The second round of the World Rugby Final Qualification tournament for the final spot in the 2023 Rugby World Cup takes place on Saturday, November 12 at 9:30 AM ET live on The Rugby Network.
The USA sits at the top of the tournament standings after a bonus point win and greater points differential after a 68-14 win against Kenya last Saturday in Dubai. Dylan Fawsitt was the Man of the Match for the USA and he and Christian Dyer both had hat tricks in the match. Portugal also gained a bonus point in beating Hong Kong 42-14.
Portugal will open the second round against Kenya at 7 am ET (Also broadcast live on The Rugby Network), while the USA will face Hong Kong at 9:30 am on November 12. Visit the match center for the 2023 Rugby World Cup Final Qualification Tournament lineups and scoring.
USA Rugby Match Preview:
The USA forward pack has shown to be a highlight in the early going as the first four tries of last week’s game came from the forwards. Hooker Dylan Fawsitt tallied one of two hat tricks while Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz added a score as well. Despite the high score line, efficiency in the red zone was a bit rusty early for the USA, along with discipline, so the group will look to sure up early-game jitters and put out a more complete performance this Saturday. Similar to Kenya, Hong Kong was also on the receiving end of an offensive onslaught, giving up 42 unanswered points to Portugal, even after scoring the game’s first try. That try from Hooker Alexander Post, like the USA, took advantage of the line out and rolling maul.
Lineout time for the Eagles was a strength in match one, an aspect the team will need to recapitulate this Saturday as fans can expect another exciting face-off between the forward packs. Remaining disciplined will also be important, as Hong Kong were able to force several penalties on Portugal while in their opposing 22. Ultimately, the USA will target another high offensive performance. Given the round-robin and points format of the Final Qualifiers, bonus point victories are of significant value here in Dubai. Head Coach Gary Gold’s match-two roster will see five players move from the reserve list to the starting fifteen, as Chance Wenglewski is added to the overall 23. Starting flyhalf AJ MacGinty will slot back in as Captain in his 34th appearance for the USA.
Comments from Head Coach Gary Gold as heading into round two:
“The first match against Kenya was a good marker for us, I think we came out of the gate a little scattered for the first 20-odd minutes, but I’m happy with the composure we built going forward from there. We’ve gone through our analysis this week, both on Hong Kong and more so on our systems and training sessions. Improving discipline and keeping the offensive pressure against Hong Kong will be key as we progress and hope to keep ourselves at the top of the points table.
It’s been a great training week so far, coming off a win is always positive, and with five new guys joining the USA Eagle ranks, team culture and pride in the squad are excitingly high. We still have quite a bit of work to do before we can rest assured, however, the coaches and the team are pleased with where we stand as a group, both on and off the pitch.
USA MEN’S EAGLES ROSTER | USA vs HONG KONG
|1. David Ainu’u||Toulouse (FRA)||18|
|2. Kapeli Pifeleti||Saracens (ENG)||8|
|3. Paul Mullen||Utah Warriors||28|
|4. Greg Peterson||Newcastle Falcons (ENG)||37|
|5. Cam Dolan||NOLA Gold||61|
|6. Viliami Helu||Rugby ATL||1|
|7. Cory Daniel||Old Glory DC||1|
|8. Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz||Old Glory DC||7|
|9. Ruben De Haas||Saracens (ENG)||26|
|10. AJ MacGinty (C)||Bristol Bears||33|
|11. Nate Augspurger||San Diego Legion||34|
|12. Paul Lasike||Utah Warriors||20|
|13. Marcel Brache||San Diego Legion||31|
|14. Christian Dyer||Houston SaberCats||9|
|15. Mitch Wilson||New England Free Jacks||1|
|16. Dylan Fawsitt||Rugby New York||21|
|17. Chance Wenglewski||Rugby New York||10|
|18. Nate Sylvia||San Diego Legion||1|
|19. CC Mahoni||Houston SaberCats||8|
|20. Tesimoni Tonga’uiha||NOLA Gold||4|
|21. Ryan Rees||Rugby ATL||1|
|22. Luke Carty||MLR||9|
|23. Bryce Campbell||MLR||4|
USA MEN’S EAGLES STAFF
- Head Coach Gary Gold
- Assistant Coach Mario Ledesma
- Assistant Coach Steve Brett
- Assistant Coach John Plumtree
- Head Strength & Conditioning Coach Huw Bevan
- Strength & Conditioning Coach Calvin Morris
- Analyst Jimmy Harrison
- Head Physiotherapist Kristen Douhan
- Physiotherapist Ron Klingensmith
- Sports Massage Therapist Daliah Hurwitz
- Team Doctor Marc Kowalsky
- Team Manager Oscar Alvarez
USA MEN’S EAGLES MATCH SCHEDULE
USA vs Kenya: Sunday, Nov 6 – (W) 68-14 Replay on The Rugby Network
Match Recap by Americas Rugby News
USA: 1 Jack Iscaro (17 David Ainu’u 52′), 2 Dylan Fawsitt (16 Mikey Sosene-Feagai 52′), 3 Paul Mullen (18 Nathan Sylvia 56′), 4 Siaosi Mahoni, 5 Cam Dolan (19 Greg Peterson 53′), 6 Vili Helu, 7 Cory Daniel, 8 Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz (20 Moni Tonga’uiha 62′), 9 Ryan Rees (21 Ruben de Haas 58′), 10 Luke Carty (23 AJ MacGinty 58′), 11 Nate Augspurger, 12 Paul Lasike (22 Bryce Campbell 52′), 13 Marcel Brache (capt.), 14 Christian Dyer, 15 Mitch Wilson
KENYA: 1 Patrick Ouko (17 Andrew Siminyu 50′), 2 Eugene Sifuna (16 Teddy Akala 56′), 3 Ephraim Oduor (18 Joseph Odero 56′), 4 Malcolm Onsando, 5 Thomas Okeyo (19 Brian Juma 50′), 6 George Nyambua, 7 Daniel Sikuta (capt.) (20 Martin Owilah 56′), 8 Bethuel Anami (23 Joshua Weru 47′), 9 Samuel Asati, 10 Geoffrey Ominde (21 Brian Tanga 47′), 11 Jacob Ojee, 12 John Okoth, 13 Bryceson Adaka, 14 Geoffrey Okwach (22 Timothy Omela 50′), 15 Darwin Mukidza