September 27, 2015
USA Rugby Eagles Lead at Half In Loss To Scotland
Photo: Rugby World Cup Titi Lamositele
Today’s Rugby World Cup match between USA and Scotland was a Jekyll and Hyde one. The Eagles had their first halftime lead over a tier 1 rugby nation 13-6, while 5 second half tries by Scotland sunk the United States and gained the Pool B lead for Scotland.
The first half was marred by penalties by both sides, but Scotland was frustrated by the Eagles. The USA scrum was formidable, the tackling brutal, but the lineouts proved daunting. Scotland left points on the table with 2 missed penalty kicks. They had several multiple phases, but left the pitch needing to refocus.
The second half was mainly Scotland with a few opportunities for the USA. The Eagles had several attacks of multiple phases, but spent most of their time defending deep in their territory through penalties. The forwards tackled well, but eventually Scotland found gaps. All said, the future looks bright for the Eagles.
Match Scoring Recap:
The Eagles struck first 2 minutes into the match on a AJ MacGinty 36 meter penalty to take a 3-0 lead. Scotland evened the score 3-3 as Stuart Hogg slotted a 50 meter kick (5′).
Finn Russell took the first lead 6-3 for Scotland with penalty kick. (16′) Shortly later, Stuart Hogg had another attempt, but this time it was wide (19′).
Titi Lamositele began the youngest man to score a try in the 2015 Rugby World Cup, after a drive by Thiel near the line. MacGinty converted and the Eagles now had a 10-6 lead (21′)
Scotland had another penalty at the 34 minute mark, but Russell missed wide. Just prior to the end of the half, the Eagles had another great opportunity to score. The Eagles would put together 13 phases. A MacGinty feed to Manoa, Lamositele and Fry picks inside the 22, and finally Hayden Smith drawing a penalty in front of the posts, gave the Eagles another opportunity. MacGinty calmly slotted the penalty and the Eagles had a halftime lead 13-6.
Scotland regrouped at halftime and came out firing on all cylinders. It only took 2 minutes to swing the ball wide to Visser for a try in the corner. Russell’s conversion attempt was wide. (USA 13-11)
Kelly had a crunching tackle, but was penalized for playing the man. This led to a 9 phase attack by Scotland that resulted in a Sean Maitland try. This time Russell converted. (Scotland 18-13 at 47′) Three minutes later Strauss was pinged for entering a breakdown off his feet and was punished by a MacGinty penalty kick. (Scotland 18-16).
On the restart, the kick went deep and Suniula attempted a box kick that was blocked. The Eagles had to defend again, but Willem Nel went in for a try and Greig Laidlaw converted. (Scotland 25-16, 53′).
The USA gained midfield, but a Palamo penalty had Scotland kick back deep into USA territory. The resulting Lineout and the maul that would then form, led to Scotland increasing its lead as Matt Scott added a try. Laidlaw again converted. (Scotland 32-16).
The USA would excite the crowd late in the match taking the ball to inches from the line. As Kilifi received an offload, he was tackled and resulted in a knock on. This thwarted the last opportunity for the Eagles.
Scotland would add to the final result in the last minute, as a penalty resulted in a kick to touch deep into USA territory. Seconds later, a Duncan Weir pick resulted in a try and Laidlaw once again converted. That would end the match with Scotland winning 39-16.
Tries: Visser, Maitland, Nel, Scott and Weir
Conversions: Russell, Laidlaw-3
Penalties: Hogg, Russell
Scotland Ranked 8th: HC Vern Cotter Starters: 1. Ryan Grant 2. Fraser Brown 3. Jon Welsh 4. Richie Gray 5. Grant Gilchrist 6. Alasdair Strokosch 7. John Hardie
8. Josh Strauss 9. Henry Pyrgos (c) 10. Finn Russell 11. Tim Visser 12. Peter Horne
13. Mark Bennett 14. Sean Maitland 15. Stuart Hogg Replacements: 16. Ross Ford
17. Alasdair Dickinson 18. Willem Nel 19. Tim Swinson 20. Ryan Wilson 21. Greig Laidlaw 22. Duncan Weir 23. Matt Scott
USA Ranked 14th: HC Mike Tolkin Starters: 1. Eric Fry 2. Phil Thiel 3. Titi Lamositele 4. Hayden Smith 5. Greg Peterson 6. Al McFarland 7. Andrew Durutalo
8. Samu Manoa 9. Mike Petri 10. AJ MacGinty 11. Blaine Scully 12. Thretton Palamo
13. Seamus Kelly 14. Takudzwa Ngwenya 15. Chris Wyles (c) Replacements: 16. Zach Fenoglio (H) 17. Oli Kilifi (P) 18. Chris Baumann (P) 19. Cam Dolan (L) 20. John Quill (F) 21. Danny Barrett (8) 22. Shalom Suniula (SH/FH) 23. Folau Niua (C)