The USA Rugby Men’s National Team lost to the New Zealand All Blacks 104-14 in the 1874 Cup on Saturday, October 23 at FedExField in Washington, D.C. The match was broadcast on FloRugby.com. Attendance for the match was 39,720.
The last match between the Eagles and the All Blacks was a sell-out in 2014 as 61,500 people packed Soldier Field in Chicago.
Preceding the match Army West Point Rugby beat U.S.N.A Men’s Rugby (Navy) 24-17.
Prior to the start of the Eagles XV’s match against the All Blacks, there was a moment of silence for the recently departed Kathy Flores. New Zealand also was dealing with the loss of Sean Wainui and paused for 11 seconds, his number, during the Haka. USA captain Bryce Campbell and Ryan Matyas honored Sean’s memory by laying down two USA #11 Jerseys prior to the Haka which were accepted by Sam Whitelock and Dane Cole.
A moment of silence in honor of the legend, Kathy Flores ❤️ pic.twitter.com/PTxhTzlUhq
— USA Rugby (@USARugby) October 23, 2021
A tragic loss for the @USARugby and women's rugby family, following the sad news that 1991 Rugby World Cup winner and former USA head coach Kathy Flores has died at the age of 66 pic.twitter.com/sca816jsEY
— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) October 21, 2021
We are heartbroken right now. Sean, you were an inspiration and will never be forgotten. We extend all of our strength and aroha to your friends and whānau. 🖤
Kia au tō moe. pic.twitter.com/R0o9fqgW6R
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) October 18, 2021
The USA vs All Blacks Match Recap
The USA kicked off to begin the match and it was field by captain Sam Whitelock. The ball was cycled wide left with multiple touches before Luke Jacobson grounded. Richie Mo’unga slotted the conversion to take a lead, 0-7.
The restart was claimed by the All Blacks, but a knock-on gave the USA an attacking scrum inside New Zealand territory. A penalty has the All Blacks quickly moving the ball right to Will Jordan who offloaded inside to Quinn Tupaea, who motored to within 5-meters of in-goal. The ball went wide left with loosehead prop Ethan de Groot for a try, with Mo’unga adding the extras, 0-14.
A USA scrum was picked up by New Zealand after a tackle of Nate Augspurpger near the scrum. The ball was cycled right to Will Jordan whose kick and chase resulted in a try in the right corner. The kick bounced off the upright, but the All Blacks pushed their lead, 0-19.
Another ball was passed out to the right to No.8 Hoskins Sotutu, who evaded a tackler and offloaded to Tupaea and to fullback Damian McKenzie for the team’s fourth try. Mo’unga then added the conversion, 0-26.
A penalty by the All Blacks had the USA kicking to touch, just outside the All Blacks 22 meters. A couple of phases later, the All Blacks attacked from a lineout and then had an attacking lineout inside the USA half after a penalty.
After a Nate Augspurger poach from Papalii, he was driven into touch. The USA defended well across the pitch from a quick All Blacks lineout. The pressure continued after a scrum at the USA 22-meters with Luke Jacobson scoring a brace in the right corner after a missed tackle. Mo’unga slotted the conversion, 0-33.
The USA went through multiple phases after Will Hooley gathered an All Blacks kick and after playing advantage, had a lineout 10 meters from in-goal. A knock-on, however, thwarted this opportunity. The All Blacks Richie Mo’unga weaved his way through multiple defenders to score and then converted, 0-40.
The ensuing restart was kicked directly into touch, giving New Zealand a scrum at mid-field. Tupou Vaa’i appeared poised to score again, but a penalty for a dangerous tackle resulted in the All Blacks attacking from a 5-meter scrum. The ball was cycled right with Will Jordan evading another tackle for a try in the right corner, 0-45, after the kick was missed.
A clearance kick gave the Eagles a lineout and was followed by a long run by Tavite Lopeti. Soon after an All Blacks lineout served as a platform to score again after an offload from, Jordan to McKenzie to tighthead prop Angus Ta’avao with Mo’unga slotting again, 0-52.
A Paul Mullen steal was cycled left, however, a penalty allowed the All Black to attack within the USA 22-meters. Inside-center, Quinn Tupaea quickly added another try. Mo’unga was on target again, 0-59.
The USA repelled another New Zealand attack with sharp tackling before a penalty had them attacking from a lineout at the All Blacks 10-meter line. Nate Augspurger thrilled the crowd with a 40-meter run after sidestepping several defenders for the team’s first try. Luke Carty added the extras with a score of 7-59 at the break.
