This Rugby World Cup has been hard to watch for USA Eagles fans this year as we started off by losing one of our most valuable players and captain, Todd Clever, and showing little discipline on the field.
For an inexperienced team they had their moments. And given the fact that our difficult Pool with South Africa, Scotland, Japan and Samoa, all major forces in Rugby Union, showed the eagles little mercy.
However, fingers are starting to point, not at the players themselves, but at the Eagles coach, by fans all across America. Mike Tolkin, known for cutting the Eagle’s star player, Todd Clever, and for rotating the squad drastically this World Cup, has some explaining to do to the fans that desperately wanted to come out with a win today.
The USA Eagles did much better this game compared to the rest of their Pool play in this Rugby World Cup. On paper, they seem to have beat Japan. But the only numbers that matter today are the ones on the scoreboard, and they came up just short.
The USA will go home with no wins this World Cup. Pool play stats will be soon to follow…
Watch the Eagles beat Japan in their last match at Pacific Nations:
USA 0 South Africa 64
South Africa highlighted everything that the USA Eagles have been doing wrong in this Rugby World Cup in just 80 minutes.
The missed tackles and lack of discipline have been a recurring theme throughout this World Cup. But this game really emphasized the need for the Eagles to reassess.
Mike Tolkin, the coach for the USA Eagles, was apparently happy with the American side for their first half of play. He then went on to say that the problem was the lack of pressure they put on the Springboks during the second half.
Another note worth mentioning is that most of the USA Eagles that played today had no experience in a Rugby World Cup match. Being that their first cap was against the South Africans says a lot in my book.
Once the Springboks got going after 40 minutes, they broke free 13 times to put up some big scores. They only missed 10 tackles compared to the Eagles missing 30. And they conceded 11 penalties compared to the Eagles 17.
The good news going forward is that these boys got a beating from a tier 1 team in a Rugby World Cup match. Hopefully in the next four years, a more experienced, more disciplined, and all around better team shows up to win. Lessons in rugby are hard taught. And the USA Eagles will take away a lot from this game.
They go on to play Japan in their last pool game of the Rugby World Cup. Let’s keep in mind the Eagles beat Japan the last time they met in Sacramento California for the World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup 2015 (23-18).
Not only did the USA Mens Sevens beat Canada, qualifying them for the Olympics in Brazil next year, but our Lady Eagles beat Mexico with a huge spread, keeping them on track for the World Cup.
USA (21) vs CAN (5)
USA (88) vs Mex (0)
The Mens Eagles came into this tournament after a monumental victory at London Sevens. The question was whether or not this momentum would carry them through to a win against their bitter northern rivals, Canada.
It seems they answered that question today in Raleigh, NC with a confident spread.
And speaking of spreads, the USA teams dominated every game in the NACRA sevens tournament. The only team that scored on the Mens side before playing Canada was Jamaica, with a final score of 40-5. Every other match was a shut out.
So join me in saying Congrats to the USA Eagles for such a strong showing in USA rugby this weekend.
Take a look at the USA Sevens schedule and results HERE
Check out the United States shut out against Canada in the Las Vegas 7s Tournament