Here are a couple of videos from the tailgate party prior to the Eagles Russia RWC match in New Plymouth.
BOULDER, Colo. – The USA Eagles showed tremendous heart to defeat Russia 13-6 at Stadium Taranaki and record their first win at the 2011 Rugby World Cup (RWC). It was a huge team performance from the Eagles in very wet conditions which saw a fantastic Mike Petri try, and the boot of Chris Wyles giving the United States their third win in RWC history.
“Delighted with the win and the performance of the team. We retained our intensity and work rate from the Ireland game. We knew Russia would play to the very end, and we prepared for that eventuality. We had Russian under pressure on numerous occasions, but they defended really well and made us work for every score we got,” said Eagles Head Coach, Eddie O’Sullivan.
Russia started the match off fiercely resulting in a successful third minute penalty from flyhalf Yury Kushnarev. The Eagles came straight back strongly, using dangerous wings James Paterson and Taku Ngwenya in sweeping attacking movements. It was off a great platform setup by the forwards that created space out wide for Roland Suniula to bust through near the halfway line. The flyhalf found his brother, Andrew, who broke through the defense and sent Mike Petri into open space. The scrumhalf did superbly carrying a tackler over the line to score a fantastic team try for the Eagles. Wyles converted putting the USA up 10-3 after 20 minutes.
The intensity at the contact point was as intense as ever, with so much riding on this battle. The Eagles had two more penalties in the Russian half, but were unable to add to their lead as the first half ended. The Russians had to make 83 tackles compared to the Eagles 33 in the first period.
Despite the conditions, the packed crowd witnessed some beautiful rugby during the evening. The Eagles dominated possession, using width on attack, and the constant pressure led to another penalty from Chris Wyles.
Russia fought back strongly near fulltime, kicking three points through center Konstantin Rachkov. They got very close to the Eagles tryline, but two magnificent lineout steals from John van der Giessen haulted the attack. The Eagles defended bravely for the remaining minutes, until victory arrived at Stadium Taranaki.
Todd Clever had another massive game leading the Eagles. The tight forwards were excellent at the set pieces, and the backline moved the ball around during difficult conditions. The try by Petri was brilliant backline support, and Wyles produced an outstanding performance returning from injury. The Man-of-the-Match was veteran prop Mike MacDonald who had another barn stormer. MacDonald also equaled the record for the most RWC appearances of 10 matches, set by Alec Parker.
“We now have some time to rest a lot of tired bodies and get ready for the Australia game.” said O’Sullivan.
The Eagles will face the Australia on September 23 in Wellington.
Live scoring of USA Eagles vs Ireland at http://twitter.com/#!/usrugbynz – Go Eagles!
Here are some shots just taken from Taranaki stadium:
1 Mike MacDonald 2 Chris Biller 3 Matekitonga Moeakiola 4 John Van Der Giessen 5 Hayden Smith 6 Louis Stanfill 7 Todd Clever 8 Nic Johnson 9 Mike Petri 10 Roland Suniula 11 James Paterson 12 Andrew Suniula 13 Paul Emerick 14 Takudzwa Ngwenya 15 Chris Wyles.
Replacements: 16 Phil Thiel 17 Shawn Pittman 18 Scott LaValla 19 Pat Danah 20 Tim Usasz 21 Nese Malifa 22 Blaine Scully.
Coach: Eddie O’Sullivan.
1 Sergey Popov 2 Vladislav Korshunov 3 Ivan Prishchepenko 4 Alexander Voytov 5 Denis Antonov 6 Artem Fatakhov 7 Andrey Garbuzov 8 Vyacheslav Grachev 9 Alexander Shakirov 10 Yury Kushnarev 11 Vasily Artemyev 12 Alexey Makovetskiy 13 Konstantin Rachkov 14 Vladimir Ostroushko 15 Igor Klyuchnikov.
Replacements: 16 Valery Tsnobiladze 17 Alexander Khrokin 18 Vladimir Botvinnikov 19 Adam Byrnes 20 Victor Gresev 21 Alexander Yanyushkin 22 Andrey Kuzin.
Coach: Nikolay Nerush.
An iron curtain has gone up between Taranaki energy industry workmates Dmitry Molokhov and Lance Johnson.
The pair work just metres apart at Shell Todd Oil Services Ltd in New Plymouth, and under normal circumstances they’re great mates.
But this week things are different. They’ve drawn a thin blue line on the office carpet – even dubbed it the Iron Curtain – and now they’re indulging in a Cold War of words from either side of the line.
And the reason? The United States meet Russia in a Rugby World Cup game at Stadium Taranaki tonight.
It’s all part of a whole series of fun activities going on inside STOS headquarters where – in a perfect illustration of the diversity of nationalities working in the energy industry in New Zealand – every country participating in the RWC is represented in the staff of more than 300.
