USA Undefeated in Pacific Nations Cup after 13-10 win over Samoa

The USA Men’s National Team XVs played their second match of the Pacific Nations Cup 2019 against No. 16 Samoa on Friday, Aug 2 coming away with a 13-10 win in Suva, Fiji.  Last Saturday, the USA defeated Canada 47-19 in front of a sellout crowd in Colorado, and sit atop the tournament standings. Samoa opened their PNC with a 25-17 win over Tonga, their first over them in three years.

Match Recap

After a break by Martin Iosefo and a couple of phases, Samoa was penalized and AJ MacGinty slotted a penalty in the second mintue for a 3-0 lead.

Samoa then took advantage of a USA clearance kcik that went directly into touch and attacked from a lineout at the USA 22-meters. After eight phases Alapati Leiua found a seam and scored a try which was then converted for a 7-3 lead.

After eight phases in the USA attack, an  Aj MacGinty grub was just missed grounding for a 22- meter drop. A disipline error by Samoa then led to a penalty and the USA elected to go for a lineout instead of a penalty goal attempt. AJ MAcGinty then finished with a try and AJ Alatimu converted for a 10-7 lead.

The USA positioned themselves after a Cam Dolan pick the USA were penalized allowing Samoa to clear.h a scoring opportunity after a kick by Ruben de haas with a chase by Martin Iosefo for a 5-meter scrum. After a Cam Dolan pick, a USA penalty allowed Samoa to clear for a lineout just outside their 22-meters. Five phases later with Samoa going backwards inside their 5-meters they cleared to the USA. Soon after the USA pressure ended with a penalty allowing Samoa to clear.

Samoa waas penalized for colalping the scrum and MacGinty kciked for touch fo ra lienout 6-meters from in-goal. The team then mauled before forward picks with a Samoa penalty after three phases. MacGinty kicked for touch for a lineout and eight phases later the USA lost the ball forward within a meter of in-goal with Samoa clearing.

Samoa then had a sustained attack before losing the ball insdie USA territory for a USA scrum. MacGinty then cleared for a Samoa lineout at the Samoa 10-meters with one minute remaining before the break. The ensuing lineout by Samoa was not straight giving the USA one last attacking chance prior to the break. Following a Samoa possession the team kicked to touch to end the half.

During the first half, the USA maintained two thirds of the territory and possession and held a 10-7 lead at the break.

Second Half

Ben Pinkelman came into the match after the half to earn his first Eagles XVs cap.

Samoa had the first sustained attack of the half and after a USA knock on attacked from a scrum inside the USA 22-meters. A turnover and a kick by De Haas led to a penalty by Samoa. FRom the ensuing lineout, the ball was taken by Samoa and cleared for a USA lineout. Seven pahses later the ball was turned over to Samoa. A clearance kick by Samoa was then blocked by the USA, but Samoa retained possession are cleared.

A penalty by MacGinty for not rolling away allowed Samoa to kcik to touch and attack from a lineout deep inside USA territory. The USa however was able to clear giving them a lineout outside the USA 22-meters. The Eagles defense continued to be stellar with Samoa gaining very little territory before losing the ball forward for a USA scrum.

From a lineout, Samoa went through through 8 phases before a knock on gave the ball to the USA for a scrum inside their 22-meters.

The USa were then penalized with the USA going to ground. Samoa could not take advantage after a knock on gave the ball back to the USA for a scrum to their 22-meters. This time Samoa went to ground and were penalized alloowing the USA to clear for a lineout. The USA lineoutout however, was taken by Samoa and was turned over to the USA.

The USA went through three phases before the ball was lost by Ruben de Haas for a scrum at their 22-meter line. The USA briefly mauled from a lineout with MacGinty boucning the ball into touch about 15-meters from in-goal.

Following a Samoa lineout the USA were penalized from coming into the breakdwon from the side. Samoa attacked from a lineout and after three phases the USA were penalized for leaving their feet. Samoa elected to level the match at 10 all after Henry Taefu slotted the kick.

