magie (3), Hooley
Penalties: Hooley

Canada

Tries: Parfrey
Conversions: Staller
Penalties: Staller

5 comments:

  1. Eagles need an attacking flyhalf .... The two they have now is no thread to the opposition

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  2. is there word yet on what this and last weeks attendance was?

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  3. MacGinty is an attacking #10 but he's out with a knee injury at the moment. What we need is for Davies to be our starting #9. He delivers a much faster ball from the base of the ruck than Augspurger does. Augspurger is a great player but I think he is better suited on the wing or maybe fullback.

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    1. Dear Unknown.(or should I say Dear Shaun)
      How can you say that after the great game that Augspurger had. I noticed when Davies came in, there were few high passes that the fly had to reach up to get. Davies's passes aren't any faster and Nate gets the job done with a threat to score as in the 1st try of the game.

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    2. Not Shaun, just a regular reader of this site. I will have to go back and watch the match again, but it seemed that too many of Augspurger's passes were to forwards who were flat footed or coming from a standing start because they were waiting on the ball to come while the defense was already set once it did come. When Davies came in, it seemed as though the ball came out faster and allowed our forwards to run onto the ball and hit an unorganized defensive line. I'm not trying to knock Augspurger he is a fabulous rugby player and works tirelessly. His delivery is better than it was even a year ago, but it's still too slow. He and Davies are different players, but I think Davies gives you a faster ball while Augspurger is more of an attacking threat.

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