The momentum continued for the All Blacks with Damian McKenzie setting up a pass resulting in an Angus Ta’avao try and Mo’unga conversion, 7-66.
The USA countered with multiple phases around the All Blacks 22-meters, but a not releasing penalty allowed New Zealand to clear.
The offloads of New Zealand continued to plague the USA defense with Dalton Papalii adding a try with Mo’unga converting, 7-73.
A steal by Tavite Lopeti could have resulted in an Eagles try, but a New Zealand hands had the All Blacks gathering. The USA kept up the pressure and a turnover had Ryan Matyas scoring in the left corner and Luke Carty perfect on the day, 14-73.
The All Blacks quickly answered back with a try by Anton Lienert-Brown in the left corner with Mo’unga’s kick wide right, 14-78.
An All Blacks penalty gave the Eagles a lineout 5-meters from in-goal. The ball was not straight and gave the All Blacks an attacking scrum.
Better tackling by the USA resulted in turnovers and a penalty gave the USA a lineout deep inside New Zealand territory. Another penalty resulted in a 5-meter lineout. The team mauled, but after the collapse, the All Blacks attacked again with Beauden Barrett adding his name to the scoring with McKenzie slotting, 14-85.
The All Blacks added another after a wrap-around offload by Dane Coles to Will Jordan with McKenzie adding the extras, 14-92.
Despite the score, the USA has attacked more and tackled better in the second half. They had a sustained attack before a player was driven into touch. The resulting All Black attack was knocked on giving the Eagles a scrum. Another All Blacks penalty for being offsides gave the USA an attacking lineout inside the All Blacks 22-meters. The throw was not straight and another USA scoring chance was lost.
New Zealand, with numbers, appeared ready to add to their try total, but Luke Carty had a saving tackle. Unfortunately for the Eagles, Andrew Guerra was injured on the play and needed to be carted off for medical attention. It is hoped that he recovers quickly from his broken ankle.
When play resumed, Dane Coles scored after an All Blacks scrum with McKenzie kick wide, 14-97.
With no time on the clock, Brayden Ennor raced down the left touch and offloaded to TJ Perenara finished with a try. McKenzie added the extras for a final of 14-104 to New Zealand.
New Zealand dominated the match with their wide channel attacks and crisp offloads. In the second half, the USA tackling improved and they had several opportunities to add tries. The USA had two tries on the day with Nate Augspurger scoring before the break and Ryan Matyas scoring in the second half.
With the match falling outside the international test window, USA Rugby Men’s Head Coach, Gary Gold had to rely on his Major League Rugby professionals as his European players were not available.
Three USA players earned their first international cap, Ryan James, and reserves Chad Gough and Faka’osi Pifeleti, while All Blacks Josh Lord also made his test debut.
For the USA this match ends the international tests in 2021, while the All Blacks just began their Northern 2021 Tour. They travel to play Wales, Italy, Ireland, and France following on consecutive weekends.
Squads (International Debut – Bold) & Match Preview
USA: 1 Matt Harmon 2 Dylan Fawsitt 3 Paul Mullen 4 Nate Brakeley 5 Nick Civetta 6 Ben Bonasso 7 Hanco Germishuys 8 Cam Dolan 9 Nate Augspurger 10 Luke Carty 11 Ryan Matyas 12 Bryce Campbell (C) 13 Tavite Lopeti 14 Dylan James 15 Will Hooley 16 Chad Gough 17 Faka’osi Pifeleti 18 Dino Waldren 19 Siaosi Mahoni 20 Moni Tonga’uiha 21 Andrew Guerra 22 Michael Baska 23 Mike Dabulas
New Zealand: 1. Ethan de Groot 2. Asafo Aumua 3. Angus Ta’avao 4. Samuel Whitelock (C) 5. Tupou Vaa’i 6. Luke Jacobson 7. Dalton Papalii 8. Hoskins Sotutu 9. Finlay Christie 10. Richie Mo’unga 11. George Bridge 12. Quinn Tupaea 13. Braydon Ennor 14. Will Jordan 15. Damian McKenzie 16. Dane Coles 17. George Bower 18. Tyrel Lomax 19. Josh Lord 20. Sam Cane 21. TJ Perenara 22. Beauden Barrett 23. Anton Lienert-Brown
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