Saturday, March 10, 2018

Vancouver 7s: Australia Come Back To Defeat U.S.

Photo: David Barpal
It wasn't the way the Eagles wanted to end pool play as they lost to Australia 31-21 at the Vancouver 7s. The Eagles already had a place booked for the quarterfinals prior to the match and Australia needed a win to advance. That was only one of the factors as the Eagles started out strong but had too many mistakes at the end.

The loss didn't look likely early as the Eagles went ahead by a try. Ben Pinkelman literally ripped the ball out of the Australian hands after the opening kick. It took awhile as Australia's defense stayed firmed but eventually the U.S. found Carlin Isles in space and he raced off for the score. Not to be outdone Australia responded with a try of their own from Jesse Parahi to level things up at 7-7.

After Australia's try the U.S. found a bit of a groove. Led by hard running from Danny Barrett they were able to suck in Australia's defense twice freeing up Perry Baker to score. With both conversions good the U.S. led 21-7 heading into the second half.

A yellow card to Australia at the start of the second stanza didn't help their cause. However, it was the U.S. that seemed to take their foot off the gas. Despite being a man down John Porch scored to put Australia back in it. They would then add a second, this time from Lewis Holland to level the match. The second try came as Australia were the first to pounce on a ball that fell loose at the restart.

Then it was the U.S.'s turn to have a man in the bin with Perry Baker being given a yellow for throwing the ball away. Australia only capitalized on that with two more tries from Porch.

While disappointing the U.S. are still playing good rugby. As they pointed out after the match it was small errors at the end, not systematic failures, that cost them. Overall they also had a winning streak that went back all the way to Hamilton.

Next up the U.S. will play New Zealand in the Cup quarterfinals at 2:52 p.m. et/11:52 a.m. pt.

1 comment:

  1. Seemed like the attack didn't have depth in this game; they weren't taking the ball at speed, rather passing down the line at a dead stop each time.

    Is that a failure on the Eagles' part, or rather a credit to an Austrlian defense that successfully pressed? And how do you solve that puzzle? Is it as simple as getting a few successful breaks to force the D to back off? Maybe some kicking?