Mr Molokhov, a reservoir engineer from St Petersburg, Russia, has been in New Plymouth for about a year after shifting from Perth, and up until now his only real contact with rugby was the time he reversed his car into a vehicle driven by a member of the Western Force super-15 team.
But now he’s a real fan, and he’s hoping for big things from Russia tonight.
“I hope it’s a tough game, maybe with a little Cold War tension,” he said yesterday.
Meanwhile American Mr Johnson, a geologist from Florida who has lived in Taranaki for four years, is confident USA will win.
“We’ve already beaten the Russians once this year and I think we’ll do it again,” he said.
But he’s a little worried that already, Mr Molokhov might have pinched one of the USA fans.
“My three-year-old son Asher came into work the other day to see all the World Cup displays, and Dmitry gave him a Russian flag that he’s now got on his bedroom wall,” he said.
“When I asked him the other night who he wanted to win, he said America – and Russia.”
- Taranaki Daily News
Here is the Press Conference with Eagles Captain Todd Clever and forwards coach Dave Hodges ahead of today’s clash with Russia:
I was extremely proud of the US. The team defensive performance was truly magnificent. The Eagles were well prepared to disrupt and compete at the tackle, where Todd Clever set the example as a captain and the entire squad responded. The team held up against a strong Irish onslaught led by O’Connell’s mighty performance at lock.
Offensively Mike Petri did a good job putting the ball in behind the Irish while Paul Emerick took on the legendary Brian O’Driscoll and created such good go forward ball. The superior Irish scrum put us under immense pressure but we we won some quality line-out possession and the team pattern was effective, using hit up and decoy runners.
O’Gara made a difference when he substituted into the game putting us under pressure with his classic territorial kicking. However the Eagles also put pressure on themselves with turnover ball.
Obviously on 9-11 there was a unique feel to the day and its historic relevance.
The Eagles will go into the Russia game knowing they need to produce the same intensity and improve their first phase possession, especially the scrum. It’s a momumental opportunity and I believe the US can win by 10-12 points.
A day before the Eagles opening match against Ireland, the U.S. Ambassador Huebner and Duane McWaine MD joined in on the street parade with the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band down the streets of New Plymouth.
By: Dallen Stanford
BOULDER, Colo. -– Eagles Head Coach, Eddie O’Sullivan, has selected his squad of 30 players that will represent the United States at the 2011 Rugby World Cup (RWC) in New Zealand next month.
The Eagles will compete in Pool C at the RWC, taking on Australia, Ireland, Italy and Russia in pool play. NBC Universal has released their broadcast schedule of the tournament, which begins with the opening ceremony on September 9 and concludes with the RWC final on October 23. Visit Universal Sports for details: www.universalsports.com
”I think there is a sense of relief that we are now in a position to name the final squad of 30 for the RWC. It has been a thorough process and I belief that we have the best 30 players available to us heading into the RWC.
As expected we have had to make some very tough decisions to get to the final squad, but that is just reflection on the talent available to us,” said O’Sullivan.
Todd Clever will captain the squad, with 16 forwards and 14 backs making up the team. Mike Petri – who led the Eagles against Japan on Sunday night in Tokyo – has been named the vice-captain.
Selected in the front row are Mike MacDonald, Mate Moeakiola, Eric Fry and Shawn Pittman. Three hookers have been selected in Chris Biller, Phil Thiel and Brian McClenahan.
The lock specialists are John van der Giessen, Hayden Smith and Scott LaValla. The loose-forwards include: Inaki Basauri, Pat Danahy, JJ Gagiano, Nic Johnson, Louis Stanfill, along with Clever.
In the backline, Tim Usasz is at scrumhalf with Petri. Partnering them at flyhalf are Nese Malifa and Roland Suniula. The centers will be Paul Emerick, Tai Enosa, Junior Sifa and Andrew Suniula.
Out wide the wings are Colin Hawley, Taku Ngwenya, James Paterson and Kevin Swiryn. Chris Wyles and Blaine Scully complete the squad as fullbacks.
”All eyes are now turned to RWC and our departure from the USA on September 1,” commented the Head Coach.
The squad will assemble in Santa Barbara on August 28 for their final preparations before flying to New Zealand on September 1.
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As most of you are aware, there’s a small Rugby tournament coming to New Zealand later this year. It is the Rugby World Cup 2011 and will be by far the largest event this country has ever hosted.
The USA Eagles have qualified for the tournament and will be in New Plymouth, Wellington and Nelson. The team will be in Wellington before their big game against Australia on Sept. 23.
The U.S. Ambassador, David Huebner, has invited the team for dinner – and two of our lucky readers will be able to join them for what is sure to be a tremendous evening.
To see who gets to join the ambassador and the Eagles, we’re running a small competition. All you have to do is come up with a winning caption to our photo, by clicking here and then wait. We’ll announce the winner(s) on July 30. The only requirement, obviously, is that you are in or can bring yourself to Wellington on Sept. 21.
So, be creative and get writing. There are no limits to the amount of entries you submit. Just make them good and keep them clean.