Friday, June 22, 2018

Preview: Eagles Look To Extend Streak Over Canada

The Eagles enter new territory this weekend against Canada. Never before has the team come off a win over a Tier I nation. Will there be a letdown or will the team keep their momentum going? That's the question the Eagles are going to answer this weekend. All of the signs point to the Eagles winning fairly easily in Nova Scotia but in a rivalry match anything is straightforward. The U.S. are playing some fantastic rugby this year. They have yet to lose under head coach Gary Gold and seem to be playing better each and every match. On the flip side Canada are struggling mightily capped off by their loss to Russia last weekend.

The match starts at 3:00 p.m. et/12:00 p.m. pt and will be shown live on Flo Rugby.

The Team

Gold has had to make a couple of changes to his team. Joe Taufete'e is out for personal reasons while John Quill is out with an injury. Coming into the line-up is Dylan Fawsitt at hooker and Ben Landry at flanker. Neither of those changes are super surprising. The other change in the line-up has Bryce Campbell moving to the bench with Nate Augspurger going into the starting line-up. Augspurger will play on the wing while Brache moves to the centers. That move makes the U.S. a little quicker in the backs which given how slow Canada were last weekend isn't a bad idea.

Take the jump to read more.
Forwards: Eric Fry, Dylan Fawsitt, Paul Mullen, Samu Manoa, Nick Civetta, Ben Landry, Hanco Germishuys, Cam Dolan

Backs: Shaun Davies, AJ MacGinty, Nate Augspurger, Paul Lasike, Marcel Brache, Blaine Scully (C), Will Hooley

Bench: Chris Baumann, Titi Lamositele, Ollie Kilifi, Greg Peterson, Vili Toluta'u, Ruben de Haas, Will Magie, Bryce Campbell

The Opposition

As we mentioned Canada are struggling. In their last ten matches they have won three times and those came against Spain, Brazil, and Chile. They lost to Uruguay twice, Fiji, Argentina XV, the U.S., Scotland, and Russia. Those aren't bad opponents to lose to but still, they should do better. They also have a long losing streak against the United States. Some of those U.S. wins have been lopsided as well.

In terms of their team on the weekend they have made eight changes. Some of the players to focus on include Evan Olmstead, Djustice Sears-Duru, and Jeff Hassler. Canada has some quality on their roster but they don't necessarily have depth.

Forwards: Djustice Sears-Duru, Ray Barkwill, Jake Ilnicki, Josh Larsen, Evan Olmstead, Lucas Rumball, Matt Heaton, Luke Campbell

Backs: Phil Mack, Shane O'Leary, Kainoa Lloyd, Nick Blevins, Ben LeSage, Jeff Hassler, Pat Parfrey

Bench: Eric Howard, Noah Barker, Ryan Kotlewski, Paul Ciulini, Dustin Dobravsky, Jorden Sandover-Best, Guiseppe du Toit, Theo Sauder

What They Are Saying

A big thanks to U.S.A. Rugby who provided footage of Gold and captain Blaine Scully.

The Takeaway

We are looking for the U.S. to come away with a win. They are simply playing too well at the moment while Canada is struggling. One of the best attributes about this U.S. team is that they love a challenge and hate to lose. Do you think they are going to want their so-far perfect 2018 to be ruined by a loss to Canada? No way. The U.S. by at least two tries.

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