Eagles surrender half-time lead to Scots
The USA Eagles played a strong first 40 minutes in a Rugby World Cup pool matchup this weekend, sending Scotland to the sheds at the break with some anxious moments after a well-worked team try by prop Titi Lamositele.
Unfortunately for the Eagles, the Scots came out invigorated and scored two quick-fire trys to wingers Visser and Maitland to take control of the match, which they won 39-16.
There are many positives to reflect upon coming out of the Scotland match, but with 22 missed tackles, mostly in the second half, defensive patterns need to be corrected before the Eagles’ final two pool matches.
The Eagles have now played the #9 and #11-ranked teams in the world, and on Oct. 7, things don’t get any easier with the United States’ third Rugby World Cup pool match against South Africa at London’s Olympic Stadium. Currently ranked fifth in the world, the Springboks, who won the Rugby World Cup in 1995 and 2007, present the Eagles with their greatest challenge.
Then, incredibly, it’s just a four-day turnaround before the Eagles take on the Japan Cherry Blossoms Oct. 11 at Kingsholm in Gloucester.
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Local Steamboat Springs RFC member Chris Baumann earned his sixth international cap when he came off the bench in the 68th minute against Scotland, adding good energy around the field during his 12 minutes of play.
Speaking with Baumann post match, he said the Eagles are excited and motivated to take on the mighty Springboks next, which will be a decisive match for both teams as they march toward the knockout stages. Two wins in the next two matches could see the Eagles make it through to the quarterfinals.
Visiting Wales caused the biggest upset this past weekend beating hosts England 28-25 in front of 81,129 at the traditional home of Rugby at Twickenham, London. England must now beat the Australian Wallabies in their next match to ensure they travel through to the quarters from the “pool of death.” which also includes Fiji and Uruguay.
World Rugby champions and #1-ranked team in the world, the New Zealand All Blacks cruised past Namibia 58-14 to remain as tournament favorites.
Here’s how the pools stack up after two rounds.
Julian Bristow is the coach of the Steamboat Springs Rugby Club and will be following the Rugby World Cup for the Steamboat Pilot & Today.
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