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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The USA Eagles Beat Russia 25-0 on Todd Clever's Special Evening in Sacramento.

I've lived here in Los Angeles for 4 years now. In that time, I had not had a chance to make the 5.5 hour drive to Sacramento-California's State Capital. This past weekend, with the USA Eagle's scheduled to take on the Russians in Sac-Town, my buddy Tom and I thought that this would be a good time to play road warriors to check out some Sacramento Micro-brews and get a rugby fix all at the same time.
Beer and Rugby on a Saturday-stopping at Sac Town Union Brewery...
Tom and I sample the product at Tank 7 Brewery in Sacramento.
Sacramento, California is very inland. It's almost halfway between San Francisco and Reno, Nevada on Interstate 80. As it sits on a plain, it was a very warm Saturday, indeed-about 93 degrees when driving up. The initial start of the USA-Russia game was 5 pm, but luckily they moved the kickoff to 7 PM.
USA-Russia for the National Anthems at Bonney Field in Sacramento, California
 This was my first international game since last October's Rugby World Cup, and my first USA Eagle's game since seeing the USA-New Zealand game in Chicago in 2014. (Oh yeah, we have our Tix for the Ireland-All Blacks in October this November, which will also be played at Soldiers Field)

The Russians may not be the All Blacks in terms of notoriety for the casual American rugby fan, but Saturday's game would mark Todd Clever's 68th cap in a USA shirt-eclipsing former Eagle Prop Mike McDonald as the all time leading cap leader of USA Men's rugby.
#6 Todd Clever-the New Record Holder for USMNT appearances with 68 caps.
And Since the former USA Captain and the long time face of American Rugby  is from California, having this match in Sacramento seemed to be a match made in heaven. 

The Americans dominated the game pretty much from start to finish-The Russians really had very few chances inside the American 22. The 25-0 scoreline belies the dominance that the Yanks
showed in Sac-Town on Saturday. The Eagles had chances for at least 3 clear tries(Two by Clever). AJ McGinty showed again just what a fantastic addition he has been to the Eagles with some great kicking at goal(5 penalty goals and a conversion on a try)
McGinty makes it 9-0 in the first half with the 3rd of his 5 penalty goals.
, as well as a decisive pass that would spring Mike T'eo for the only try of the game in the second half.
Theo's Try in the Second half

The heat became a massive factor on play in the second half, and both coaches pretty much emptied 

their benches.  

After the tough loss to Italy last weekend, which would have been a big win against a Six Nations side, this was still a good way to finish the summer international schedule for the Eagles, whose next game will be in Chicago the same weekend in November as the Ireland-New Zealand game, when the Eagles will take on the Maoris at Toyota Stadium in Bridgeview, Illinois. 

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