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).