February 28, 2016
Eagles Lose To Brazil On A Penalty Kick
Brazil v USA Men’s Eagles: São Paulo, Brazil, Feb. 27, 2016
The Eagles faced Brazil for the first time in an international rugby match. The United States entered the match ranked 16th by World Rugby, while Brazil was ranked 42nd. On the surface, the Eagles were favored to secure another Americas Rugby Championship win. That did not happen as Moises Duque slotted a penalty kick with no time for an historic win.
So soon after a Rugby World Cup, the Americas Rugby Championship provides an opportunity to see many new players perform. The goal is still to win, however it is also a time to develop a pool of players. This was a major goal for the Eagles in this competition.
Twenty three new caps were awarded to Eagles players in three matches. Many professionals also returned to their clubs for the South American legs of the competition. The players that remained have opportunities to excel and learn.
Compliments to Brazil on their win. It will do wonders for their confidence. The Eagles in turn still can end the Americas Rugby Championship on a positive note with a win in Uruguay next week.
The Americas Rugby Championship entered its fourth week with the United States playing Brazil in São Paulo, Brazil.
Brazil was able to take advantage of Eagles penalties early as Moisés Duque slotted two penalty kicks within the first seven minutes of the match. The penalties were the result of being off sides in a maul and interfering with a kick.
The momentum clearly was in Brazil’s favor, as a Daniel Sancery run resulted in the match’s first try. Brazil now had a 13-0 lead.
The Eagles were having scrum problems in this match and with the scrum back peddling, Lucas Duque darted around the defense for another try. After 22 minutes Brazil increased their lead to 18-0. Brazil’s conversion attempt, like earlier, was missed.
During the last ten minutes of the first half, the Eagles would begin their own attacks. After an eight phase attack, Brazil was penalized and James Bird put the ball through the uprights. (18-3, 31′)
Veteran Eric Fry entered the match at the 34th minute for Demecus Beach and his impact was felt immediately. The Eagles were able to attack and when Joseph Taufete’e received an offload from Niku Kruger, he barrelled his way through defenders for a try. James Bird conversion was missed and the score was narrowed to 18-8. (38′)
The score would remain the same at halftime, but prior to the half ending, Brazilian flanker André Arruda received a yellow card for a shoulder charge.
After defending an Brazilian attack, the Eagles James Bird attacked a gap between the centers. A Niku Kruger off load to Aladdin Schrimer resulted in a second try for the Eagles. This unconverted try narrowed the score to 18-13 in favor of Brazil.
Brazil was able to answer back when Moisés Duque slotted his third penalty kick and Brazil now led 21-13. (49′)
It was a hot and humid and to gain a pair of fresh legs, Tim Stanfill and Chad London replaced Ryan Matyas and Mike Garrity.(51′) A few minutes later Mike Te’o and Mike Soene-Feagai would enter the match for Kingsley McGowan and Joe Taufete’e. (58′)
The Eagles had another sustained attack with Andrew Suniula showing his power and a Mikey Te’o off load to Niku Kruger ended in a try. James Bird converted and the Eagles were down by 1. (21-20, 65′)
Shortly later the Eagles almost had their first lead from a Chad London pop kick in which Tim Stanfill attempted to touch down in-goal, but was ruled a knock on.
With seven minutes remaining, Niku Kruger slotted a penalty kick for a the first Eagles lead of the match. (21-23, 73′) Three minutes later, Brazil was once again penalized, but instead of attacking to gain a potential bonus point win, the Eagles elected to attempt a long penalty kick. JP Eloff’s 55 meter attempt was just short.
The match entered into injury time and at the 82nd minute, Brazil would turn a lineout into a maul. An infraction was called for entering in from the side and Moisés Duque would thrill the crowd at Arena Baureri with a match ending penalty kick.
The last round of the Americas Rugby Championship is next week. Brazil will host Argentina and the Eagles travel to Uruguay.
In the grand scheme of things, a loss for the Eagles is not the end of the world. John Mitchell is accomplishing a goal of developing a Eagles players pool. The lineups have changed each match due to player availability, injuries and a desire to see how players perform. Players are gaining valuable experience. Next week will another good test when the Eagles meet Uruguay.
Congratulations to James King , Aladdin Schirmer and Hanco Germishuys for earning their first Eagles XV caps.Cameron Falcon was the only reserve not to enter the match. Look for him to earn his first cap next week against Uruguay.
Although the Eagles currently are in first place in the ARC with 14 points, that is likely to change today when Argentina XV (12 points) meets Canada (10 points). Barring a draw, the Eagles will likely find themselves in second place next week when they meet Uruguay.
Another change will occur on Monday, when the new World Rugby rankings come out. The USA will drop one place to 17th with Romania moving to 16th. Brazil will move to 38th place.
USA Men’s Eagles: 1 Demecus Beach 2 Joe Taufete’e 3 Olive Kilifi (cap) 4 Brodie Orth 5 Ben Landry 6 James King 7 Aladdin Schirmer 8 David Tameilau 9 Niku Kruger 10 James Bird 11 Ryan Matyas 12 Andrew Sunuila 13 Mike Garrity 14 Kingsley McGowan 15 Jake Anderson 16 Cameron Falcon 17 Mike Sosene-Feagai 18 Eric Fry 19 Hanco Germishuys 20 Mike Te’o 21 JP Eloff 22 Tim Stanfill 23 Chad London
Men’s Eagles Coaching Staff: John Mitchell – Head Coach, Ass’ts: Phil Greening, Marty Veale, Rob Hoadley, Strength and Conditioning – Dave Williams, Video Analyst – Paul Goulding and Team Mgr: Sean Lindersmith
Brazil: 1 Lucas Abud 2 Yan Rosetti 3 Wilton Rebolo 4 Lucas Piero Moraes 5 Luis Vieira 6 Andre Arruda 7 Joao Luiz das Ros 8 Nicholas Smith 9 Lucas Duque 10 Moises Duque 11 Laurent Couhet 12 Martin Schaefer 13 Felipe Sancery 14 Stefano Giantorno 15 Daniel Sancery. Res: 16 Daniel Danielewicz 17 Caique Silva 18 Jonatas Paulo 19 Diego López 20 Gabriel Paganini 21 Guilherme Coghetto 22 Johannes Beukes Cremer 23 Robert Tenorio
Men’s Eagles | Americas Rugby Championship 2016
v. Argentina – D 35-35
v. Canada – W 30-22
v. Chile – W 64-0
v. Brazil – L 24-23
v. Uruguay – Saturday, March 5 @ 4:10 p.m. ET – Charrua Stadium (Montevideo, Uruguay)