Following a Samoa lineout, the USa took advantage of a penalty by kicking for territory and attacking within 10-meters of in-goal. The ensuing maul was smothered  for a turnover just meters from in-goal for a 5-meter Samoa scrum with a minute remaining in the match. Samoa then shanked a kick giving the USA a lineout inside the Samoan 22-meters.

The USa then mauled before goinbg through eight phases. Samoa was penalized for pulling down and AJ MacGinty slotted a penalty goal to claim a 13-10 win against Samoa with no time on the clock.

This was the second consecutive year that the USA has beaten Samoa and are now 2-0 in the Pacific Nations Cup with the team facing japan next week.

AJ MACGinty scored all 13 points for the USA and was the Man of the Match.

The USa maintained 62% of the territory and 48% of the possession in the win. For both teams it provides an opportunity to fine tune the squad prior to the Rugby World Cup 2019.

Squads & Match Preview

*Indicates uncapped player 

USA:  1. Chance Wenglewski (Rugby ATL, 4) 2. James Hilterbrand (Manly Marlins,AUS,18) 3. Paul Mullen (Houston SaberCats, 11) 4. Ben Landry (Ealing Trailfinders,ENG,19) 5. Gregory Peterson (Newcastle Falcons , ENG, 23) 6. Tony Lamborn (Melbourne Rebels,AUS/Hawkesbay Magpies,NZL,18) 7. John Quill (Rugby United New Yor, k34) 8. Cam Dolan (NOLA Gold, 45) 9. Ruben De Haas (Free State Cheetahs, RSA, 12) 10. AJ MacGinty (Sale Sharks, ENG, 22) 11. Martin Iosefo (USA Sevens, 4) 12. Paul Lasike (Harlequins, ENG, 13) 13. Bryce Campbell (London Irish, ENG, 26) 14. Blaine Scully (C) (Unattached, 47) 15. Will Hooley (Bedford Blues, ENG, 9) 16. Dylan Fawsitt (Rugby United New York, 9) 17. David Ainu’u (Toulouse Rugby, FRA,6) 18. Paddy Ryan (Rugby United New York, 5) 19. Nate Brakeley (Rugby United New York, 18) 20. Ben Pinkelman*R (USA Sevens, 0) 21. Nate Augspurger (San Diego Legion, 21) 22. Will Magie (Glendale Raptors, 23) 23. Madison Hughes (USA Sevens, 4)

Samoa: 1 James Lam 2 Seilala Lam 3 Jordan Lam 4 Teafilo Paulo 5 Senio Toleafoa 6 Henry Stowers 7 TJ Ionane 8 Piula Faasalele (C) 9 Peleifofoga Cowley 10 AJ Alatimu 11 Alapati Leiua 12 Henry Taefu 13 Kieron Fonotia 14 Johnny Vaili 15 Ahsee Tuala 16 Raymond Elia 17 Logovi’i Mulipola 18 Paul Alo-Emile 19 Jack Lam 20 Afa Amosa 21 Auvasa Felealii 22 Rey Lee-Lo 23 JJ Taulagi 24 Kane Le’aupepe


General Manager | Dave Hodges
Head Coach | Gary Gold
Assistant Coach, Attack | Greg McWilliams
Assistant Coach, Set Piece | Shawn Pittman
Assistant Coach, Defense | Jaque Fourie
Strength & Conditioning Coach | Huw Bevan
Performance Analyst | Jimmy Harrison
Assistant S&C and Analyst | Tom Kindley
Team Doctor | Mark Sakr
Team Doctor | Sam Akhavan
Head Athletic Trainer | Kevin Ng
Athletic Trainer | Kristen Douhan
Massage Therapist | Daliah Hurwitz
Team Manager | Chris Hanson
Assistant Team Manager | Mark Drown

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant