Eagles Narrowly Lose To Harlequins

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August 30, 2015

Eagles Narrowly Lose To Harlequins

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Doug Coil

Brief recap of Eagles – Harlequins match

It was only a minute into the match when the Harlequins did not release a tackler. This resulted in an AJ MacGinty penalty kick inside 22 meters for a 3-0 lead. He slotted another penalty kick from 50 meters to increase the lead to 6-0 after 4 minutes.

Five minutes later, AJ MacGinty  executed a pop kick and immediately tackled his opposite number, Nick Evans. Held after the tackle, he now had another penalty kick 35 meters out. His kick was wide, as would be the case the rest of the day.

Even though points were left on the field, MacGinty’s tactical skills proved invaluable during the match. In fact, the first try of the match occurred as the result of MacGinty breaking through the defense and offloading to Thetton Palamo. MacGinty then missed the conversion to the right. Nineteen minutes in the USA lead 11-0.

It wasn’t until 29 minutes that the Harlequins capitalized from a 10 meter lineout that resulted in scrum half Karl Dickson’s try under posts. Nick Evans converted to narrow score to 11-7.

The Harlequins would have another opportunity at the 35 minute mark. They kicked ahead and won the chase before the ball kicked off Cam Dolan at about 5 meters. A scrum resulted in a Harlequins push over try by Luke Wallace to take the lead. Nick Evans hit the post, but went through. The Eagles now found themselves down 11-14.

Just prior to the half, the Eagles had a chance to regain the lead. Cam Dolan touched down an apparent try, but the TMO showed that he did not control the ball, so no try. Halftime ended Eagles 11, Harlequins 14.

At the 56 minute mark, MacGinty had an opportunity to tie the match, but missed another kick. Four minutes later, Folau Niua slotted a penalty kick to tie the match 14 all.

The Quins would take the lead for good 8 minutes later, as they drove a maul in for a second Luke Wallace try. Ben Botica converted and the score was now 14-21 Quins. At the 79 minute mark, Ben Botica, hit a 55 meter kick to increase the lead to 14-24. Don’t let NFL teams see that one.

The final score of the day came from some exciting ball movement for a Zack Test try in the corner before time expired. The conversion was not made. Final score Eagles 19-24 Harlequins.

This was a match where both teams can look at positives. The Eagles had an opportunity to see how some players performed that did not have as much playing time this summer. That should help to make the final decisions on the 31 man Rugby World Cup Roster.

The Harlequins were the first Aviva Premiership team to play against the USA Rugby National team. Shortly prior to the match, a partnership between the Harlequins and USA Rugby was announced. I will include the entire press release in a separate follow up article.

For the Harlequins, this was their first pre-season match. They were proud to have had 10 of the 15 starters come through the Academy system. They also had the opportunity to see how recent players performed as Harlequins for the first time. They are to be commended for their outreach work in the Philadelphia rugby community during the past week.

Others can go more in depth with player critiques, but mine was a recap of what lead to the scoring. The match was played under an expanded match roster.

USA Men’s Eagles Squad

  1. Eric Fry
  2. Phil Thiel
  3. Titi Lamositele
  4. Cameron Dolan
  5. Greg Peterson
  6. Al McFarland
  7. John Quill
  8. Samu Manoa
  9. Mike Petri
  10. AJ MacGinty
  11. Brett Thompson
  12. Thretton Palamo
  13. Seamus Kelly
  14. Takudzwa Ngwenya
  15. Blaine Scully (Captain)
  16. Zach Fenoglio
  17. Olive Kilifi
  18. Chris Baumann
  19. Matekitonga Moeakiola
  20. Joseph Taufete’e
  21. Louis Stanfill
  22. Matt Trouville
  23. Andrew Duratalo
  24. Niku Kruger
  25. Folau Niua
  26. Zack Test
  27. Shalom Suniula

Harlequins

  1. Mark Lambert
  2. Rob Buchanan
  3. Kyle Sinckler
  4. George Merrick
  5. Sam Twomey
  6. Jack Clifford
  7. Luke Wallace
  8. Mat Luamanu
  9. Karl Dickson
  10. Nick Evans(Captain)
  11. Charlie Walker
  12. Winston Stanley
  13. Harry Sloan
  14. Marland Yarde
  15. Ollie Lindsay-Hague
  16. Joe Gray (H)
  17. Owen Evans (LHP)
  18. Adam Jones (THP)
  19. Stan South (L)
  20. Archie White (F)
  21. Tito Tebaldi (SH)
  22. Ben Botica (FH)
  23. Ross Chisholm (FB)
  24. Tim Swiel (FH)
  25. Dave Ward (H)
  26. George Lowe (C)

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