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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.

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