February 14, 2016
Eagles Beat Canada To Top ARC Standings
USA Men’s Eagles v Canada: Round Rock, Texas – Feb. 13, 2016
The Eagles took the pitch last night in front of 7,415 fans at Dell Diamond, while significantly more followed the action on ESPN 3. The USA turned a 10-12 halftime score against Canada to a 30-22 victory. They now are in first place, tied with Argentina XV, in the Americas Rugby Championship standings.
The referee’s favorite expression on the night seemed to be ‘not rolling away.’ Unfortunately, this accounted for all of Canada’s first half points.
Gordon McRorie had the first points of the match, as he slotted a penalty kick eight minutes into the match for a 3-0 lead for Canada. Five minutes later he would add another after a late tackle call.
James Bird narrowed the score with penalty chip shot between the posts when Canada this time did not roll away at the breakdown. (USA 3-6, 19′)
McRorie added another penalty kick shortly after to increase Canada’s lead. (USA 3-9 Canada, 22′)
An offload by Lemoto Filikitonga saw Chad London scamper in for a try. James Bird converted and the Eagles had their first lead of the night. (USA 10-9 Canada, 28′)
The lead would not last long, as the Eagles were penalized once again. McRorie slotted a fourth penalty kick at the thirty minute mark for a 12-10 lead that Canada would maintain until halftime.
Both Luke Hume and Kingsley McGowan were very active on both on attack and defense and their threat allowed the centers, Lemoto Filikitonga and Chad London to penetrate the defense on many first half attacks.
Eagles Head Coach John Mitchell said, “we didn’t really get going in that first half. There were a lot of cumulative errors so we couldn’t build any pressure.There were a couple moments in the first half when we did build pressure, and demonstrated that we could get the ball to space.”
The Eagles continued their error prone ways, again not rolling away which allowed McRorie to extend Canada’s lead to 15-10. (46′)
The Eagles continued to defend well stopping Canada’s attacks. McGowan and Hume also continued their excel during the second half with attacks of their own. In fact, the last twenty five minutes of play the Eagles would thrill the crowd with their play.
After a penalty by Canada, a JP Eloff kick to touch set up a 10-meter lineout which quickly changed into a maul.The forwards drove toward in-goal and Todd Clever touched down for a try. Jake Anderson was not able to convert, and the score was 15-15. (56′)
On the restart, Luke Hume evaded defender after defender in an 80 meter run. He was finally taken down at Canada’s 10. Canada soon found themselves down a man as which Alistair Clark was sent to the sin bin for a yellow card. Another lineout ensued and a maul resulted in Todd Clever’s second try. Niku Kruger, who had entered the match, missed the conversion, but the Eagles had a 20-15 lead. (61′)
Mike Garrity lead another USA attack, but after a grubber kick, was tackled without the ball. Eloff kicked to touch again, and from a lineout turned into a maul, Clever detached from the maul and went blind for his third try. Niku Kruger converted and the Eagles lead 27-15. (65′)
Canada made the match interesting when Duncan Maguire evaded two tackles to score in the corner. Andrew Ferguson converted and narrowed the Eagles lead, 27-22. (68′)
A few minutes later the Eagles attacked. With the Eagles four meters from a try line, Canada was penalized from entering the breakdown from the side. Todd Clever called to Kruger to kick and he slotted the ball though the uprights to seal a 30-22 bonus point win against Canada. (76′)
Final: USA 30-22 Canada
Todd Clever is the Eagles leading try scorer in the Americas Rugby Championship with four tries. With this win the Eagles move to the top of the standings with 8 points. This ties them with Argentina, with whom they played last week to a 35-35 drwa.
John Mitchell had some closing comments that were published by USA Rugby. “Our style of football leads us to opportunities, so, at the end of the day, the players are encouraged to, if they have the space, have a crack. All we leave to them is the execution. We’re always going to present ourselves more opportunities than not, so scoring four tries is available to us on every occasion if we want it.”
“We are asking players to go where maybe they’ve never been before. That’s our focus but, in saying that, some players still need the mindset change. They’re working hard and not everything’s going to stick, but we’re still only a two-week-old team.”
Men’s Eagles: 1. Eric Fry 2. Mike Sosene-Feagai 3. Chris Baumann 4. Brodie Orth 5. Ben Landry 6. Nate Brakeley 7. Todd Clever (C) 8. David Tameilau 9. Mike Te’o 10. James Bird 11. Kingsley McGowan 12. Lemoto Filikitonga 13. Chad London 14. Luke Hume 15. Jake Anderson 16. Joseph Taufete’e 17. Olive Kilifi 18. James Hilterbrand 19. Patrick Blair 20. Alec Gletzer 21. Niku Kruger 22. JP Eloff 23. Mike Garrity
Canada: 1 Hubert Buydens (C) 2 Ray Barkwill 3 Jake Ilnicki 4 Paul Ciulini 5 Callum Morrison 6 Lucas Rumball 7 Alistair Clark 8 Clay Panga 9 Gordon McRorie 10 Gradyn Bowd 11 Dan Moor 12 Nick Blevins 13 Mozac Samson 14 Phil Mackenzie 15 Patrick Parfrey 16 Eric Howard 17 Djustice Sears-Duru 18 Rob Brouwer 19 Kyle Baillie 20 Liam Chisholm 21 Mike Hamson 22 Andrew Ferguson 23 Duncan Maguire
USA Men’s Eagles: 30
Tries: London, Clever (3) Conversions: Bird, Kruger Penalties: Bird, Kruger
Tries: Maguire Conversions: Ferguson Penalties: McRorie (5) Discipline: Clark (Yellow)