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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

USA Eagles Punch Their Ticket to Rugby World Cup 2015 Against Uruguay.

Uruguay lined up for the National Anthem.
My buddy Tom Daniels and I made it out to Georgia for the second leg between Uruguay and the USA Eagles in Kennesaw Georgia. In match played in front of a little over 6,000 fans in conditions that went from wet and windy to dry with some sporadic sun, most of the crowd was hoping the Eagles would get a good start out of the gate. We were disappointed.
The Teros showed a lot of heart-particularly in their scrum.

The USA had to endure yellow cards to Olive Kilfi and Andrew Suniula. Playing a couple of men short, Joaquin Prada scored a try for the Teros. American Captain Todd Clever also had to leave the field to get medical treatment.
An audible sense of relief when Clever came back from inury.
Uruguay continued to give the USA scrum all kinds of troubles in the first half. Berchesi kicked two LONG penalties for Uruguay. Saracens fullback Chris Wyles hit a lone penalty for the USA. At half time the USA trailed 13-3. The big crowd that had started boisterous was very quiet. In a winner take all match, the Eagles were laying a big goose egg. The prospect of losing at home to Uruguay and having to play repechage matches to qualify for next years Rugby World Cup was unsettling, to say the least.

The second half would prove to be a massive reversal for the Eagles.
All of the sudden, Eagle physicality kept the Teros deep in their own territory. The Americans finally got a great push out of a scrum and Fry, one of the props, scored. a few minutes later, off a Uruguay penalty at their own two, American fly half Petri took the quick tap, and out raced the Teros to plant the ball down for a try. With the very pro-American crowd sensing blood, the eagles continued to dominate at the breakdown
, In a 10 minute period, they would score two more tries, care of the Suniula brothers. (Shalom scored his first Eagle try in his second cap) Wyles scored one more penalty for the Yanks, and the USA punched their ticket to next years Rugby World Cup.
The Eagles celebrate.

The Eagles took a well deserved lap of honor, glad handing American rugby fans and basking in the glow of a 32-13 win, that was really a tougher game than the score would indicate.
American Captain Todd Clever all smiles after the Eagle win.

What this means, is that now I can start planning my trip to England next year
Honey, we are going to England...
Petri shares the moment with his baby.

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