The USA Eagles were welcomed to Scots College in Wellington by a crowd of over 500 supporters at a ‘Meet the Eagles’ event. A group of Scots College students performed a Haka in front of the Eagles (video below) before the U.S. national anthem and speeches by the U.S. Ambassador Huebner and Eagles captain, Todd Clever. The supporters were then treated to an all American style dinner, and a chance to have photos with and autographs signed by the Eagles players.
More photos to come.
Here are a couple of videos from the tailgate party prior to the Eagles Russia RWC match in New Plymouth.
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
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.
Toronto – Despite a late comeback from the Eagles, Canada held on for a 28-22 win in front of a record crowd of more than 10,000 at BMO Field. In so doing Canada retain the Can/Am Trophy. The match was aired LIVE on TSN in Canada and Universal Sports in America.
The USA produced some excellent passages of play, scoring three team tries in the process.
Eagles Head Coach, Eddie O’Sullivan, said: “We are disappointed, it would have been great to get the win here in Toronto. We let in a couple of tries from very simple errors that really hurt us, and put ourselves under pressure. But we responded well and got back into the game,”
The Eagles will travel back to Glendale, Colorado, tomorrow for what will be a very busy week. The USA Select XV will play the Glendale Raptors on Wednesday August 10 at Infinity Park. Then on Saturday, August 13, the Eagles will take on Canada at the same venue, with kick-off at 7.15 P.M. This match will be broadcast LIVE – both online and on television – through Universal Sports.
“There were plenty of positives against Canada. Our scrum was very solid and our line-out fired well for the most part. We scored some good tries, and with more time together, the team cohesiveness will only improve. We have one week to fine tune things before the return match,” said O’Sullivan.
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By Kyle Jones
USA gives up early lead to give Canada the win.
Canada 28 USA 22
“Disappointment” has to be the one thing on everyone’s mind after a stunning defeat by Canada today. A confusing start allowed Canada to score unscathed in the 6th minute after a bizarre call that would only set the tone for what was to come. USA overcame some poor kicks by Nese Malifa with two daring tries in the first half.
The fiirst came from Takudzwa Ngwenya after a brilliant pass from Todd Clever. Canada continued with penalties, providing Nese Malifa more opportunities to make good on penalty kicks, yet he failed to convert. Clever took things into his own hands and capitalized on Canada’s weakness: Line Outs. He intercepted one late in the first half, instantly converting it into a try and putting the Eagles up 15-7. The tide would begin to shift just before the half, with USA giving up senseless penalties as well, providing Canada with a penalty kick. The half ended USA 15-10 Canada.
Before you could say, “Bob’s your Uncle” the Eagles did the unthinkable. Nese Malifa dropped a pass back in his own red zone, providing Canada with an instant try and a two-point lead. The Eagles never went back in front.
Canada showed their physical dominance and ability to last the full 80 minutes by pounding out more penalty points and one more try with a quick phase out of an overpowering scrum. The score would climb to 25-15 before USA would even come close to another chance at goal. It would take Tim Usasz, the scrumhalf, to breathe direction and life into a fatigued USA offense. He would get them within meters of a try not once, but twice before Clever would bring it home off a flashy pass from Inaki Basauri.
But their missed opportunities to score just moments earlier cost them precious time and would not allow them to mount another attack before the game was over. With just 1 minute to go, Canada put up its final penalty kick to put the Eagles out of reach. The clock would wind down and USA would squander a first-half lead and hand a close win to Canada.
This game could have gone either way, with both teams playing very different halves. USA dominated possession early, but Canada clearly took advantage of the penalty calls and the fatigue of the USA Eagles.
Some things to watch out for next week at Infinity Park in Glendale, Colo.: USA Eagles fixing those poor kicks and maintaining their endurance throughout the match; Canada looking to desperately fix their lineout turnovers and maintaining possession. It should be another exciting match, which will hopefully come out in our favor. Stay tuned for details on tickets and live coverage.
Full Game Replay: Here
Video Highlights: Here
By: Dallen Stanford, USA Rugby
Glendale, Colo. – Eagles Head Coach, Eddie O’Sullivan, has named his best possible squad for the Canada encounter set to take place at BMO Field in Toronto on Saturday.
“It’s important that we get a solid start to this August tour, with the Rugby World Cup (RWC) only weeks away. The squad has switched on right from the start, and realize that their RWC campaign is in their hands,” said O’Sullivan.
The 35-man Eagles squad arrived in Glendale on Sunday, July 31, hitting the ground running with two-a-day sessions on both Monday and Tuesday.
“Some players were not available during the Churchill Cup, so this is our first real opportunity to work those combinations that will allow us to achieve our goals,” explained the Head Coach.
The 22-man traveling squad will depart for Toronto on Thursday morning, looking to start their RWC campaign on a high note.
Canada are currently ranked 16th on the IRB World Rankings, one place ahead of the United States. Next week the Eagles will host Canada at Infinity Park on Saturday, August 13, after which the squad will travel to Tokyo to take on Japan on Sunday, August 21.
Two players that are not available for this upcoming match include veteran fullback Chris Wyles and Highlanders winger James Paterson. Wyles is nursing an ankle problem, and Paterson is continuing his rehabilitation.
“We need to give both Chris and James time to get back to full health,” added O’Sullivan.
The Eagles are led by the outstanding Todd Clever, with hard working Louis Stanfill (flank) and Nic Johnson (8th man) completing the loose forwards. In the tight five, the experienced props Mate Moeakiola and Shawn Pittman will look to dominate up front. Phillip Thiel – one of Life University’s standouts – starts at hooker.
45 Days to Go!
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.
BOULDER, Colo. – Eagles Head Coach Eddie O’Sullivan has officially announced his first domestic training squad of the year, in what will be a very busy 2011 for the Men’s National Team in their buildup to the 2011 Rugby World Cup (RWC). O’Sullivan has also added a few members to his coaching staff to best prepare the Eagles for a full list of pre-RWC fixtures.
The 35 players will assemble at the Olympic Training Center (OTC) in Chula Vista, Calif., from Wednesday May 4 to Sunday May 8.
“This is the first and only assembly for the domestic Eagles in 2011. It is an immediate opportunity for everybody invited to push for a place at the Churchill Cup in June,” O’Sullivan said, acknowledging that many overseas players are tied-up in their professional duties for their respective clubs.
O’Sullivan also noted that some players are also unavailable for personal reasons and others are unavailable due to injury and involvement in domestic collegiate rugby.
The squad assembling at the OTC consists of 17 forwards and 18 backs. Thirteen members of the squad have represented the Eagles in the IRB Sevens World Series and 14 of the 35 players have caps for the Eagles fifteens side.
“The pool is a mix of players that we are familiar with and some new faces who have played themselves into contention in recent months. The May camp is very important as we get ever closer to RWC and possibly the final opportunity for some of the pool to stake a claim for a seat on the flight to New Zealand,” added O’Sullivan.