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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Japan Beats the USA Eagles-again-in LA.

After last week's 24-6 loss to Scotland in Houston, the USA Eagles brought their road show to Carson, California and the Stub Hub center for an IRB Pacific Nations Cup match against Japan. A crowd of 5,100 fans showed up at the Stub Hub Center to see the Eagles and Cherry Blossoms lock horns on a very pleasant Saturday evening in SoCal.
A Couple of friendly volunteers from the Cal-State Fullerton Women's Rugby Team.
The match started off well for the Yanks, as 8 man Cam Dolan intercepted an errant Japanese pass and rumbled in for the try, which Chris Wyles converted to give the Americans an early 7-0 lead.
Wyles with an early conversion to make it 7-0.
The Japanese did not panic. In the past few years, the Japanese have brought in some of the best coaching New Zealand has to offer, and having a professional league has also really helped in developing their game. They just looked better at almost every aspect of the game. The passes sharper, the Japanese hit the gain line with pace, and it ripped the USA defense to shreds….
Japanese Wing Akihito Yamada breaks the USA Defense on his way to a try.

The USA were fighting back the entire second half. With time running out, they scored a try in the corner to make things interesting for the USA Faithful….
After the try from Blaine Scully, the Eagles tried to keep the heat on the Japanese defense…
Late USA Scrum deep in Japanese territory with time running out...
The Cherry Blossoms held on to win the game, and the Japanese players thanked the crowd for doing their part to support international rugby in the USA. 
The scoreboard doesn't lie...

A good game by the Japanese. Back to the drawing board for the Eagles.

Japan now owns the USA Eagles, which is bad news, as we will be seeing them again next year at the Rugby World Cup in England, as they will be in the same group as the Americans. Next up for the Americans is a game up the I-5 in Sacramento next weekend against the Auld Enemy from north of the border, who gave the Scots a really tough game in losing 19-17 in Toronto.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Got My Tickets to See the All Blacks in Chicago.

Will get a chance to see the more modern All Black's Jersey in Chicago
Yesterday was the day that USA Rugby opened up sales to see the USA Eagles host the New Zealand All Blacks in an international match to played in my wife's home town of Chicago, where it will be played on the first Saturday in November at Soldiers Field-a venue more known as the home of the Chicago Bears of the NFL.

As I am about to go to Minnesota for a week to see my kids and grandson, and then swing by Colorado to check on my ailing mom, the budget was a little tight. As much as I would have liked to have gotten some really top flight tickets, I went towards the lower end of the scale, and got two tickets for my buddy Tom Daniels and I to go witness the Eagles-All Blacks game in what will probably be colder conditions than the All Blacks are used to playing in during the first weekend in November in the Midwest.
Kiwi fans better bring their cold weather gear if they plan on coming to Chicago in November.

So, I have a weekend to look forward to getting some top-flight ribs and pizza, and see the USA Eagles  face the unenviable challenge of hosting the defending Rugby World Cup Champs, and number one ranked All Blacks, as they work their way towards Europe for the November internationals.

At any rate, I am very psyched to see the All Blacks live.
The All Blacks should be prepared to see a lot of cows on their trip to the Midwest.

As for today, Tom and I are going to see the USA take on Japan at the Stub Hub center in Carson. The Cherry Blossoms have owned the Eagles in the last 4-5 matches they have played. I will settle for an improved performance today after last weekend's  24-6 loss to Scotland in Houston.